I had just finished the book of Isaiah on the day that my husband died.
This fact alone does not seem significant. I didn’t plan it. I wasn’t on any type of reading schedule. I was just reading the Old Testament in order at whatever hour of the day I had the energy to do so. On this day, I finished Isaiah.
Okay, honestly … if you are in the midst of the absolute worst day of your life, and you are in need of some kind of comfort, I would never, I repeat, never, in a million years send you to Isaiah.
No one would. There are a lot of books in the Bible that will hold your hand, stroke your head, and tell you that you’re loved, and you’re going to make it.
Isaiah is not one of those books.
Isaiah will straight up smack you in the face. Trust me, I’m still icing the black eye.
Isaiah did not offer what I was looking for on this horrible grand finale to a horrible season.
It did not give me what I wanted to hear.
But boy, did it tell me what I needed to hear.
For those of you who haven’t read this book in a while, or at all, I am happy to summarize it for you, or at least to summarize the message that I got out of it:
“I am God. You are human. I am divine. You are sinners. I call the shots. I do NOT owe you an explanation.”
Loud. And. Clear.
This blog is going to step on some toes. Beautiful girl, either throw on your steel-toed boots and hang with me, or go find a beachy “Jesus-loves you” blog that lets you dance around in your flip flops. I’m going in, and I’m feeling real stompy.
I feel like the act of being angry at God has become some kind of Christian fad.
It’s almost cute, coddled, to go through a phase where we declare, “I’ve been wronged, and now I’m mad at him,” like God is your middle-school BFF who crushed on the guy that you called dibs on.
We pout in the corner with our grief and wait for others to come justify our anger and try to mediate our shaky relationship back to faith.
And others do just that. Others don’t know how to handle the grief that we go through, and so they tend to cut us a lot of slack. I mean, really, who is going to tell the girl who just lost everything that she is wrong to be upset at the thing or being that she believes caused or allowed the loss?
I’ll be the bad guy, because I too have recently lost a lot, and I still think that your fit is wrong, harmful. Harmful for you, and harmful for those watching you.
I mean really, if middle-school me threw the same fit with my parents that some grown women are throwing against God, FREAKEN GOD, my entitled tail wouldn’t see the light of day until college.
We live in this ‘quick to accuse’ reality, and somewhere down the road, this slipped into our faith.
Suddenly, when something feels “unfair” in life, we throw a temper tantrum. We flail around on the ground in a fit like a European Futbol diva because we were shoved a bit and the ref didn’t call the foul. OR even worse, we blame the ref for the foul in the first place.
Can no one else see how the “I’m offended” culture has leaked into the church, and not even just against the church, or the people in the church, but against God himself?
Does no one else find this to be ludicrous?
Does no one else find this to be toxic?
Is it not alarming to people that because of this relatively accepted reaction to grief in the church, some people are leaving this world angry at God? I’m not talking about atheists or agnostics. I’m not talking about people who have questioned their faith for years. I’m talking about people who served God faithfully, but then turn their backs at the finish line because they don’t like the way the finish looked.
They are going to meet Him face to face with a vindictive demeanor and a vocalized last declaration that they “don’t know if they even believe in him or want to know him anymore.”
And we, the people who “love” them, simply let them cry on our shoulder, and affirm their unrighteous anger.
How does this not scare the heck out of you?
This is just not okay.
If you’re hurting, I’m sorry. It sucks. I know.
I’m filled the brim with rage. I dedicated a whole month to it, and then another. Friend, I have dedicated a whole year to breaking as many things as I can get away with without getting locked up. You should see the pile of firewood I have acquired since I discovered the joy of splitting things in half with an axe.
I’m freaken mad. Life has been hard. I miss my husband. I miss my dad. I miss my family. I miss my life. I’m pissed as hell that I lost so many things that I prayed, pleaded, to keep.
But not at God.
Frankly, I don’t have the luxury to be mad at God.
What I have found in my own heartbreak, my own season of giant fires all around me, is that turning my back in some adolescent silent treatment against my maker is simply not an option for me– not if I want to be the type of person who rises well from the ashes.
Beautiful girl, grief empties you out. It tips you over like a tea pot and dumps so much of who you are down a drain.
The good, the bad, the ugly, it doesn’t nit pick. It just dumps.
And when you’re empty, you can’t function. You can try, I did, but ultimately, you will need something, anything, to put pressure on the holes in you that pain leaves.
You have to be filled again, and this can happen one of two ways:
- You can take your anger, shun God, and let the world fill you back up. You can gravitate toward culture, the movie answer to pain- alcohol, sex, complete delusion and distraction. You can grieve the way the world tells you to. You can grieve with bitterness, and you can let that fill you. You can hand the adversary a victory, the power to fill you with what he pleases.
- Or you can grow. You can choose to believe that His plan is perfect, even if you never know how this pain plays into that. You can choose to raise your hands even when you’re down on your knees. You can let the adversary know that you’re still going, praising, despite his best efforts. You can let this motion fill you, carry you, hold you, lift you back up when the time comes.
Just know that whatever you allow to fill you is who you will soon become.
I don’t want to be refilled with the contents of the world. Been there, done that.. hated it…hated myself.
I don’t want to come out of this season as less of a person than I was entering it.
When this shattered heart reconstructs and is ready to be planted again, I want it to take root in His greater plan, even if I don’t understand, even if I never understand.
I don’t have the luxury of being mad at God, because I need Him.
I don’t have the luxury of being mad at God, because right now my husband is praising in His presence, my dad is… honestly, probably telling jokes…but also praising in His presence, and I hope, need, to join them both one day.
I don’t have the luxury of being mad at God, because He is good. He is all knowing, and I want to root into that.
I don’t have the luxury of being mad at God, because He is God. I am human. He is divine. I am a sinner. He calls the shots. He does NOT owe me an explanation.
Loud. And. Clear.