I’m wrestling in my soul tonight. I sat in church tonight and my soul wrestled with my Creator. I found it hard to sit there and worship a God who says “For I know the plans I have for you….plans to prosper you and not to harm you” but yet allows horrific tragedies. How does this concept of Father intersect with a God who allows a middle aged man to be stabbed to death? How do you explain this kind of God to this man’s devastated widow and his hurting 7 and 10 year old sons? Such senseless rage in this world and it takes out a good man, an honorable husband and dedicated daddy.
Background to this soul wrestling: I got word this morning that a business acquaintance of mine was stabbed in a “random act of violence” while on his annual fishing trip in the Bahamas islands.
There’s a part of me that feels guilty for having such conflicting emotions inside. I feel anger. Anger at the injustice of greed and crime. Anger at the intense pain and loss that his wife and sons need to wrestle with. Anger that it stirs up buried pain of loss in my own life. Anger at God for allowing this when He’s got the power to thwart evil. And yet I know that without God in my life, I can’t survive this kind of pain, this kind of soul ache. Even while the anger boils, I know deep down that I can not turn my back on God. I desperately need His Presence to keep on living.
And so I bring my conflicting emotions, my raging anger, my knifing hurt, my deep soul aches to my Father and I sit in His Presence. I rage in His Presence. I sob in His Presence. And I relax in His Presence. I thank Him for allowing me to be honest with Him and for not condemning my conflicting emotions. I thank Him for understanding me at the most fundamental of levels and for knowing that even while I rage, I long for His Presence. For knowing that even while I’m lying curled up in on myself, I ache for Him to reach out and pick me up and draw me close to His heart. His heart – it’s both strong and tender. It’s constant beating in my ear reminds me that He is here. His gentleness courses through His heart and wraps me in His comfort. His strength pulses through His heart and fuels me to keep going one day at a time, keep breathing through one heart ache at a time. His heartbeat, it calls me close; it woos trust from my battered soul.
And so I here I sit.
Wrapped in His arms.
Listening to His heart.
Do I still ache? Most definitely!
Do I still rage? Yes I do.
Do I still weep with pain? But of course!
Do I have answers for these injustices? Absolutely not!
Do I have peace amid these raging feelings? Thank God I do!
Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to keep breathing, keep living, keep trusting.