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Should I be mad at God?

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Should I be mad at God?

Faith has been brought up numerous times by numerous people during the last 8 days so it seems natural to dedicate a post to it. Jamie read this post and noted that it looks more like I'm processing than actually concluding anything and she's probably right, but since many have asked or simply offered their own thoughts on faith in the middle of this, I thought it would be worth communicating where I'm at.

I think everyone who knows us is aware that faith in God is central to our lives. We were introduced to one another by a pastor's wife at a church business meeting, so you really can say it's been a part of our life together from the moment we met.

Of course, anytime a Christian is faced with some sort of adversity, people seem to be interested in how their faith is impacted. I'm not exactly sure why this is. I guess we assume that it's in our darkest time that we really test whether our faith is true or not, or to what extent we believe it, as if the rest of our lives are sort of a training ground for this dark moment.

I'm not mad at God. I don't know if people think I'm supposed to be, but I'm not. Jesus is the same today as he was 8 days ago. My baby girl's diagnosis hasn't changed that. I'm not the first person whose world has been rocked by devastating news. Maybe our world view is by nature so egocentric that we just don't look around us to see all of the pain that's happening each day until it eventually comes to us, which explains why many people lose their faith in God - or at least question him - in trying times.

But does my perspective mean I have a really strong faith in God? Does it mean I believe he is in control and whatever happens is what's meant to happen? Or does it mean I don't believe in a God who is all-powerful and could really heal my daughter?

You can go round-and-round about how what's best in God's eyes isn't always what's best in our eyes, and that's true. But it's still pretty universally accepted that losing a baby in utero is a pretty awful thing. No matter how much it makes you cherish life more, love those around you more, or makes you stronger, it's never, ever a good thing to go through.

So if I believe God can heal my daughter, shouldn't I be upset with him if he doesn't do it? I think this is the question most people get hung up on.

I realize that a miracle is possible. I realize there are examples in the Bible where people prayed for a miracle and got it. But I've never seen a case where a chromosomal abnormality was simply biologically reversed and I don't see a reason to think it will happen this time around.

And yet, I'm not upset with God.

Maybe it's because I don't view God as a slot machine for me to come to, pull the lever, and expect to be served with the best outcome possible. I also don't think God is a chess player with the world as his chess board and my daughter as a pawn he's about to take for his own.

I believe God provides refuge from the storm. He's someone to whom I carry these trials and lay them at his feet. I think he provides healing - not always physical, but certainly spiritual, emotional, relational healing. I believe he will take my daughter in his arms when she's lifted up to heaven.

I don't know why he's taking her so young. But do I need to figure out why? There's a lot I don't know about God. We spend so much of our lives trying to figure God out, but how can a finite mind ever know an infinite one?

I've often thought of Deuteronomy 29:29 in circumstances like this:
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
There are some things we just can't understand.

So I put my faith in the God of the Bible, not to immediately fix all of the problems in this world or with my daughter, but to carry us through these times and to be a source of comfort, rest, and hope. I don't think I have to know why everything happens on earth - the good or the bad - to maintain my trust in him as my rock.

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Anonymous Daniel declared,

I think the essence of faith is simply taking God at His word. Trusting that what He says is true. In this circumstance, as in so many other circumstances, the main fact to be either embraced or rejected is what God has said - "this is only temporary. I'm going to fix everything."

I had the exact same thoughts that you expressed in your last post. whether we live 90 years or 50 or die in utero, this earthly life is temporary. this is not what we live for! we live for the day when "there shall be no more curse," and "we shall see His face," and "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

I think you're like me. you'd rather have reality than comfort. there's plenty of options for escapism. ultimately, faith isn't looking for something that will make this situation seem better, trying to find some silver lining. it's believing what God said. He said this life is momentary, like a vapor, and pretty soon He'll set everything right again.

I love what I've seen you guys express through this. this is not a "lesson" to be "learned." this is not essentially a "trial" to be "endured." this is a person, Kaylee Hope, and her life being lived, and you living and rejoicing in it with her, all in view of the good and awesome God who gives life - briefly now, eternally then.

love you guys!

3/02/2011 9:17 AM  
Blogger watchman declared,

Wow, Joey. That is a powerful verse.

I get mad at God all the time. I get mad at close friends and even my wonderful wife. But I try not to get mad at my kids. What's the difference? My friends and my wife are mature and trustworthy. They can take my raw honesty and (hopefully) not be hurt. My kids can't handle that, yet.

God's big enough to take it.

My mind goes to Psalm 131. This is the toughest thing in the world for me. We see heartache and darkness and we want to figure out and get all angry and wonder why God doesn't just fix it.

Then, the Psalmist says,

'I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul...'

That is hard to do, but when we press through the anger and confusion we may find the quiet peace of a humbled soul.

I'm starting to sound preachy and churchy, so now I will shut up.

3/02/2011 11:44 AM  
Blogger Steve declared,

Great post

3/02/2011 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Katie declared,

Thank you!

I benefitted so much from reading that post. Your transparency is awesome, and I love hearing you "work things through your mind". I love you!

3/03/2011 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Brent and Lisa declared,

We can not imagine the trials this brings to your faith. We are encouraged by this post. We know that our encouragement is not fair compensation for the pain you are going through. Thank you for sharing this with us. Brent and Lisa

3/04/2011 7:14 AM  
Blogger Mrs Marcos declared,

I know I posted this before, but it fits so well with the topic you're writing about here - "being mad at God?"

Bring The Rain lyrics

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Jennifer (aka Mrs Marcos)

3/06/2011 5:15 PM  

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