The last few months, well, years, have been some of the toughest learning moments I have ever had in my life. The refining process going on in my life has been truly, wonderfully, awesomely painful. Yes, I would have chosen to learn a different, less painful way, but, I have also come to trust my Abba. I also know when it comes down to it unfortunately for me I cannot learn anything other than the hard way. It’s not always that I am being stubborn it’s that I’m also a visual learner, I need to be able to see and feel what I am learning. It has always taken me longer to learn things if I have only the auditory or the reading of some thing. It will always take longer, I must experience it. I also know that from a parent perspective that sometimes the best lessons my kid’s have learned is when it has cost them something. Whether it be loosing TV privileges, not being able to ride their bike for a week, or maybe missing out on a special family outing. I don’t think it’s any different with God and how he teaches his kid’s. God knows some of the best, most potent lessons are the painful ones, because they are super hard to forget. But, if I allow God to teach me the lesson instead of fighting it, if I become willing to set aside my tantrum, I learn the lesson so much faster. But, I’m human, I’m stubborn, and strong willed, learning the lesson without a tantrum does not come often.
This is the point were honesty comes in to the story. At the beginning of a situation it is easy to say God’s in control and he has his best in mind. It’s easy to say God’s timing is perfect. But, when God’s timing turns into days, months, and years it gets much harder to hang onto the cheerfulness of God’s timing and his being in control. It gets much easier to say, thanks but no thanks, I’ll take it from here God. You had your shot and not only did you not take the shot, but you completely blew it. It gets much harder to suppress the anger and frustration. I have a tendency to give myself the Christianese answers, smile and say God still has a plan, I just need to pray and wait lovingly and patiently. I have for so many years ignored the ugliness going on inside of me, thinking of myself as a traitor to Abba Father if I have any other thoughts than faith, hope, and love. What I have learned to do in the most unadult manner is to allow myself to have a tantrum before God. I have begun to allow myself to feel my heart that feels like it is breaking. Allowing myself to cry and scream for God to change the circumstance. I stomp my foot before God almighty and pour my ugliness, gut wrenching pain out before him. I know, it’s totally unchristian, and the adult tantrum doesn’t look pretty at all, but in the end, it does set me free.
The only thing denying what I am really feeling and thinking does is oddly send me deeper into my frustration, it often also causes me to withdraw from the world around me, and I find myself in a pool of depression. By giving myself Christianese answers I start suppressing what is really going on in my head. If I am going to have a true relationship with Jesus then it requires me to be honest with him about where I am at with my emotions, it requires me to often get mad at God, it requires me to sit in a pool of tears at Jesus’s feet. This is where my real relationship with Jesus and with Abba begin to be shaped. He doesn’t glare at me that I don’t have it all together, neither does he yell at me because I am not trusting enough and he doesn’t see me as a traitor. He sees me as a child, he sees me as the human child I am that has limits to what I can see and understand. What kind of God would I be having a relationship with if all he ever expected of me was perfection, it’s not realistic and God knows it. He knows that Jesus is the only perfection that will ever exist on earth. God is big enough and loving enough to handle my ugliness.
Something amazing happens when my tantrums slow down, when the anger has been spent, and I begin to come out of the hopeless fog I found myself being pulled into. There is something wonderful that happens when once I have been honest with myself and with God, the anger begins to fade away, hope begins to surface again, and I am able to continue trusting as I had before that God truly is in control. I begin to rest in the safety of my Almighty God’s arms. There is something to be said for confessing and speaking what I am feeling out loud. It is not only confessing our sins that sets us free, it is also confessing when I am angry, when I am hurt, when I feel less than Christian and less than loving. When I confess what is really going on, I then become real with the one who made me. He already knows I’m angry and hurt, he already knows the ugliness creeping in, I might as well be honest about it. I don’t have it all together, but I know the one who puts me back together, the one who makes me whole. I know the one who takes my ugliness and teaches me so many things about myself and how he views me. He views me as a precious child, he views me as a blameless holy child.
I invite you to be honest with God. Some of you have waited so long to tell God exactly what you think of him and why you think it. So, go ahead and do so. Some of you have so many hurts in your heart and in your life and you wonder where to start, being honest is a good place to start. Once my tantrum is over, the Christianese answers become truth answers, but I have to get through the tantrum to see it and feel it. Life is hard and I’m not going to get through it with perfect Christian responses. But, I will get through them being honest with my Creator.
I pray you find peace and I pray God opens your eyes to his ability to love you exactly where you are and that you will know God is not afraid of a little ugliness or a lot of ugliness. He wants you and loves you where you are at. God’s love is the best at taking ugliness and turning them into diamonds.