For a long time, I was angry with God. I was resentful, frustrated, and desperate. God let me down and broke my heart, or so I thought. I felt like a broken tool, tossed to the side once I was of no use. God owed me an apology, or so I thought!
I disdainfully threw scripture in His face. In case you were wondering, my favourite Bible verse I used was John 6:67-68 – “So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to leave also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” In my peevishness, I left out the second part of verse 68, the part where Peter declared Jesus as the sent one who held the words of life.
I burned my bridges behind me, leaving a promising career and family and friends to follow Him. And He abandoned me, or so I thought. In retaliation, I ignored Him. I refused to talk to Him. Don’t get me wrong; I still spoke about Him. I attended church and continued to serve Him. But I wasn’t talking to Him; I was mad at Him. I just wasn’t in the place to listen to reason.
In time, I came to my senses, realising I was in the wrong. God hadn’t abandoned me, and He hadn’t let me down. He hadn’t duped me. He told me from the very beginning that it would cost me everything if I were to follow Him. It would cost me my life. I had a vague idea of what I was in for when I signed on the dotted line. I was the one who needed to apologise.
I placed a false expectation upon God. No, let me rephrase that! God called me to work ‘with’ Him, and I performed ‘for’ Him instead. I expected working ‘for’ Him would give me a lasting sense of fulfilment. I missed the point entirely. God called me to work alongside Him. He never asked me to work for Him. For God, the whole point was our relationship, and that point has never changed!
When I came to my senses, I repented of my snotty attitude. God then had room to move in my life and bring restoration. As I co-laboured with Him, He spoke to and through me, transforming lives, including my own.
However, it took me a while to come to the following realisation. I never considered how God felt when I falsely accused Him of using me, only to abandon me. How cavalierly I treated God’s emotions! Yes, God has feelings. I encourage you to do a word study on God’s emotions. The Bible is full of examples.
Did God hold a grudge against me? No, I don’t believe so. Did He hope I would apologise when I realised I hurt His feelings? Yes, I know so.
I never apologised for accusing Him of being something that He never was. I never apologised to Him for stepping away from my intimate relationship with Him; I just asked Him to take me back.
And so, I sheepishly asked God to forgive me for the times I stepped back when I should have stepped forward when I was hurting and confused. Although I felt His forgiveness, I could sense the pain that I caused when I turned from pursuing intimacy with Him just because I was avoiding a challenging conversation I needed to have with Him.
In Ephesians 4:30, Paul urged his readers to “grieve not the Holy Spirit.” I like the way Eugene Peterson writes it in the Message translation. “Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.”
Father God, please forgive us for causing Your heart pain when we hid from You rather than stepped toward You. Forgive us for bringing accusations against Your character and using Your word against You. Give us the courage to draw near Your heart when we don’t understand Your ways.
All Bible references are from the NASB 1995 version unless indicated otherwise.
Until next week,
©2022 Katherine Walden