This is a subject that has dwelled in my heart for the last couple of months. I wanted to write about it, but was not fully sure how to really do so. When I was at the Become Good Soil Intensive in May, one of the things that came about through my mentors was in my own brokenness was whether I was willing to forgive God, knowing that God didn’t need forgiving. It through me for a loop at first, but in prayer I did just that, to be forgiven and to forgive. I pondered it for a while and then at the end of June, the subject came up again and this time with a little more fire.
I was on campus for a group counseling class and in the midst of sessions, the idea of being pissed at God. I stepped in and mentioned my dad’s death nearly seven years ago, and although I never said it out loud at the time, I was exactly that. I didn’t know how to process it all. At the same time, everything from my religious marinade in me said this was not something you shared. You can’t be pissed at God, or at least can’t say it.
But when this was shared, it almost felt like a weight lifted off of the class and group as one-by-one, more people were willing to share their own emotion in this regarding their brokenness and that they too, were also pissed at God at their time. I shared this last night in our men’s ministry study. People realized that it’s okay, even though we were at this big Christian university share that emotion. God is a big enough God to handle our raw emotion. Last night, we were talking about a young-man at our church whose dad died in his arms when he was 12, and in sharing his story with the whole church Sunday, he let it be known that he was pissed at God too.
This emotion is okay. It goes to our brokenness and flesh nature that when bad things happen in our lives that are out of our control, we are quick to blame someone in our anger and all too often, it gets directed at God. For the two years after my Dad’s death, I did just that. I was 31 when he died and I spent the next two years lost and angry and boy did I hide it well, even posing that faith and prayer was getting me through it all. Total B/S.
God did something though, that I never expected. He loved me through all of it. I was not searching for answers from Him, but He continued to pursue me. 2 years after his death, God thwarted me again. In my own desire to figure out direction my life, I stumbled across an app on my phone that many of us use. The Bible app from YouVersion. He had also led me to meet my now friend and pastor, Tim which led us to visit where he was pastoring, and is now our home. I opened up the Word and begin to read. Starting with daily devotionals and then I began to just read from Genesis to Revelation, day-after-day. It was a start.
I was reminded that things like what happened to my dad, or this kid’s dad, or any other tragedy or wound, reminds us that we are not in control. We don’t like to admit things are out of our control, but it’s a fact. Everything that occurs in this life is caused or allowed by God. He knows every little thing that happens and cares about everything that happens to us. I was led to Matthew 10:29-31, and this is Peterson’s translation in The Message. “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays greater attention to you, down to the last detail – even number the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.”
We can be angry with God, and yet at some point, we have to accept the fact that there many things out of our control. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”
I love that. God will never let you down. He’ll be there to love us and pull us through our times of pain, even when we are pissed at Him. We have to be willing to turn His way and allow Him to Father us through our pain and grow us up a bit too. We’re going to have pain, we’re going to experience trauma in life and sometimes, although misdirected, will direct our emotion and blame at God. God will love you through it. You’re worth more to Him than a million canaries. He knows and cares about every aspect of our lives.
We have to choose to surrender to His sovereignty. To acknowledge that He is in control and trust what He doing in your life. I sat in a class room with 40 something other future counselors and God is using each of us through our story and restoration. I was in the mountains of Colorado with 47 other world-changing men, all of whom had trauma and brokenness of all kinds and yet, God was present with each of us and is using us. This young-man at church has been on a broken and restorative journey since his dad died and yet God is using Him as well.
God will use us in our brokenness, pain, and anger. It takes time to be restored, but when we reach that full surrender, you see it all, even the brokenness and trauma through a whole new lens. It is trans-formative. Romans 12 says, “You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity. God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)”
He will love you through your anger and will mature you out of it. If you’ve been pissed at God before or even now, it’s okay to be, but how you respond from there and letting Him begin a work in you will make the difference in where things go from here.