Angry at God, Part I
"But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name's sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. Help me, O LORD my God; save me in accordance with your love."1
"Dear Mr. Innes," a Daily Encounter reader writes, "we lost our daughter in a car accident less than a year ago. She was only 18 and we are having a difficult time accepting God's will. I am so very angry at him. It is a terrifying feeling, like a black hole with no bottom. Do you have anything that will help us accept what has happened and let go of the rage and sense of helplessness? Our daughter was a Christian but had strayed from God, but she had come back to him and turned her life around before she was killed. I have been tormented for months and want to know if she is in heaven with the Lord."
Dear Norma (name changed), how terribly sad for you regarding the loss of your daughter. I would be brokenhearted too. At times like this it is difficult to know what to say.
First, however, let me say that a lot of things that happen are not God's will. He has a directive will and a permissive will. Your daughter's death was in God's permissive will in that we live in a broken world where it "rains on the just as well as the unjust." That is, because we live in a broken world, we all suffer in this life and won't be freed from suffering until we get to heaven. While God allows things to happen, he doesn't cause all of them.
Second, it's okay to be angry at God but it's not okay to stay angry because that only hurts you. God knows how you feel so the best thing to do is to tell him exactly how you feel and get it off your chest. Angry feelings need to be expressed. If necessary, go to a private safe place alone in your car. Turn your radio up loud, wind up your windows and verbalize all those angry feelings to God in all their intensity. It can help to do this say for 30 days … for 30 minutes the first day, 29 minutes the second day, 28 minutes the third day and so on.
If you don't feel free to verbalize your feelings, write them out in a letter to God. Then read the letter back to him day after day until your anger has dissipated. Then you can either tear the letter up or burn it as a way of giving up your anger.
Third, grief needs to be sobbed out—sobbed out from the depths of your being—from your very gut. Tears are not for resolving anger. They are God's gift to drain the pain of grief. Keep in mind, too, that "every unshed tear is a prism through which all of life's hurts are distorted."
Is your daughter with God in Heaven? See tomorrow's Daily Encounter for an answer to this question.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that in the tragedies of life you know, you care, and you understand. Please help me to understand why bad things often happen to good people, and lead me to the help I need to overcome my anger towards you, and to resolve my grief over the loss of my daughter. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Psalm 109:21-23, 26 (NIV).