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It's not easy to deal with our frustrations, especially when we become adults. As children, we typically weren't afraid to show our emotions toward friends, circumstances, or even our parents. At that point, we typically weren't scared to face that frustration, deal with it, digest it, and move on. It's almost like when we become adults, we go on an emotional diet, and we either deny it or decline it. Nothing is worse than an adult who doesn't digest their emotions, and for some of us, it might be time to start back at square one.
"And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3
So what happens when we’re mad at God? Sometimes that seems forbidden, and we hide from it out of fear of wrath or judgment. Do you want to know a little secret, though? Those feelings are normal. What makes or breaks it is how we conduct ourselves in frustration with God and, ultimately, how we deal with it. God called King David a man after His own heart, and David expressed his frustrations with God multiple times throughout all of Psalms.
"My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel." - Psalm 22:1-3
I've struggled with this hardship for years. After two tours through Fallujah in the Iraqi war, I discovered seeds of bitterness and resentment were planted deep in my heart from the destruction of innocent lives. I dealt with it, but I never dealt with my frustrations with God about it. Even when I faced a disability and the emotional bomb of my father committing suicide, I never dealt with it, and it only compounded. Part of me felt guilty for being angry with God about these things because He's done a lot for me. Part of me wanted to hide it, as if He couldn't already see it, fearing His persecution. Let me tell you right now, that is not His role.
"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." - Psalm 103:13
The fear mentioned in that verse is not about terror - it’s about having a healthy respect for an authority figure, the same way a child respects their parents, even in their anger. If we deny our emotions, anger, and frustration, it's going to come out somewhere. Odds are, it will be ugly. We need to understand it, digest it, accept it, and keep moving forward.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new." - 2 Corinthians 5:17
Today I encourage you to take a lesson from the man after God's own heart and express your hurt to God, even if your anger is toward Him. Write it down on paper, and write a letter to God. Express your wants, your needs, your frustrations, your hurt, and everything you don't understand. Remember He is in control, and He has the final say. If you don't know where to begin, pray for the Holy Spirit to bring to light the things that trouble you the most so that the eyes of your heart may open. Growth sometimes comes with growing pains, but we come out healthier on the other side, spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I can't guarantee there won't be tears, but I can guarantee that it will be one of the most freeing moments of your life.
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us." - 1 John 5:14
Husband, father, writer, poet. Two time combat veteran with a passion for homeless ministry.