Every now and again, we rebel. We align our hearts with our flesh. We embrace our sin nature. That can look like a million different things, but in the last few months I can say that being angry is the way I have most let my heart disobey.
I have been angry about being sick. I have been angry about being lonely. I have been angry about not having my house finished. I have been angry about Ethan having ear problems and screaming for hours on end. I have been angry that Lauren does not have the friends she did back in Texas. I have been angry so much, I have been paralyzed by it. I knew things were hard. I knew I had been frustrated a lot, but when the dam breaks and you are forced to really be honest with yourself, you can see where you really are.
I’ve been drowning in a sea of anger that is filled with raging waves that have toppled and crushed me. I didn’t know I was angry until my heart filled up and spewed my anger back at the Cross that saved me. I told God that I didn’t know where He was. I needed Him and felt abandoned by Him. Why has He forsaken me and left my weary soul and tattered heart exposed to the elements? Why couldn’t He hear me? Why didn’t I matter anymore? Where was He?
I sat and knew that nothing I was speaking was true. Once you’ve had a life inside God’s love, nothing else will ever sustain or satisfy you. I got all the venom out and sat and waited. These were the last words I could whimper, “God, I need you to show up.”
There are problems with the implication behind these broken words.
- This plea disregarded that I had breath in my lungs to speak them. God had shown up by giving me breath in my lungs and allowing me to be.
- God owed me. I put God in my debt and in my thinking, God owed it to me. If I could ever think I could demand anything from Him, I was treating Him like He owed me.
Here’s what’s true:
- “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.'” Isaiah 43:1-2
- “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4
- “…the LORD appeared to him from far away. ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.'” Jeremiah 31:3
- “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
This is just a tiny sampling of what is true. My feelings are real. They are something that I have to pray and work through, BUT my feelings do not decide the truth, my God does.
He has never left me. He has been ever-present and near. HE OWES ME NOTHING AND GAVE ME EVERYTHING IN AND THROUGH THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.
I take this back up to finish it almost a full year after it was written, and I can honestly say that today I feel what God says is true, and have no anger in me like I did then. I remember how hard this realization hit when it did.
I look back on this season that was so hard knowing that it was really as bad as it seemed where I sincerely felt everything I wrote, but more than those feeling then, today I can see God’s overwhelming love that covered and restored and healed these wounds.
In my wavering, His Father-heart was steadfast and girded me up for this season that was truly one of the hardest in my life, and I am grateful that His love never fails even in my worst moments. His love never fails in your worst moments either.
I am thankful that His goodness to me is not dependent on me, but was wrung out of His heart that sent His Son to the cross that loves me.
God will never be in my debt, and more than that He paid a high price for me to walk in His love and enjoy Him forever. Whatever this life dishes out is temporary, and I think the anger came when I lost sight of that. It came when I stopped fixing my eyes on Jesus and only saw the hard stuff. That is not eternity. That is not my treasure.
I pray I never faulter in a way that allows this to engulf me and rob my joy ever again. I thank God for eyes to see what it really was and for holding me and speaking His truth into my life and heart.