Songs of Nature

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Will I be punished if I am angry at God?

We can be completely honest toward God with our thoughts and feelings. And God is big enough to take it all.


Day 4

Written By Eyleen Farmer

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson, Hawkeye Nature Photography


Why do you stand so far off, O LORD, and hide yourself in time of trouble? 
—Psalm 10:1

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson; copyright 2010Why? Why? This is the cry that issues from the deepest recesses of the heart. It is natural to want to make sense out of what seems utterly senseless. Why did he have to die? Why did she have to leave? Why is there so much suffering? Why, for that matter, is there suffering at all? To be told by well-intentioned friends that “there is a reason for everything” can feel like adding insult to injury when there is no reason good enough to justify what has happened.

And why, when our need for God is so desperate and urgent, is God, as the psalmist laments, so far off? Is anyone minding the store? Is there anyone to mind the store? The “why’s” can plunge us into a crisis of faith. As if we weren’t in bad enough shape already.

At this point in the journey we are like a tree in winter—stripped bare. We are completely exposed, vulnerable to every bitter wind that has a mind to blow through. There is no comfort, no solace, no relief from the impotent fury of our unanswered and unanswerable questions.

This is perhaps the loneliest part of the pilgrim’s journey, for there is nothing anyone can do to help. In fact, many of the things people say in their attempts to make us feel better only make things worse. Like:

  • God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.
  • God needed him more than you did.
  • At least she’s not suffering anymore. 
  • God is with you.

And the most dreaded consolation of all: we may not understand, but this is God’s will. That’s when, even if we say nothing, the heart screams, “But this is more than I can bear! No one needs him more than I do! What about my suffering? So what if God is with me? If this is God’s will, then I’m not interested in God!!”

Your questions and your protests—all of them—are a normal part of the grieving process. When we are in this place, perhaps the best we can do is offer to God, as honestly as we can, the truth of our brokenness. We don’t have to tidy up our feelings or our words. Just tell God, straight out, what it’s like. You won’t be the first.

O God, if you are there, I need you to show me something now! Amen.