If God had a face, I’d have punched it.
That’s how angry I was.
My anger wasn’t a red hot, raging anger, but a smoldering slow burn, built up over time, corroding my heart and soul, straining our relationship.
I’d lost my mum and then my sister to cancer.
Now it was my turn.
He had to be kidding me?
The injustice. The grief. The unknown future. My kids, what about my sweet children?
Was He deaf and blind to all I’d been through and the damage heading my way.
I was mad. Deep, dark, smoldering mad. Wouldn’t you be?
What should I do with this smoking time bomb of anger?
It’s easy to get angry with God when we’re living a life we didn’t plan and would never choose. He’s the chap that put black holes in the cosmos (why, I have no idea) and those little luminous creatures at the bottom of the oceans (again, I’ve no idea why). He’s the guy who parted the Red Sea and healed the blind and crippled.
Why can’t He heal me?
Why doesn’t He part the waters threatening to drown me?
Over the years I’ve learned to do three things when I’m furious with the man upstairs. It doesn’t change my circumstances, but it does take me off DEFCON 1 anger alert. I’m more able to cope and feel His peace and love. I can keep my head above water when life threatens to drown me.
Here’s what I try and do.
1. Lament (have a good old moan)
I’ve given up hiding my ugly feelings from Him. I reckon He knows them anyway and is big enough to handle it. I learned to let it all hangout like a lamenting psalmist; screaming out blunt questions like How long? Why? Where are you? Unloading my frustrations, laying out my deepest fears for Him to see. It’s not only cathartic to get it off my chest, but surprisingly, my venting doesn’t push Him away, it draws Him closer
I think He likes my honesty.
When we’re truly vulnerable, laying our emotions naked before Him, it’s an invitation He wont refuse.
If we hide our anger He can’t calm its angry rashes or give us the peace we so desperately crave.
2. Focus on Who God is.
By repeating verses about God’s character I’m reminded of who He is and His love for me. I start to feel His presence in my painful, messy situation, I’m reassured by His promises to not leave me, and give me the gift of His peace and joy right in the middle of my messed up life. His ways aren’t my ways but He has good plans for me and delights in me.
Here are some of my favorites.
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1Jn 4:16).
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Mt 7:11).
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (Jas 1:17).
I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Mt 6:31-33).
3. Remember Who I am to God
As I think about who He is, it reminds me who I am; His daughter whom He loves (no matter what’s going on, or what I’ve done). When we know we are precious and loved, it’s easier to handle life’s explosions and find some peace in the chaos.
It is my desire to lavish my love on you simply because you are my child and I am your father (1Jn 3:1).
I love you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Ps 139:17-18).
I rejoice over you with singing (Zep 3:17)
Anger with God, whether white hot rage or the smoldering embers of fury, slowly corrodes our hearts if left unattended. It burns away our peace, consumes our joy and burns brighter and deeper the longer it lingers. It’s exhausting, driving us away from the one person holding the fire extinguisher.
Next time I get snarky with God, I’m going to tell him how I feel, remember who He is and who I am to Him. Will you join me?
Are you harboring some smoldering anger or frustration with God?
What would it look like for you to tell Him how you feel and why?
Take a moment to repeat the verses about God’s character and who you are to Him.