It is ok to be angry… but Scripture commands we sin not in our anger (Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.”). From this passage it could be said that anger with God is possible IF we do not sin in our anger. But that is a fine line that is easy to cross, so GREAT care must be taken. This post will only address anger with God. The question is… Is God good all the time or not?
Recently I read something a person wrote about their anger at God. But before you read it, I ask that you first consider three who had tragedy in their lives and were NOT angry with God. I knew each of these people personally and talked with them about their life changing events.
Sep Love. One day Sep decided to go to the store. As he was about to leave, his two year old son ran out to go with him… but Sep didn’t know. He accidentally ran over his son and the child died in his arms. This event was years before I met Sep, but he told me he never blamed God. He was still faithful to serve the Lord until the day of his homecoming.
Nettie Whitley. Nettie and her husband decided to give their 14 year old son a motorcycle for his 14th birthday. During his very first ride he had an accident and was killed. Both Nettie and her husband told me they were never angry at God. They continued to be faithful to the Lord and were in worship the very next Sunday.
Ann Shears. She had four “stair step” children. Her husband was an abusive alcoholic. Yet every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night she walked her children to church. Even though she endure years of marital hardship and difficulty, she was (IS) one with a joyful attitude who loves the Lord. She personally told me she never blamed the Lord for anything that happened to her. Even when one of her daughters committed suicide. Even when the son of that daughter also took his life… she continued to follow the Lord faithfully. Everyone in the congregation admired Ann!
Now, compare those to the other side of the spectrum. Below is what a grieving mom wrote about the loss of her baby. It is not easy to read. I copied what this person wrote without any editing. Afterward I will suggest a few thoughts for consideration…
This is a VERY honest post! Tonight as I stood at my baby’s grave I was so ANGRY!!! I’m not gonna lie, I’m angry at God!! They say a stage of grief is Anger, it has apparently taken me almost 3 years to hit that stage! Well I’m gonna be honest I’m angrier than I have EVER been in my life!!!! I have always said God did it for a reason and I know he did, but I am ANGRY at him!!!!!!! So angry I have screamed at him!!!!! If you’ve never lost a child you wouldn’t understand this pain!!! I’m straight up so angry I almost cursed God! I am so angry he took my baby!!!!! Why did he have to take my baby?!?! I prayed EVERY day more than once over my baby, so much that finally I had to pray silently over her because she knew it meant we were leaving for the night! I have screamed at God for about 45 minutes tonight!!!! Why didn’t he answer my prayer of helping her, instead she just got worse, why did he make me have to choose to take her off life support, why did he have to take her away, why is it that I have to go to a grave to “see” which I can’t see her there!! So many people take their kids for granted and I would have died for mine! Even made the prayer to God, take me and not her, he didn’t answer that prayer either!! This is not fair!!!!!! There’s days I pray to God to take me home, I need my baby, and my baby needs me!! I don’t understand! My baby girl still touches lives and that’s amazing to me, but as a Mommy, it don’t give me comfort in the fact that she’s not here!! So many days I don’t even feel like a Mommy!! I can’t hold my baby, I can’t care for her, I long for that feeling, nurses cared for my baby I didn’t even get the full effect of being a Mommy, there were months that went by that I couldn’t even hold her, some days couldn’t even touch her, I see babies all the time and I just literally want to hold them tight!! I’m just so angry with God right now!! Why did he have to take my baby?! I don’t understand!!!! I would have give my last breath for her!! When she died I did too!!!! I cry, I get mad, I get angry, I can’t explain the bouts of anger when people say things or do things I can’t help it, I don’t mean to be angry but I am angry!!!!! God I honestly don’t understand you sometimes!!!!! Like why?!?!?!?! That was my baby, I was her Mommy, I was there every day and you had to steal her from me!! You took my heart and soul, now I just bottle things up and don’t even know how to cope! I can’t talk to anyone, I don’t want to burden them! Most of them have kids and can hold their babies! You took mine!! God I’m ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shouldn’t be because she’s healthy but I can’t get past this anger right now!!!!! Grieving sucks!!!!!!!! And I don’t care what anyone says everyone grieves for different amounts of time!! God right now I’m just angry with you!!!!! If you have babies or kids DON’T take them for granted, be thankful you don’t have to cry at a grave and scream at God because you don’t know what else to do!!!!!!
I don’t have a problem with this person’s anger from her sorrow and grief. My prayer is that, in time when she reads her words again, she think differently. But for now my purpose is to reflect on a better way to process and handle anger… grief… and extreme suffering.
Before a tragedy hits is the time to settle this, not during the event. Interestingly, about 95% of replies affirmed what she wrote. Most were comments to pray for her (A good thing!). It is important to note that God did not punish this young mother through the baby’s death. Nor did God punish the baby. If anything God showed great mercy and grace to the child and the parent(s). The right way to handle these things as a Christian is to take them to God, not express them on social media. Now I submit a few thoughts for consideration.
The most important place to begin is our attitude toward God. I ask you to click each of the following passages for serious reflection and consideration… Is 46:9-10, Dan 4:35-36, Ro 9:19-21, Eph 1:11. These passages (Along with many others) MUST form our thoughts and attitudes toward God in every and all situations (Including unexpected tragedy). Our attitude toward God in the midst of tragic events reveals what is in our heart. So it is at this point that it is wise to go to God for wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and direction.
First, why would God “take” a small child, or another person who loves Him, in a way we do not expect? Consider what is written in Isaiah 57:1…
The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity…
There are times that God, in His perfect wisdom, knows that were a person to live longer they would endure hardship and difficulty and He decides to spare them from those events. Rather than have them go through extreme difficulty and suffering He brings them home to be with Him… which is the ultimate blessing! Why one and not the other? That is in God’s secret wisdom.
Then consider Job when on one day all SEVEN of his children were killed. What did Job say when told he lost all seven children on one day? “Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord’“ (Job 1:20-21).
Then consider what Jesus said when unexpected tragedy took the lives of “innocent” people. This is found in Luke 13:1-5…
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Jesus was not being harsh with his comments, he was going beyond what people were thinking. They only considered the event… Jesus pointed them to the event AND BEYOND! The issue is not if… when… or how anyone passes from this life, but whether or not they are read to enter eternity! How or when a person dies is not as important as eternity that follows.
Next, consider David and the child born to him and Bathsheba. (NOTE: The application of this passage is NOT to suggest the person who lost their child above in some way sinned against God and that is why God took the child!). In David’s case… because his sin brought disrepute on the name of God… the LORD took the child from David and Bathsheba. It is written regarding this event in 2 Samuel 12…
And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” 20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
The truths to be taken from this passage are: 1) It is good to petition God in all things, 2) Whatever God’s answer to our prayers is, it is best to go along with life by worshiping God (David did this THE DAY the child died), 3) It is proper to have a Godly perspective… “I shall go to him (Heaven), but he will not return to me.” 4) God does not always answer our prayers the way we desire. When that is the case, it is right and best to submit ourselves God who is worthy of praise, worship, and adoration. As it is written in 1 Peter 5:6-7…
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
My heart goes out to the young mother who three years after her child passed is struggling. Yet I am confident that all who love the Lord and walk with Him will be comforted, no matter how deep the wound. My encouragement to any who may read this is…
Prepare your heart now for the day you do not yet know is coming through prayer and Scripture,
Settle now that you trust God absolutely and completely no matter what may come because God is good all the time,
Last, be sure to always give glory to God in all things at all times because He is God and we aren’t.
This is not an easy issue to consider or discuss. Thus it is imperative that we all seek God’s guidance for help in understanding the hard things of life.