I would like to say that I have reached a level of spiritual maturity where I accept circumstances with peace and humility, put every instance up against the lense of eternity, and my initial instinct is to praise God when things don't go how I want or expect. That, my friends, would be a lie. It is easy to say those things and know those truths when I am on the outside looking in, but many circumstances have happened lately that have challenged just how "spiritually mature" I truly am. Prayers have been answered (because every prayer is heard) in ways I did NOT specifically ask. I have begged at the feet of God on behalf of people very dear to me, and the healing I sought did not come. I have prayed and fasted for the future of a child who's life ended before any of us were ready. These instances have shaken my faith to it's core in recent weeks. In the face of the trials, I have questioned the value of prayer, I have questioned God's plan, I have questioned. Through tears, I told my husband, "The thoughts I am feeling are not what a ministry leader should be thinking." On behalf of loved ones, I have hurt and I have been angry.
Anger is a human emotion, a reaction of the flesh. We feel it deep in our core, and it lashes out at the most logical source. We want to understand and control situations, and when we can't, we lash out at whoever can. I have had so many difficult but spirit led conversations with people, answering questions like, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" "Why would God let this happen?" "Why didn't God answer this prayer?" and while I can spit out scripture and reassurance all day long for people asking these questions, when it is me or my loved one in the trenches, all that Truth tends to go out the window of my mind.
This is why we need each other. We need strong brothers and sisters in the faith to remind us of what is good and what is true when we are the one in the valley.
This is why we need the Holy Spirit to bring the promises of God back to our remembrance when anger has buried them too deep for us to uncover by ourselves.
This is why we need to know who God is, who the real enemy is, and direct our anger accordingly.
This is why we have to know that we won't always know, and learn to be okay with that.
This is why being a Christian is not for the faint of heart, but thank God we don't do it alone.
There are many beautiful things about our God. God is love, and love is patient, so God is patient with His kids. He knows when you are feeling angry, frustrated, confused. He holds you in His arms while you are kicking and screaming because you don't know what else to do. Tears stream down His face because they stream down yours. God doesn't want you to hurt, but He gave dominion of the world to man. Man in turn let the enemy have a say, and now consequences trickle down. But friends, praise God. Praise God this is not our home, we are just passing through. The enemy and people can attack the flesh, but our spirit is not of this world. Our soul is the property of God, because as His kids we are heirs to His kingdom.
So praise Him in this storm. Praise Him louder when your mind doesn't want to. Grab hold of the One who doesn't let go of you. Let your anger run it's course, but don't live there. Be honest and real with God, and let Him help you process through. Let His peace, that makes no sense to the world, wash over you. Come out stronger, knowing that no matter what the world or the enemy can possibly throw at us, God can take it and turn it around for the good of his Kids who love Him, even when it doesn't make sense quite yet.
Psalm 13: 1-2
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them
Psalm 13: 5-6
But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me