Are You Angry with God?
Walking is my favorite exercise, and my granddaughter, Kinslee, loves to join me. One sunny afternoon as we walked, she turned, grabbed my hand, and began to walk backwards. Her movements were awkward, and she kept stumbling. She was trying to move forward while facing backwards.
At one point, she tripped and dropped my hand. Grabbing it back she said, “MauMau, keep holding my hand!” Smiling, I asked her why she was walking that way? She said, “I’m looking at where I’ve been. You need to hold my hand, or I’m going to fall because I can’t see where I’m going.” Moments later, she turned around saying, “This is easier because now I can see where I’m going.”
The next morning, as I sat thinking her words, I realized I was living in the present, focusing on the past, asking God three questions over and over:
“Why did this happen?”
“How could you let this happen?”
“Where were you?”
In the morning’s quietness, God began speaking to me. I heard Him say, “You are looking back on the pain through the lens of anger, which is causing a distorted view of the circumstances.
The pain is real, the experiences happened, it’s time to focus on me and let go.”
As God spoke to the “Why,” I could see a broader view of the past circumstances. Memories I could not remember because of my anger flooded my mind. Circumstances going on at those moments brought clarity and the wall of anger in my soul cracked.
As I faced the next question, “How could God let this happen?” I realized I was asking God, “How he could let this happen to me? Wow! I wasn’t concerned that it happened to others in my family. I was furious at God because it had happened to me. As I sat with this truth, God said, “You are the person you are today, because of, not in spite of, these painful experiences. I need you to lean into the pain and me because both will give you some beautiful understandings about life.”
It was time to face my final question, “Where were you?” Memories flooded my mind of the people who miraculously showed up to help me, teach me, and love me. My anger had me focusing on what I thought was God’s absence, when He had been sending people to ease the pain and guide me. God had been there the entire time.
While walking backward, focused on where I had been, I couldn’t see where I was going. I kept stumbling because I was not holding God’s hand, blaming Him because I kept falling. The real problem? My focus was on the past, not on the present, AND not on my God, who was there with me the entire time. Every time I tried to turn around and move forward, my eyes were glued to the past. I was stuck. It was time to turn around, grab onto God, and start walking forward.
I immediately thought of the words of King David,
“If I keep my eyes on God, I won’t trip over my own feet.”
Psalm 25:15 (The Message)
Some days when walking my loop, I stop at that spot on the sidewalk. I turn around for a moment to look back. The experiences are still there, but now in the past. My anger? Gone! I turn back around, grab onto God, and walk forward. Sometimes I even find myself skipping.