Complaint and Grief Poured Out
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Are you mad at God?
Does the suggestion of such a thing shock you? It may come as a surprise to you that we could ever discuss such a topic openly. You may even be glancing skyward wondering secretly if God will not strike us dead or something!
Yet there are so many examples in the Bible of God-fearing men and women who cried out bitterly to the Lord. God did not turn His back on those people. On the contrary, whether or not these broken-hearted people ever understood what God was doing in their lives, He did not withdraw His arms of love from them.
Take the example of Hannah. She was barren at a time when a woman not able to conceive was looked on as having been cursed or at least had the blessing of God removed from her life. On top of that, her loving husband, Elkanah, had another not so loving wife named Peninnah. Not only did Peninnah have children, but she also went out of her way to torment Hannah and make her life miserable. Hannah was hurt, angry, and bitter. Finally, one day Hannah could not take it any more. She had been in a terrible depression, weeping and refusing to eat. She was miserable company, and even her doting husband was no comfort to her.
On this particular day, Hannah was at the tabernacle of the Lord at Shiloh. In this solemn, holy place, her bitterness of soul finally boiled over. With tears running down her cheeks and sobs wracking her body, Hannah prayed before the Lord. The agony was so great that she could make no audible, intelligible prayer. However, she was pouring out before god her broken and bleeding heart.
Eli the priest confronted Hannah. He wanted to reprimand this drunken woman and remove her from that holy place. She defended herself by saying, “I have poured out my soul before the Lord … for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” (I Sam. 1:15, 16)
Did God reject Hannah’s plea? Did her bitterness of heart keep Him from answering her prayer? No! Somehow, God was able to weed through the bitterness and sorrow. Underneath it all, He found a woman throwing herself at His mercy. He saw her faith and chose to answer her prayer with a resounding “Yes!” Within a year, Hannah’s miracle child was born.
Does God always answer in that way? No. However, He hears every heart’s cry. He treasures every tear shed in sorrow or even severe depression. He cares so deeply, but ultimately He knows what is best. In the end, it all boils down to trust. Can we bare our hearts before the Lord in complete honesty, and then trust in His loving heart to give us His best – even if it does not line up with our desires?
Let me ask that question again. Are you mad at God? If so, let this Psalm of David minister to your heart. “Trust in Him at ALL times, you people; POUR OUT YOUR HEART before Him; God is a REFUGE for us.” (Ps. 62:8 NKJV – emphasis added) Join the ranks of Hannah, David, Job, Jeremiah and countless others. Trust Him always. Pour out your heart to the Lord in complete honesty, throwing yourself at His mercy. You can pound on his chest while He wraps His arms around you, and then melt into His embrace. God IS your refuge. You can hide in Him.
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