In Which I Discuss My Occasional Anger at God, and How He Responds

In recent months I find myself vacillating between extreme thankfulness towards God and bitter pissed-off-edness at him. There are days, such as during the time when I had no income for the last few months, when we received two checks, out of the blue, for a total of $1500. Speechless. Then there are days when it feels like we will never return to a more normal life, when I have to put another bill on the credit card, when it feels like we will live in a basement forever. Speechless.

I feel like I’m constantly struggling to find that middle ground, that place where gratefulness can exist alongside my questions or doubts.

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As I mentioned earlier in the summer, one of our children has struggled mightily with anxiety since we returned from our cross-country trip. If we informed him of an upcoming event that he would need to attend alone, he would fret and worry about it for weeks. I’d find him reclined quietly on the sofa, eyes staring off into the distance, and I’d know that worry was devouring his peace.

So we stopped telling him about things coming down the road. We started communicating with him on a need-to-know basis only. A few months ago we signed him up for a science class at a local museum, but when we saw that just the thought of it was filling him with anxiety, we stopped talking about it. We stopped warning him that it was coming. We simply waited until yesterday, and fifteen minutes before we left I told him to get ready.

He still wasn’t happy about it, but it eliminated weeks of worrying. I’m sure the day will come when his anxiety lessens, but in the mean time, we’ll continue walking him through life and telling him about these things when he needs to know about them.

* * * * *

Then I thought about God. I thought about how often I beg him for information on where he’s leading me. I thought about how this interminable period of waiting is driving me nuts. I thought about how I want to know the wonderful plans he has for me – I want to know them now!

But he doesn’t allow me to draw him into that kind of a dialogue, because he knows that if I knew the future I would simply stress about it. So he walks alongside me, and he nudges me here, and he whispers to me there.

And I find out about my life on a need-to-know basis.

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Similar posts include:
On Receiving Unexpected Checks in the Mail and My Lack of Trust in God
Leaving, Wondering if I’ve Been Forgotten, and Clinging to Promises

6 Replies to “In Which I Discuss My Occasional Anger at God, and How He Responds”

  1. Shawn, I had never thought of that being one of the reasons God doesn’t give us too much information of what is to come. People read Revelation and worry too much about that. Imagine if He gave us all some great blueprint for our lives. We would fret. Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said to not be anxious. We are. We just have to stop and trust that He is good.

  2. I am constantly reminding myself of Psalm 119:105
    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

    A lamp doesn’t illuminate all that far ahead of me. It tells me what is right in front of me and no more than that. Therefore I just have to rest on the Lord who is walking beside me and who can see much further in the dark than I can. And sometimes I am just TERRIBLE at this. But I keep trying. Mostly.

  3. Shawn, what a powerful post! We’ve been there in our family. Our son struggled with anxiety for a while, but he’s gotten a lot better. There are still obstacles to navigate. When these times seem to overwhelm me, I try to recall Proverbs 3:5-6 and Jeremiah 29:11. These don’t give me all the answers I seek at that moment, but they help to remind me that I know the One who has all the answers.

  4. Yes, very powerful! What a great example to draw from, one that we can all understand. Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite verse, the touch-stone I always go back to when I’m feeling that anxiety and unrest. It calms me and refocuses my attention on the one thing that I need to know.

  5. Great post. My pastor shared a Richard Rohr quote that was similar. It talked about how God has to work on us in secret because if he showed us the plan, we would try to stop it or control it. That always comes back to me when I want a roadmap from God. Thanks for the reminder!

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