“Oh God, You have rejected us and cast us off,
Broken down our defenses, and scattered us.
You have been angry – O restore us
And turn Yourself to us again!
You have made the land to quake and tremble,
You have rent it open;
Repair its breaches, for it shakes and totters.
You have made Your people suffer hard things;
You have given us to drink wine
That makes us reel and be dazed.”
– Psalm 60:1-3 (AMP)
Through the process of interviewing childless people, I have learned that many of us feel rejected by God. Many people feel forgotten and abandoned by Him in the grief of childlessness. Some of us feel angry with God and blame Him for what has happened to us.
And we feel guilty for feeling these things.
Worse yet, we feel we cannot speak these things aloud. We believe we are supposed to trust God, no matter what. Maybe we try to pray, laden with guilt about our true feelings, and so the prayer comes out hollow and fake. We end up hiding the truth from God.
This is the greater tragedy: we somehow get the idea that we cannot be honest with God. We don’t know how to tell Him about the anger and disappointment. We can’t find a way to confess that we feel rejected by a God whom everyone says is faithful.
One thing I like about the Psalms is the raw honesty of emotion. The Psalmists do not hold back. When they have a complaint about God, they tell Him straight out. They explain how they feel. Whether it is true or not, they open up to God about their unhappiness and horrible lives. They do not avoid God but go directly to Him when things are bad.
Check out Psalm 60:1 again:
“Oh God, You have rejected us and cast us off. . .”
Why do we feel guilty about uttering these words? Do we feel like we are not supposed to doubt God? If this is so, if we fear to speak the truth, then we stop any chance of having a conversation with God. We worry so much about how it will end that we do not begin.
Psalm 60 gets better.
“But now You have set up a banner
For those who fear and worshipfully revere You
To which they may flee from the bow,
A standard displayed because of the truth.
That Your beloved ones may be delivered,
Save us with Your right hand and answer us.”
– Psalm 60:4-5 (AMP)
I love how this conversation shifts. It started with blame and unhappiness and bitterness. Then it moves to an acknowledgement of God and a prayer for deliverance. If you read on, the conversation opens up and gives God room to speak. The monologue becomes a dialogue.
It’s ok to get angry with God. Tell Him how you feel and what you want. Follow the example of the Psalms. Speaking the truth did not destroy or jeopardise the faith of the Psalmists; rather, it appears that their brutal honesty served to strengthen their relationships with God. God can use grief and childlessness and even a crisis of faith to draw near and speak with us.
Do you find it hard to tell God when you are angry? Are there areas of your life where you feel let down by God? What would it take for you to tell Him how you feel today?