My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):
Have you ever been mad at God?
I am reminded of a movie with Robert Duvall called The Apostle. Duvall plays Sonny, a charismatic Pentecostal Southern preacher who has discovered that his wife is having an affair with another minister. She refuses Sonny’s desire to be reconciled. She even conspires to use their church’s bylaws to have him removed from being pastor.
There is a scene, after Sonny has been told that he is no longer the pastor of the church, where he is praying… well, I guess you would say he is yelling at God. He says,
“They’ve taken my wife and they’ve stolen my church. That temple I built for you. I’m yelling at you (God) because I am mad at you! I can’t take it! Give me a sign or something! I don’t know who has been fooling with me, you or the devil! But I’m mad and I need you to give it to me tonight… give it to me… give it to me… give it to me! Give me peace! I love you Lord, but I Am Mad At You! I… AM… MAD… AT… YOU!
The psalmist didn’t exactly use the words Sonny used; however, you do get the sense that he is mad at God.
I counted on you, God. Why did you walk out on me? Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands over these outrageous people? (The Message)
Can’t you see Sonny saying this? He had counted on God to protect him from evildoers and now he is pacing the floor…his wife gone and his church gone.
Illness threatens to undo all our dreams. Death takes a beloved member from our family. Unexpected desertion and divorce shake the foundations of our world. At these times people can become very angry, even at God.
Once we recognize that it is God we are angry with (and that can be hard to admit), we need to get past it; the idea is not to stay in that place. We shouldn’t stay angry and hold a grudge forever with any one; especially not with God.
Look at it this way: our anger can be a sign that we are willing to be in an up-close and personal relationship with God. We don’t get angry with people who mean nothing to us, we dismiss them as irrelevant. So to be angry with God is to acknowledge that God is in our life.
Thought for today: Being angry with God is not the same as not believing in God.
Why are you down in the dumps dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God — soon I’ll be praising again. (The Message)
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.