Wednesday, January 6, 2010

At or With?

The other day I was talking to a lady from my church about God. Surprised???

The question I've been wrestling with lately is my anger about situations that nothing can be done about.

Remember my brother-in-law with cancer? He's not even 40, has a one year old daughter and terminal cancer.

Remember my sweet mother-in-law. She wasn't even 60. She was always joyful, mostly patient, endlessly loving. She never heard Hope say Grandma.

Right now, my oldest sister (you may know her from the comments as Marley's Mama), wife of my brother-in-law with cancer, is in the hospital fighting a rare blood disorder.

My oldest brother's father-in- law died suddenly last week. He wasn't a believer.

Those are a few things from my little world that have me ticked off. I know, in my head and in my heart, that God can and will "work all things together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) I also know that He who watches over us never "slumbers nor sleeps." (Psalm 121:4) And "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2.

But, from my perspective - here and now - things are not lining up. I know they will. I know that The Redeemer lives. I know that death and sickness and sin have already been defeated.

But, what's happening right now still hurts, still makes me angry.

For a while I thought I was angry at God. Now I think I'm angry with God. I don't (and haven't) blamed God for what has happened and is happening. I'm just angry that it happens and that it has to happen. My prayer is that His glory can shine through each of these situations. My heart wishes these situations never existed.

I wonder often what it would have been like to walk through the mall with my mother-in-law. What it would have been like to have known the brother my husband lost in infancy. I wonder what it would be like if my brother-in-law was healthy. I wonder what the world would be like with out sickness, death, loss, and abuse.

I don't pretend to have righteous anger. It's far from it. My anger however isn't aimed toward God, but at the results of sin. That's where the questions of prepositions comes in. Is it possible to be angry with God not at Him?

The other day I was talking to Ty about sickness. He wanted to know how people's bodies got sick and broken when the world was supposed to have been perfect. My response was simply, "but it isn't anymore." "Yeah, I know. 'Cause Adam and Eve sinned and now it's all falling apart."

In spite of all the frustrations, grief and anger that I'm feeling right now, I'm so glad I know the One whose hands are big enough to hold all the pieces. And the only One who can fit them back together.


He & Me + 3 said...

Wow Bethany, You have experienced a lot of sickness and death in your family lately. It is hard not to question God. We will never know why things happen..but He has a purpose and plan. I would be angry too...we are human.

Brandi said...

I'm sorry you're going through so much right now. I will pray for your sister and your brother-in-law.

Marley's Mama said...

It's OK to be angry, Beth. Sometimes things just aren't what we would see as fair. And when I'm angry, sometimes I throw a little (or GINORMOUS) temper tantrum at God, knowing that just like you and I do with our toddlers, He will wait for me to finish, pick me up, and hold me in His lap. He knows the big picture, and we just have to trust. (Easier said than done...) That being said, don't hold it in- accept and acknowledge and search until you find the peace you are looking for. It's a hard path to walk, but a rewarding one.
I love you.

Laura said...

Oh Bethany, I'm so sorry that so much is happening in your family right now. It's okay to be angry, anyone would be in your situation. Your family has been on my heart a lot lately, I will continue praying for you all! Let me know if there's anything I can do, I'm here for you friend. {{hugs}}

Amy said...

Hey Bethany, I came across your blog, and it really touched me, god is with us at all times, even those are questionable times. Read psalms everyday and just constantly meditate on the word day and night. I will be praying for you. I know we don't know each other, but prayer is so powerful, and I know in my heart thongs will turn around for you. Amy

Amanda said...

BEthany, just want to say sorry. I havent been here in a little bit and I am sorry. I should have been here. I should have been praying. I should have been here for you. I keep getting caught up in the excuse that my life is so hectic right now, but the truth is, it is never to busy for you or for praying for you and yours.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about everything so openly and beautifully... you have a way of making your reader identify with you through your sweet words...

Let me know if you need anything my dear. You are so amazing!


TexasHeather said...

Hi Bethany! Visited your blog after you dropped by mine, and got so caught up reading I went back 3 pages!

Wanted to comment on this - sorry about all the pain you are going through/went through recently; it does stink.

But I love your distinction of "angry with God" vs. "angry at God" - I don't know if this is how you meant it, but I pictured it as standing alongside God, angry at the circumstances that He is also angry/grieved over. Angry WITH Him, but not AT Him.

Beautiful image. I definitely will be following your blog; you are right, we seem to have a lot in common (though I wish losing a loved one to MS wasn't one of them...)