“Why are you angry with God? He didn’t make these choices.”
Out of nowhere, the words hung in the air as I headed to my counselor’s home. It was a good question, I thought. He hadn’t made any of the choices that caused my pain.
We live in a fallen world, with fallen people who make bad choices – often without ever wondering why they’re doing so.
Their actions land on us, and we live out the consequences. That is all. In His sovereignty, God determined to allow free will to every human being on the planet…and didn’t limit it to those whose will was in line with His (which of us would qualify??).
It’s taken me a long time to sort things out and understand why I had turned on God with such fury. It boils down to one word:
As God’s children, it is expected that our good behavior will be rewarded with sugar and spice and everything nice. Nothing bad should ever come our way. We are loved, cherished children of an all-powerful God who can protect us from everything.
To be honest, He hadn’t been ‘performing’ in a manner consistent with my expectations for…well, for all of my life. Many horrible things have happened to me. He ‘could’ have stopped them, but He didn’t.
Thus, when He broke into my current situation last spring and began to heal those who’d hurt me, I was more angry than I thought possible.
Angry with God
I’d asked, begged, and pleaded with Him for years to intervene, to set things right. I can’t say how long ago I gave up asking and assumed that this was my lot in life…for the rest of my life. I’d made it thus far, it was obvious that I could hold out until the end.
Which was why my reaction stunned me.
At the same time, my faith was shaken to its very foundation. I was unsure whether I would still be willing to follow the Lord when all was said and done. He had done nothing according to my plan, or my timetable. I was disillusioned and wondered if I could trust Him after all.
One of the things I’ve discovered is that there is a difference between faith and trust.
There was no doubt that I had saving faith going into this season. The fruit of the Spirit has been evident in ever-increasing ways. What I lacked was the cling-to-the-Rock-and-you’ll-be-okay trust that I desperately needed. I had faith that He saved me – just didn’t trust that He was going to (finally) do something about my life!!
It became apparent that there were many things I had yet to learn about God.
The first being that He had not caused any of this. Therefore, to blame Him was a lesson in futility.
I rewrote Proverbs 3:4-5 and tried to live by it this year. It goes like this:
Trust in yourself with all of your heart
Don’t ask God to give understanding
In all your ways try to make your plans work…
…and let me know how that turns out for you!
It’s been a rough year, one from which I wasn’t sure I’d ever emerge intact. At long last, I’m able to step back from my life and gain God’s perspective a little. Things look much better from there – certainly not so intense.
His plans for me are for good and not for evil. Like Joseph, I can say, “You meant this for evil, but God meant it for good.” I’m coming back around to the faith – no trust – that “all things work together for those who love God.”
I just had no idea what those “all things” might entail.
The last three months have been well-spent. God provided the most amazing counselor I could have ever received. I’m sure He chose His very best to minister to me. She’s more of a “heart specialist” really. Every week God has used what’s going on around me to stir up deep, deep wounds and heal them. (Hint: Forgiveness looms large in healing!)
I had no idea that there were so many strongholds within my heart. It’s been painful – and yet brings freedom like I’ve never known.
I’m not sure who I’ll be when He’s finished; He’s left no stone unturned. I’ll be different, of that I am certain.
The time is close when I will, finally, make the paradigm shift so needed in my understanding of Who God is and how He works. Very close.
At last, I shall trust Him again.
I’m embarrassed to admit what this journey has looked like. I wish it wasn’t so. Thanks for “listening!”