Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mad at God?

"Are you mad at God?" my buddy asked me the other day. We were talking through some of this Allie situation.

"Not today," was my honest answer. "Not right now. But I have my moments."

I remember in the past people telling me that they were mad at God. I always thought this was a shallow, spoiled brat attitude to have toward the One that's provided everything you need for life material, spiritual, and eternal. But I feel different now. Actually, I probably always have had disappointment with God over not getting things my way, but I never admitted it for fear of appearing unspiritual. Now I don't care. Through this Allie crisis, I've learned that I'm the most unspiritual guy I know and if you don't like it - well, I don't know what to tell you. My relationship with God is different now. I don't know if it's better or worse, but it's different. I can't rely on all the rules and theology that helped me keep things in order; explainable. I can't figure God out right now and that makes me mad at times. More now than ever. But I think that's what happens in a relationship especially when one of the parties has incomplete understanding, faith or trust. One finds oneself frustrated with the Other.

So my conversation with my buddy turned to the topic of Job. I don't know if it was me or him that took the talk in that direction, but I remember talking about Job questioning God. I told my buddy that I wrote about questioning God a few posts ago. Job asked God a bunch of questions and God answered a bunch of questions that Job didn't ask (see Job 38). And I feel God answered different questions to me, too. I asked why did You let this happen to me, God?
I asked that then and I'm still asking it because I haven't heard the answer yet.

But God decided to answer a questions I never asked. I never asked Him if I could love a baby so much. He's shown me that I can love more than I ever thought I could.

And I never asked Him if I had a strong marriage. Though rocky at times, He's shown me that I'm married to an amazing woman and that our marriage can survive the worse tragedy imaginable.

God showing us these things in the here and now gives us faith for the future.

I told my buddy about another conversation I had with my friend Joyce. Joyce has been a spiritual mother to me for the past fourteen years. She always has something encouraging and loving to say to me no matter what I'm going through or set my mind to do. She also challenges me, when I need it, to think things all the way through. She shared a story about a man she knew that had two amazing boys. They were athletic, smart, godly young men. He felt he had done everything right raising these two guys. Then a third child came. This child was oxygen deprived at birth and suffered major defects. The challenges that came with raising this third child were overwhelming.

One day, the father was out on his patio yelling at God and asking Him why He would bring this on the family. "What did I do wrong?" was the man's angry question for God.

The father sensed in his spirit that God gave him this answer: "You didn't do anything wrong. I gave this little one because I trust you with him."

I trust you.

I can't begin to tell you how much this ministered to me.

I trust you.

I didn't ask any questions that would earn this answer. But I'll take it.

Now I'm praying that I'll live up to the trust He's extended and make Him proud.


Anonymous said...

Your post is profound, and timely in my own situation. There have been times over the last few years that I have not only questioned God, not just been mad at him, but I've begun to wonder if he had in fact abandoned me. Selfish, I know; but it's a conclusion that I can't help but wrestle with at times. What brings me back to reality is the love of those around me and the good counsel of those to whom I entrust my spiritual doubts.

Eileen said...

I, too, have been in that place of asking God why and I have not in these 17 years yet learned why but I have changed my questions to How. Like How can this be used to glorify Him? I guess the why is not for me to know but just to trust that Our God will use it all in a way He sees fit. It took me a long time to get it, but I praise Him for being with me all through out that lonely and difficult desert. Hang in there, Job, I mean Bryon, He is doing a mighty work.

Mike West said...

" I can't figure God out." I would say your relationship is better. Not to mention the fact you haven't given up.

Anonymous said...

This is not only an outstanding post, Bryon; it's an important one. I love Joyce's story, too.

My cousin's late husband was diagnosed with a disease I'd never heard of and still don't know how to spell (and it's only four or five letters!). It's a mix of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and very unpredictable as to when and how it will affect an individual. In reply to one of my notes to her, she said, "I know God is with me. Sometimes I just wish He didn't have so much confidence in me!"

I still hold to the belief that, somehow, in both the present and the future, God will bring great glory to Himself out of your (pl.) present trials. And I'll bet there are days when you would just as soon He'd glorified Himself through someone else!