“Are you serious right now, God?”
“Don’t act like you can’t hear me, I know you can!”
“Maybe I’m bothering you too much? Are my prayers really just that stupid?”
I’d be a fool if I thought I was the only one who’s ever been left wondering where God is in my situation. Why is He ignoring my cries? Are my repeated prayers not enough to gain the attention of the vast being I call “Lord”?
Let’s use last week as an example. I was praying for God to give me clarity in a situation. I sat at my desk and doodled on a piece of paper, waiting for God to zap me with his wisdom.
Eventually getting tired of the environment I was in, I decided to move to the kitchen to clean some dishes. We all know God moves when the house is clean. 30 minutes later, Dawn soap everywhere, and my vinyl player on in the background, my repeated prayer was still unanswered.
That’s fine…right? Sometimes it takes longer than a day.
After the third day though, I’m still not seeing or feeling any clarity. I’m hearing nothing and now I’m pissed. So I started coming up with a list of grievances against God. Spouting off hurtful statements like:
“This is exactly one of the reasons why people have a hard time believing in you”
“Sometimes, I wonder if you can even be trusted with what I’m saying. It feels like you don’t care”
My complaints were listing like a grocery list. It almost was getting out of control and that’s when I muttered the words “despite”
As soon as that word left my mouth, my whole perception changed on complaining to God.
“Despite of how I’m feeling God, I know you still love me.”
“Despite me feeling like you’re not listening, I know you are Lord.”
God knows our thoughts. He knows our frustrations. Our hurts. He knows what we’re praying about. What we are praying for, doesn’t surprise God. I don’t believe our prayers are for God. It’s for us. It allows us to hear our own heart and the cries of our character. It creates a medium for our expressions of faith and doubt to be displayed for our own understanding.
When you tell most people that you complained to God or you’re even fighting with God you get a funny “stink eye”. It’s frowned on. “Why would you question God?”
My question is, “Why wouldn’t I?” The Bible is scattered with stories of people who fought with God. Heck, there is even a story where Jacob wrestles with God. I sort of picture God and Jacob in a wrestling ring with random items to inflict pain on each other. How awesome would it be see God smack Jacob over the head with a metal folding chair and shout “DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE LORD IS COOKIN’???”
God welcomes my fights. He welcomes my complaints and my doubts. It’s healthy to shake our fists at God and say
“Really?!” “Let’s be real, God I’m not getting this.”
When I shout at God, I lay out all my grievances for all to see. That’s when I am faced with a choice. Will these complaints make me run from God or will they make me run to Him? Despite the overwhelming feeling of abandonment or betrayal, I know the at the core of these complaints is just a scared little boy wanting his spiritual Dad to hold him. When we embrace and acknowledge the mystery of God, when we say “this doesn’t make any sense, but that’s ok” that’s when we truly trust in our God who often makes no sense.
God isn’t about the instant gratification. He’s much more invested in us, than being at our every beckoning call. He’s here for the long haul. God knows our needs better than ourselves. Remember that today.