Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Seasons are a part of life on earth. Depending on where you live you can experience the high temperatures of summer and within the same year, the low temperatures of winter. This is true with our lives as well. There are times when we feel great, everything is going well and if feels like nothing can stop us. There are also times when things aren’t going well and we have a hard time getting up in the morning to face the day. And of course everything in the middle of those two extremes as well. This is a part of the human experience, we all have highs and lows. Recently, my family and I have found ourselves facing one of the hardest things in life, the loss of our daughter.
This time has been extremely difficult. I have so many questions and so many things to say to God. There have been moments where I yell at Him, get angry and confused. Sometimes I feel His presence, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I just feel like I am wrapped in a blanket of sadness and I cannot shake it off of me. I could go on but I won’t. The point is I find myself being starkly honest with God. It’s just were I am right now.
I wasn’t always this way. When I was younger, even when I felt that my personal relationship with God was growing, I would find myself afraid to talk to God a certain way. I thought it was taboo to say things even as basic as, “I am mad at you.” It was as if God couldn’t handle it, that He would become angry and remove His blessing from my life. How could I say such a thing to GOD?
Well, Jesus did.
“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).”
Matthew 27:45 & 46 (NIV)
It is believed that Jesus was quoting a Psalm.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”
Psalm 22:1 & 2 (NIV)
In that moment, Jesus felt abandoned and He cried out in honesty to God. And in that same way the Psalmist felt far away from God. Jesus had many purposes (all of which he fulfilled) but I truly believe one of His great purposes was to show us the way to conduct our lives. Jesus is showing us that it is okay to be honest with God — He can take it.
If you read through Psalm 22, you see that towards the end, after the author is honest and cries out to God, he takes a turn in his words. Essentially he starts saying “but God I know you are my maker and you have always taken care of me (verses 9 & 10) and later he begins to praise Him (verse 22).
I find that when I bottle my feelings up, they almost always turn into bitterness. However, when I express them to God honestly, it helps. If I’m not honest with God, it turns to bitterness and can become toxic.
So my encouragement to you is this: talk to God honestly. Don’t be afraid to express how you feel to Him. He can handle it and He can turn it in to something useful and beneficial. He desires to have a thriving relationship with us. He not only can handle it, but cares for us so much that He wants to hear it.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.”
Psalm 103:8 (NIV)
-Pastor Jason Tokarchuk