21 Dec The Angry Truth
A woman writes, “I joined the military and was raped by two guys who were drunk and probably can’t even remember doing it. I’ve been really angry ever since. I’ve been in counseling. But my question for you is how are you not mad at God? I’m so mad at God.”
A man wrote to me and said,”I was sexually abused as a teenager and I’ve never forgiven the one who did this to me. I knew him. He was a friend of our family. I didn’t tell because I was ashamed. My life is filled with rage. I can’t stop being angry.”
A woman, who’s husband has left her after 16 years of marriage, is hurting and has questions. She’s hurt and angry and feels worthless. She has shut herself off from any intimate contact with others. She asked me how I could forgive the man that hurt me or the mom who hurt me? How did I stop being angry?
I suppose the coined “sugar-coated” answer is because Jesus says to do it. Reading their words, my heart just hurt for them. The betrayal they felt. The depth of sorrow that their dreams were dead. The idea that they feel unwanted, unloved and not worth fighting for. Excruciating pain. I know pain. I’ve felt rage and raw anger that crushes you inside. I completely understand being mad.
So I couldn’t give her that answer. Sure, it’s true. But in my life, I’ve found that
Jesus is MORE than ENOUGH to handle my ability or inability to forgive someone. He can handle ANYTHING.
I have a personal relationship with Him. He knows my heart. He knows what I need. He knows my struggles and He knows how to communicate with my heart so that I understand what it is He wants from me. Jesus convicts me with His truth so that I’m able to confess my anger to Him and then truly forgive. He is NOT bound by my feelings. Neither am I.
I hear from so many people every that are hurting. Doesn’t matter how they find themselves in this painful place, all they know is THEY HURT.
How we deal with that hurt makes ALL the difference.
Forgiveness is required. But it must be TRUE. A flippant “Yes, I forgive them” because we know that we’re supposed to forgive people, doesn’t mean that our heart agrees to do that. You can’t lie to God.
Depending on how angry you are, it might take some work to truthfully deal with your anger. For me, I talked. I felt like my heart was a boat that was filling up with water, faster then I could scoop it out. So by opening up and talking to someone about it, it “emptied” the boat quicker. Jesus is the only one who knows all of it. No filters. No “let’s be careful of the audience who is listening” and the only one who can heal me. He can take it. He WANTS to take it.
So, throughout the years, I’ve cried out to Him about the hard stuff. The painful stuff. There’s been times that I couldn’t say the words out loud, but I could see them vividly in my mind as I screamed and cried to the Lord.
He got it. He always does. And I was always enough and worth His time. So are you.
Have you ever been so mad, hurt, jealous, betrayed, violated that all you could do was scream and cry? How did you feel afterwards? Drained? At peace? I would feel cleansed. There was no longer room for anything but deep cleansing, peaceful breaths. As feelings would rise up, I’d cry out again. I kept doing that until there was no scream left in me. I’m telling you – THAT is what Jesus used to get the hurt out of me. Not the sweet religious words but the TRUE words. Like the gut-wrenching questions of “How could You let this happen? How could you do this to me?”
You know, that HARD stuff.
I’m sure there are those who would say that the Lord deserves our reverence, not harsh angry words. I agree. He does deserve reverence. But here’s the thing.
If you can’t tell Jesus your garbage, who can you tell? He knows all of it anyway.
Don’t believe me?
Look at David. He was the biggest WHINER in the bible. In the book of Psalms, David has done so many things that went against God. And yet he whines as though he has a right to – “Why won’t you listen to me? Why won’t you rescue me? How long do I have to suffer?” I mean sheesh. The boy was a whiner. And God said that he was a man after God’s own heart.
It takes TRUST to tell the truth about the hard stuff. Trusting Jesus with the hard stuff, trusting that He won’t leave you, forsake you or hurt you because of how you feel or what you say to Him…trusting Him with your heart is the deepest intimacy there is. That trust is called FAITH. When I could cry and scream no longer, my heart was silent. THEN, Jesus began to speak life into my soul through His word, through His spirit.
I’ve learned that to forgive someone means that you look at the hurt and the pain that someone has caused you and then you release them from the debt that you think they owe you.
You can’t skip the “looking at the hurt” part. Most people want to skip over that because they don’t want to relive it. But that is a huge part of forgiveness. It’s that hurt that has given you your pain. You have to look at it. Deal with it before you can move on. It stinks. It’s so hard. Sometimes you need outside help. It hurts to do that. But not dealing with your crud will hurt you WORSE.
How do I forgive? Through time spent in the presence of Jesus. However long it takes. Crying out to Jesus and allowing Him to clean out the crud so that He can reveal to me the courage to forgive. And then in faith, I trust Him enough to choose to forgive and I release that person from the debt that I think they owe me. It’s ALL about Jesus. Because of Him. And through Him.
So grab a pillow and scream. Cry. Hollar. Go out and get in your car and yell. Do whatever you have to do. That’s called “working on your crud!” You have to get the crud out for the healing to begin.
Are you mad at God?
Are you afraid to admit it?
Let me tell you about my God. He is love. He provided Jesus to forgive and take away our sin on the cross. He can handle your garbage. He already knows all of it anyway.
He is the truth. He knows the truth.
Maybe YOU should start telling the truth.