I think most Christians have, at one time or another, been angry at God. I’m not sure they realize they are angry at Him when they are, though. I base this completely on my experience, so I could be wrong. It may be different for everyone else, but many times when I listen to another Christian talk, and I recognize they are angry at God, it sounds like they don’t know it. At the very least, many would not openly admit it.
After Sarah was injured in our car accident in 2002, I was a walking explosive. It didn’t take much to set me off. Sarah found it embarrassing for people to watch her transfer from the car to her wheelchair, so I got really angry every time someone watched. Of course, elderly people are always suspicious of teenage-looking people parking in handicap spots, so they constantly stared. My response? I would fold my arms, stare right into their car and talk angrily at them. They tended to stop watching. A few continued watching, finding great relief when they realized Sarah was injured and not stealing a spot. That made me even angrier.
I’ve never been a fist fight guy, but my anger had escalated to the point that when I saw someone mimicking Sarah’s walking while she was still quite new to walking again, I offered to fight him and his two friends. I made it clear that I would throw down with all three of them, and I was going to be the only one walking away from it. I was sincere, and they believed me, and they took a pass on my invitation. It was completely out of character for me, but on that day, and in that time in my life, it was who I had become.
Now, I had all kinds of faith. I truly believed Sarah would walk again. She was actually walking by the time that last story happened, which you must have inferred from my saying, “…mimicking Sarah’s walking…” You are smart like that. Still, I was an angry person. Was I mad at God? Not if you asked me back then. I wasn’t mad at God. I was just mad at the situation. I was just mad at life. I was just mad.
In looking back at that time in life, I can recognize now that I was so angry at God. Deep down, I was so angry at what He had allowed to happen in our lives. I was angry that Sarah was hurt. What I didn’t realize for a long time, though, is that I was most angry that I was not in control. I had this perception of control in my life. I had a great wife, a great job, and I was on my way to doing what I really wanted to do with my life. I had it figured out, and I was making it happen. Then something else happened entirely. Life wasn’t going so great, and I couldn’t change it. I didn’t have the power to change anything. I had no control, and that was the scariest thing in the world to me.
I remember a particular moment when I was in a heated discussion with God – more like heatedly talking at God – about how Sarah just had to be healed. I was face down on the ground in our living room crying and praying. I felt God telling me to get my Bible and read Job 38, so I did. Here’s what I read:
“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” I read on, but I dwelt on the first words. Who was I to question God’s plans? I thought I was saying all the right things, but I lacked knowledge. I don’t know how any of this works, but I was daring to question God, Who does, on how He does His job.
I laid there for a while more, still crying, but not in anger. I cried in shame. I had no right to be angry and question God. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and His ways are higher than my ways. Shame on me for asking “How dare You?” How dare I? I wish I could say that I learned my lesson so well that it never happened again, but I didn’t. I’ve been angry with God since. He always tells me to brace myself like a man and listen up.