Consider a reality that we sometimes feel uncomfortable with…consider the reality that sometimes we have really awful things happen in our lives or the lives of those that we care about and we have a lot of questions. Then we pray…we ask God why this happened. He gives no answer or gives one that we do not understand at all. We may ask Him more questions…only to have Him go silent. At this point, we feel an array of different emotions. We may feel hopeless, abandoned, confused, panicked, anxious, doubtful…and that’s just to name a few…and then…perhaps the one feeling that is stronger than the others is anger…with Him. We find ourselves mad at Him. Can you relate? Have you ever been angry at God? I have…very recently. As a matter of fact, I’m still processing through my feelings…
As I mentioned in my last article, some weeks ago I made a very difficult decision in resigning from the pastorate. There were no problems with the church. No issues that couldn’t be resolved. It was simply something that I believed (and still do) that God was leading me to do. Then the next morning at my part-time job (UPS), I sustained a serious head injury resulting in months out of work. Of course, I’m receiving partial pay while I’m out and all the medical expenses are covered by the company’s insurance, but I also am not able to find full-time employment. I am not able (or allowed) to run (which I LOVE). I can’t even drive! I get headaches at times that are quite painful. Sometimes my balance is still a little off. I get tired more quickly than before. I have a really hard time sleeping through the night due to some lingering insomnia. You get the idea. These symptoms are greatly improving every day, but they are still present at times. I don’t mention any of this to have a pity-party or ask for sympathy of any kind. I am writing this in order to give you the big picture of what’s been going on with me over the last several weeks.
It was about a week or so after the accident before I began to think clearly and regaining my short-term memory. Immediately after I began to think clearly, as I also mentioned in my last article, I had feelings of abandonment by God. Of course, if you read that article, you’ll see how I was able to process through those feelings. Then, after those feelings subsided, a new one came to the forefront. I began to be angry…at God. Last night my wife and I were talking about this journey. I told her something that I didn’t realize until I said it out loud. When my mind got much better and I started to process through things and think more clearly, I realized I had had some deep-seated resentment for God. I told her that in the beginning of things, I felt betrayed. I mean, here I was taking a huge step out in faith…trusting in Him…totally dependent upon Him for His protective and provisional hand. Then…not even 12 hours after taking that incredibly difficult leap of faith… BAM!!…my head is split open and I’ve got to deal with recovering from a concussion. I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t depressed. I WAS MAD. For a short period of time, I wasn’t speaking to Him. I wasn’t listening to Him. I didn’t touch my Bible really. I didn’t care what it said. It hurts me to say these things, but I’m just being honest. I hid it from people…especially when they said things like, “I’m praying for you,” or, “God has a plan for all of this.” I would simply put on a fake smile and laugh and just try to be positive.
One Wednesday night, when I was able to return to the church services (I had given a 30 day notice), I was having a hard time thinking as fast and as clearly as I am accustomed to doing. I got emotional and somewhere in the midst of my words, I just kind of sobbed the words, “WHY did HE have to hit me THERE!?” My thinking had become, “Out of all the things he could allow or whatever, WHY hit me in the one spot that is the most precious to my being? WHY take away my ability to think clearly…to remember things…WHY not a broken hand or dislocated elbow? Why? Why? WHYYYYY!!!!!???? (For those of you who would say, “He didn’t do it to you,” I get that. I’m not debating that point here, but simply being honest with my feelings.)
It took time for me to come back around to Him in my own heart. It took days (I’m assuming…time kind of still runs together for me ;-)). I never received an answer to my question. I never heard any kind of voice revealing some deep truth. But a few things did happen. After admitting my anger to Him, I felt better. I didn’t apologize for it. I didn’t curse Him or anything. I was simply mad at Him and told Him I felt betrayed. He listened to me. He heard me. And I felt a lot better. My anxiety pretty much has gone away. Also, during this entire thing, there has been a lot of support. From people mowing my grass to bringing food, to giving cash, to taxiing me around. People have helped. We’ve wanted for nothing. I was reminded of these things.
So what’s the point of this article? To say this: Crap happens in our lives…and sometimes if it happens in our lives when we are doing our best to trust and follow Him. There is often no explanation given…and we may become angry or feel betrayed. It’s not wrong to have those feelings. It’s wrong to lie to ourselves about them or to try and stuff them inside. He wants us to be honest and transparent. That’s a relationship.
Be honest with Him. You’ll feel better having done so. You may not have the answers you want. But you’ll be comforted by the arms of a loving Father that weeps with us, and then moves forward with us.
I hope this helps someone. Thank you all for your time. And for those of you that worry about me due to the content or tone of this post…I’m good. I’m making great progress in all ways.
*Image taken from: http://d1zlh37f1ep3tj.cloudfront.net/wp/wblob/54592E651337D2/861/C7EA8/p6JS9huGXp53PrFI_tB3Qg/angry-with-god.jpg