Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A beef with God: The dance.

This is a dance I have done before, so at least I know how the steps go.
But I still hate it.
Perhaps you have done this dance before, too.

Step 1- Hear of a tragedy or some other sadness.

Step 2- Take it to heart. Stare into it deeply, and take on the burden of the sadness myself.

Step 3- Wonder where God is. Wonder if He really is good. Wonder how in the world can He allow such things if He really is good.

Step 4- Let a crust form on my heart towards God.  Perhaps give Him the silent treatment.  Look away from Him, and nurse my secret grudge.

(This is the kind of thing that can go on for days, weeks, or years. Sometimes this is the kind of thing that keeps people away from church for the rest of their lives. If you are one of those people- I get it.)

Step 5- Fall on my face in some way or another. Realize this is not a good long term strategy.

(aside: sometimes the above steps combine with medical problems or hormones or whatever and depression follows. Depression can cause you to feel stuck right here, forever, no matter what you do. If this is you, say it out loud to someone, please.)

Step 6- Write and pray and think. Realize that my bad day wasn't just about naughty kids or the stupid dog, but about the beef I have with God.

Step 7- Start talking to Him again.

God I've been pouting.
I have something to say. I know I shouldn't say it, but if I if I talk to you I can't not think it, so I might as well say it...

What the hell, God? 
(forgive me but ... what is going on here?)

Why? Where are you? You really love us? I believe- kind of- help my unbelief, Lord!
How can I possibly let my light shine when everything around me and inside me is so dark?

Step 8- Fess up

My heart is overflowing with anger, mistrust, and doubt. Forgive me, Jesus.

You have proven to me a million times that You are good and trustworthy. But God I am weak.. I need You to do it again...  show me where to look so that I can again believe that you are good!

Step 8- He helps.

I ought to know this already, but He mercifully repeats Himself.

He swaddles my flailing soul in the comforts of His Unchanging Word.

He gently turns my eyes back to the cross of Christ.

Here I find forgiveness for my sins. How quickly I forget His poured out life for me!

Here I realize there is so much I do not understand.  How can I scream angry questions at Him?

Here I find evidence of His goodness.  Overwhelming evidence. Evidence that bled out of His heart and flowed down on to the rebellious earth. onto me.

jesus-cross Pictures, Images and Photos

My questions do not disappear, but they are quieted for a moment while I rest in His love--
while I am weak and loved.

I look up to Him. I open my hands to receive help.

I look forward to the day when I will see Him fully and my questions will be silenced forever.

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

1 Cor 6:14


  1. Very powerful, very much needed. Thanks, Emily for being blunt and on-target.


  2. I just love your blog and can relate to so much of what you write. God bless you in the sharing/writing you do. Thank you!

  3. Oh have I been here. Through every step. And so grateful that He mercifully deals with my heart and my sin . . . again. Thank you so much for sharing this. I enjoyed reading it. And thanks for linking up with NOBH. Smiles -

  4. You just described what I've always called "wrestling with God." Don't you love how He allows us to grapple with those things that challenge our hearts, but ultimately always brings us back to His Truths; His love, grace, mercy, and desire to draw us closer to Him. Thank you for articulating so beautifully what we all go through at many different times in our lives.
    Love and God Bless,


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