When You're Angry at God
"LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Psalms 30:2 (NIV)
As I waited for my husband to return from surgery, I began to worry. It was taking longer than the doctor had said it would. Since over 80% of my husband's body had been burned during the house fire, I feared the surgery would be too much for him.
My worst fears were confirmed when the doctor walked into the waiting room, still in his surgical clothes, and knelt down beside my chair. My heart began to pound as he explained that my husband had gone into cardiac arrest and though they were trying everything they could to resuscitate, they feared they had lost him. Immediately, I cried out for God to save him.
I still remember my desperate plea: God, I realize if my husband lives he most likely won't keep his arms. I understand what that means. He'll never hold me again or play ball with our son. But I don't care, God. Please let him live!
As the clock ticked down, there was no response. After some time, it finally hit me: he had already left me.
After the funeral was over and the people were gone, I realized I was alone, a new mother, and a 21-year-old widow. I was very angry God had allowed for things to turn out this way.
One desperate night, when the pain was more than I could stand, I cried out, Why, God? Why did You take him away from me? Oh, God. I need to know, why!
Have you ever been angry with God?
We've all made requests to God that didn't turn out like we had hoped. When that happens, it's easy to become confused about Him. We start to wonder if He heard us or just said "No" to our prayer. What we are certain of is the anger we feel toward the Lord's ways.
It's important to express our upset emotions to the Lord. But we have to view our circumstances through the lens of God's grace: everything He does is without fault and is always right. Look at Psalm 30:2, "LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Rather than ignoring our pain or not sharing our anger with God (which is silly because He already knows), we should confess our anger and seek His healing.
When I was completely honest with God that night, what happened next took me by surprise: God showed up!
I can only explain it like this. Just as a mother runs to her screaming child, God, the Father, ran to me—His child. I didn't see Him with my eyes or touch Him with my hands, but I knew He was with me. It comforted me. This encounter with God became a turning point in my healing. I realized God understood my frailties and feelings ... and He was big enough to handle them.
If you're angry with God, tell Him. Lay your heart open before God. Acknowledge that even while you don't understand what's happened, you trust He can make everything work out.
It took me a while to see how my circumstances could be used for God's glory and my good. I didn't get my husband back, but I did get a closer relationship with God. A few years later, I re-married, had two more beautiful children, and began a ministry of comfort. God also healed my heart from the pain of loss and the scars anger left.
I'm glad I was honest with God when I cried out in anger to Him. You will be too.
Dear Lord, there is so much hurt and anger inside of me. I'm tired of living this way. I'm giving it to You to heal my hurt. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
This devotion was taken from Micca Campbell's book, An Untroubled Heart; Finding a Faith That is Stronger than All My Fears.
Visit Micca's blog for a list for verses that sustained her when she couldn't make sense of all that was happening in her life.
Reflect and Respond:
How do you feel when God doesn't respond the way you hope? Are you ready to share those feelings with God? Why or why not?
Psalms 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (ESV)
© 2013 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Originally published Wednesday, 10 July 2013.