It finally happened…I had my temper tantrum with God.
I remember a friend asking me quite some time ago, “Haven’t you ever had a temper tantrum with God?” I was taken aback at the question. I grew up thinking that you shouldn’t get mad at God – that getting mad at God was irreverent. Besides, I had read the book of Job in the Bible. I was quite aware of God’s reaction when Job finally reached his limit and began to question God. It was as if God said to Job “Who in the world do you think you are to question Me? I made the whole world, and yet you have the audacity to question Me?”
Recently I went through a valley during which friends teasingly remarked, “We should just start calling you Job-ette.” It was a period of time when trial after trial seemed to assault me on every side. As I started to get through one trial and feel like perhaps I could once again begin to breathe, another difficult situation ensued and pushed me down again. The final straw came when I had surgery that was to alleviate pain in a foot, a foot that was deformed and had caused pain every day since early childhood. Surgery did help alleviate one aspect of pain but left me with a different deformity, a new pain, unable to either walk on that foot or find a shoe to fit its irregularity. In short, the outcome from the surgery was not what I had expected and left me disappointed, frustrated and despairing.
In the past when I was going through struggles, I walked. I walked, I prayed, and I talked it out with God. All spring I had been clinging to His promises, believing that God would somehow make good come out of my difficult situations, one after another. But this was different. I couldn’t walk this out…I couldn’t even walk. One evening I stood on my front porch with one shoe on, holding the other in my hand, and a tear falling to the ground. It was the place that I would normally start my walks, and yet this time I stood there in the pitch black of night supported by crutches. It was strange…it was as if without the ability to walk I had also lost my ability to talk.
As the reality of my relative immobility hit me, and my desire to run left me feeling trapped, the dam of tears began to flow. With a lump in my throat I whispered, “Really God? Really?” As I shifted my weight, the crutches rubbed against the bruises under my arms causing me to wince. It was then that I became more bold, and both the forcefulness and the volume of my cry increased exponentially. “I have dealt with this pain and deformity my entire life, and accepted it with very little complaining. But this? You could have prevented THIS!” The words tumbled out of me without censor, as I spilled my pain from deep within the recesses of my heart that I rarely let others see, “Like I didn’t have enough to deal with, you had to let this happen too?” At that point I was yelling at God, shaking the empty shoe in the air while trying to balance a crutch until I was physically spent. When I finally stopped carrying on like a toddler not getting her way, my spirit stilled. There were no words left racing through my mind. And yet in the pained, tender part of my heart I sensed God saying, “Well at least it got you to talk to Me!”
There was merit to that. In a flash I could think of several other difficult experiences throughout my life when I was tempted to be mad at God but wouldn’t let myself go there. And in not going there, I also didn’t go to God with some of my deepest concerns. I’m not advocating irreverence. But what that evening taught me was that God was big enough. His shoulders are big enough to handle my disappointment, my frustration, my despair, and yes, even my anger. My temper tantrum with God didn’t change my circumstances…I still couldn’t walk on that foot, and even if I could, I still didn’t have a shoe to fit its irregular shape. What it did do, however, was broaden my view of God and appreciate that He can handle whatever I feel. He just wants to be a part of it and for me to be willing to let Him take that journey with me.
What are you holding back from God? Whatever it is, He is big enough to handle it.