I was driving down the interstate one night after dropping my husband off at the hospital. After years of his intense battle with chronic illness, we had once again been forced to cancel our plans and take him in to get admitted. Our life had become a cycle of pain and frustration that I just couldn’t handle anymore.
I felt my face get hot as the tears started flowing, and from somewhere in my stomach, I let out a guttural, “WHY!?” toward the sky as I banged my fist against the steering wheel.
For the first time in my life, I was mad at God.
As someone who grew up in the church, I felt an immense amount of guilt over that moment. I had always started my prayers by praising God. When others would be angry with God or the Church, I had a thousand verses or trite expressions to offer them.
But since that night in the car, I haven’t been able to fully shake the frustration of feeling like God dealt me an unfair hand.
Recently, I was talking to a friend and carelessly said, “Sometimes, I just feel like God hates me.”
I expected her to give me the same verses and trite expressions I had given to others. Instead, she said, “Yeah, I get that. I feel that sometimes. And I know what I know….but I feel what I feel.”
I know what I know, but I feel what I feel.
Those words reverberated in my soul for hours after our conversation. I KNOW that God is good. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a purpose for all the pain I’ve been going through.
But I FEEL abandoned.
This endless battle of feeling and knowing is outlined in the book of Psalms. Over and over and over again, David asks God those hard “WHY!?!?” questions that most of us have experienced at some point.
Psalm 13 is one of those low points for David:
“O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?”
That hits too close to home.
“How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?
Every day, God.
“Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes.”
I know that sounds dramatic, but….God….please.
“But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.”
Same, God. I feel pain, but I know You’re good.
I used to start my prayers with what I thought was the “perfect way to pray.” Now I start my prayers like David did in the Psalms: with honesty. And it’s made all the difference.
Someone once sent me a quote from her pastor that stuck with me: “To complain ABOUT God is a sin, but to complain TO God is an act of worship.”
So the next time you’re mad at God, don’t try to hide it. Tell the One who can take it….and the only One who can offer unlimited peace, even when life feels impossible.