Sunday, January 6, 2013

God Can Handle Our Anger

Ever been angry at God?  I have.

By His mercy through the years I've learned that, while He isn't thrilled by my anger, He understands it and wants me to express it.  I confess I didn't used to believe He'd feel that way.  To my thinking as a youth, God was good and kind as long as I stayed on His good side.  As He led me closer and closer to God's Throne after my mother died, Holy Spirit completely - and lovingly - dismantled that childish notion.

I believe one of the coolest things about Daddy is that He is entirely approachable.  Where we sometimes won't, He completely honors the true meaning of relationship in that He honestly desires to hear us out when we're angry at Him.  What's more, He actually listens!

When was the last time you had a disagreement with someone and truly wanted to hear every word of their side of things?  When was the last time you didn't glaze over while they were talking because your retort was still forming in your mind?  I'm not proud... I admit  I've done that plenty of times and couldn't repeat half the things they'd just said to me.

Daddy's not like that.

I've personally experienced the awesome truth that God will let us kick and scream and bang our head against the wall until we decide to calm down and let Him talk to us.  He won't zap us for misbehaving.  (Please note:  I'm not talking about "abuse", I'm talking about anger.)  It's basically tantamount to lying to try to hide anger from God, anyway, and it's really pretty ridiculous, too, because He already knows everything.  The stress-relieving truth is that - from a genuinely frustrated, stumped, and inquiring heart - huffing and puffing at Abba is definitely allowed no matter our so-called "maturity level", no matter the topic... and He is eternally patient.  He doesn't want to zap us - He wants to befriend us, always.
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Isn't that marvelous?  If that were not the case, I'd have been ashes years ago!  Lol.

While Abba certainly can handle our anger at Him, our accusations do grieve Him.  When you think about it, accusations are judgements made without a hearing, without consideration, mercy, or fairness.  They wreak of pride and expectation thrust into the gut like a medicine ball -  and that's not friendship.

I felt like the poster girl of accusation one time when a male friend said some cruel things to me and I told Daddy on him.  Saints, I was expecting my Daddy to come down on this man like a hailstorm of brimstone... I mean, I wanted this man destroyed!  But, in His word to me, all Daddy did was sympathize with how I'd been treated.  All He said was,
"I'm sorry for what he said to you." 
Ever felt like a four-alarm fire in angry accusation against God?!  I admit it - I have - and I certainly did that day.  I was furious at Him.  To my regret, I clearly recall saying to Abba

You're sorry?  Is that all?  Are You kidding?  You're supposed to be my Protector... You heard what he said to me!  AREN'T YOU GOING TO GET HIM?!

Thankfully, Abba never loses His cool in the face of my tantrums.  When I paused to put my rattle down, He calmly said,
"I can no more control the things he says to you than I can control what you're saying to Me right now.  His choices are his choices, and I'm genuinely sorry he chose to be mean to you.  However, I'm asking you now to allow Me to raise you above his choices."
With a good friend's help, I understood that God wasn't going to wrestle this man to the ground and make him be nice to me.  I also understood that the truly important thing wasn't so much what was said to me, as what my heart did with what was said.  Was I going to consider the source and circumstances surrounding the foul behavior and choose to forgive?  Or was I going to live in a delusional world thinking that, because I'm God's child, harshness should never confront me?  This trial exposed the sad truth within me that, until right then, words of Christ like, "if the world hated Me, it will hate you", never really rung home with me.

For that matter, neither had commands like, "love your enemies; do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you."

Wow, on some level I remember asking myself if I was ever TRULY awake in Sunday School!  The blockbusting revelatory truth was that a very basic, yet powerful characteristic of the Godhead had never really taken hold in my understanding because it was blocked by the banner of fleshly entitlements and, in this case, the heat of my offense!  In His love and mercy, Daddy didn't go after the man who insulted me... He went after ME!  And I needed going after.

To say the least, His soothing humility completely quelled my anger and permanently transformed my two-dimensional grasp of His character and the meaning of relationship. Truthfully, I was surprised God wasn't angry at me in all of this.  But He let me yell at Him; He let me accuse Him, He let me be angry and bounce around in a hundred different ways. He was grieved by my accusations, but He wasn't angry at me.  He didn't treat me like I treated Him because He understood me and forgave me.

Am I advocating deliberate, malicious mistreatment of God (or of anyone for that matter)? Certainly not.  But I am saying, Saints, that God sees and knows our circumstances, and He understands the pain underlying grief in us, torment in us, hurt in us, and frustration in us. He thoroughly understands what makes us feel sorry for ourselves and what makes us angry, disillusioned, and disappointed at Him.  Unequivocally, in our anger and disappointment at Him, we are always wrong, and He is always righteous - but HE LOVES US THROUGH IT ALL.

Does He ever make mistakes with us?  Absolutely not.
Does He ever make mistakes at all?  Absolutely not.

THAT'S the glory in trusting and believing in Him - Hallelujah!  He is 100% capable and trustworthy and ABLE.  He is Perfection in every sense of the word and, most wonderfully, He can absolutely, positively, and lovingly handle our anger.

In the Sweet Name of Jesus,
Daddy's Girl 

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)