Everything hinges on my positive response to any calamitous situation, but my halo is askew. I don't always have bright, shiny, positive responses to what God is doing in my life. Not even most of the time. Dark, negative thoughts lurk in the shadowy corners of my mind, and I can't seem to muster up the strength to take the broom of faith and sweep them out.
Those negative thoughts are not meek and quiet creatures. To my embarrassment, they are loud and brash. They even yell at God. But I know God will not give up on me even when pain squeezes negative complaints from me toward Him. I believe God wants me to express honest thoughts and feelings to Him rather than hide behind pious expressions that I speak hypocritically. It doesn't matter what people expect or what I expect of myself. I need to be honest with God.
Stephen W. Brown suggests in his book, When Your Rope Breaks:
“If you are angry and hurt...tell God the truth. He might be the only Person in the world who can absorb everything you hand Him, understand why you do it, and still love you. Too often, when our ropes have broken, our prayers become spiritual nonsense. If we would stop talking nonsense for a moment, God might say to us, 'Come off it! Tell me what you really think.' Once we believers understand that God can handle our honesty, the broken ropes don't seem as bad as they seemed before.”
I don't think God will send a bolt of lightning to zap me if I tell Him how I really feel. If I can't be honest with Him, I can't be honest with anyone. Besides, since He knows everything anyway, even my thoughts, He already knows how I feel. I guess I vent my feelings to Him mostly for my own benefit. So here it goes:
God, I'm hurt because You let this happen to me when I thought I was walking in Your ways.
I'm confused because You didn't let me know sooner that You were going to set aside my plans. Why did You let me go to the last minute? I did consult You about my plans.
I'm disappointed because I don't think I deserve to go through this affliction.
I'm puzzled because I don't know what You are after in my life.
I'm jealous of others who disregard You yet they aren't suffering or ill. You don't seem to be giving them a hard time.
I feel that You abandoned me because You are silent when I ask You questions. Now is the time I most need to hear from You!
I don't feel a bit spiritual. I feel like pouting and crying. If I told you otherwise, God, I'd be lying, and I don't think You'd like that.
Truly, I'm scared. Scared to death!
There—I've let it all hang out.
The air is clearer between us. I still don't hear any answers from You, nor do I see any handwriting on the wall, but I know in my heart of hearts that You do love me. The universe doesn't really revolve around me—You are the center, and I'm just glad that Your big sovereign plan is in action.
(Excerpt from the chapter “Jumping Over Hurdles” in HOSPITAL GOWNS DON'T HAVE POCKETS!
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