Why being a Christian isn’t like taking a magic pill.


I am angry with God today. It feels very freeing. I feel hurt by my heavenly dad.

Just owning it releases a flood of pent up tears. It wasn’t that I was afraid to feel angry – he can take it and we’ve been here before – it was the amount of energy I thought it was going to take to get it out.

Ironically, owning my anger gave me energy. It was a relief to name it. To own it. To let it blow up in his face with an “AAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!”

I’ve had some major slams in my life, most of which were outside of my control. They were awful, but (once I knew God) they didn’t shake my faith. I know God was there, and I know that I know that I know that he loves me. He has made his faithfulness evident to me in enormous ways .

But perhaps what I have been slow to acknowledge recently is that I am mad with him for allowing things to happen. Or for their aftermath to feel so like this.

Seriously? This is what I’m reaping? This?

Being a Christian is not like taking a magic pill that shields me from all harm, adversity, pain or trial. Far from it. Nor is being a Christian for me about a set of ideals, or rules, or prohibitions.

My Christianity is nothing but this. My relationship with him. And just like any other relationship, we have our ups and downs. He is my lover and my friend, my brother. And my dad.

So today I was like a small child, I balled up my fists and beat at his chest. Hard.

“Why? Why did you let this happen? Why does it have to be like this? Why? I don’t want this life. I want another life where this isn’t it. Where none of this happened.”

Becoming a parent myself helped me understand my relationship with my heavenly dad on a whole new level. When I frustrate my children with what I do or how I respond or what I plan and they don’t understand, I get it. At whichever young age they have been, when things don’t go their way or as expected, there are always those many times when they have squeezed an agonized“WHY?” out through tears.

And I’ve known when they were little that even when I could have explained at greater length, they weren’t going to get it. So I always came back with the same thing, “Darling, I know it’s hard to understand. But have you ever known me to want to do something just to spoil your fun?  I love you! You have to trust me.”

Of course it cuts no ice at the time, but in that moment it’s the only response a loving parent can give.

Oftentimes things happen to our kids that we cannot control. And this is where all similarity ends between earthly and heavenly parenting. Because God does have control. Completely.

When something awful happens and my kids ask why, I can say, “I don’t know, darling. It’s just very, very hard.”

But with my heavenly dad I know that a) he does know and b) he did have control over it!

Which is why the hurt comes in so swiftly behind the lack of understanding.

I’m hurt, Lord, that you’ve let all this come at me! I am! I’m hurt that over and over and over again I feel like I almost get going and then my legs get cut out from under me. Over and over and over again. Why? Why have you allowed this?”

I can ask. It doesn’t mean I’m going to get an answer, but it does help to know that I can ask. I can yell. I can whimper (today). I can ball up my fists and punch at him hard.

It doesn’t help when I try and minimize my anger by telling myself that so much is going right in my life.  Much more than for so many others.

Or when I own my own culpability and involvement.

In my experience if you’re mad, you’re mad.  And if you deny it it’s only going to pop out as something else, and probably something nastier.

So I need to remember how helpful it is to get my anger out in the open with him. To be upfront about it. To unveil my hurt – before him and myself. Because I’m safe. He’s not going to walk away. He’s not going to be shocked or critique my method. And, even more amazingly, he’s not going to give up.

It’s helped me today. Angry released this bursting headache-y feeling of just being beaten about the head with black crows and my rage rising.

I can register how hurt I feel and it hurts.

And I’m angry with God not at him, because we have a relationship.

So no magic pills. But a chest big enough to take every pain-filled punch and everything I can screech and sob and whisper and sigh into it. And a heart bigger than I can fathom.

Later when I prayed, the Lord gave one word to me only.




Jsg/feb 16

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