Remember the book “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” by Judy Blume?
Do you ever feel like Margaret and wonder if God is really there?
You don’t have to be ashamed to say you’ve felt that way because you aren’t the only one. You know why else you don’t have to be ashamed? Because God knows and He still loves you.
I woke up mad at God for the first time in a really long time, or maybe ever, this week. “Oh my goodness, you’re a Christian! You can’t get mad at God!” Right?
I highly doubt the God of the universe is blind-sided by my petty mood swings and human-way of thinking when it comes to His plan. He KNOWS we are going to get frustrated with Him just like we get frustrated with any other people we love. The different is, He’s not “people,” He is THE. He is more than a person and we often fail to remember that – remember who He is.
I listened to a great message today from Annie F. Downs speaking at Cross Point Church in Nashville. (Click here to check it out – you really should.) The title of her message is, “Remember God.”
She talks all about how we have to remember who He is by first, knowing Him, and then, recording what He has done for us, so that we can remember Him on the days we start to forget.
It’s funny because I woke up mad at God on Monday and stumbled upon her message on Tuesday. (And by funny, I mean, “HEY God I see ya.”)
I haven’t done a great job lately of recording and writing down things He’s done and moment’s we’ve had together. I haven’t been good at it because I haven’t been slowing down to spend time with Him like I should. Instead of saying “like I should,” I should really say, “like I want to,” because I desperately want to – I’m just letting life get in the way of the the secret TO life.
Oh, I guess I’ll tell you why I woke up so mad at Him. (You’re gonna laugh because it’s actually ridiculous that this all transpired the way it did. No one died, I wasn’t in serious danger, nothing catastrophic happened – I’m just me – very dramatic, but He loves me anyway so you have to, too.)
Last year around this same time of year, just before my now-husband proposed, my eyes swelled up like huge red, flakey, leathery balloons because of some unknown allergy “in the air,” according to many doctors. It was painful, I had to miss work, and I looked like a monster – not great for engagement pictures and parties. Luckily, last year, my eyes cleared up (mostly) before he proposed, so he didn’t have to postpone it and I didn’t have to be in photographs looking like Quasimodo.
Fast forward to this year, same time of year – my eyes do the same thing, except this time – worse. I had to miss work for three days, one of which I tried to go in and my boss sent me home. I went to so many doctors and tried so many medicines and nothing was working. It happened on Friday, so when it cleared up a little on Saturday, I went to my church’s serve day and delivered meals and played with children outside ALL day. On Sunday, I put makeup on (major mistake). So, Sunday night, things went south again.
Before bed, my husband prayed over me and said, “Jesus, we know you hear us when we call, so we are begging you to take away this pain from Kaitlin and heal her eyes.” Cool. Goodbye Quasimodo eyes – holla at ya girl. Thanks, Jesus!
Monday morning – sun rises, big, red, balloon eyes are the first thing you see. I lifted my hands to immediately touch my eyes before I ever spoke a word, and I wanted to scream. I actually probably did scream. My husband tried to soothe me and all I could say was, “Why did God not listen to us?’
You know when you first wake up and you’re really super vulnerable and you just think or say whatever you want because you’re brain hasn’t fully woken up yet? Well, my first thought before I ever even said anything was, “I am so mad at God. Why did he not just answer my prayer. He’s God. He could’ve done it.”
I was really kinda taken aback by myself. Yikes, that’s kinda harsh, Kaitlin, give the Big Man a break – He has a couple million things to deal with today.
In that moment, though, all I cared about was MY pain.
Don’t we just do that though? We focus on what we have going on and block out the world. We expect God and everybody – literally – to stop what they’re doing and help us. But that’s not always how God works. Sometimes He answers prayers on the spots and works miracles, and sometimes He walks us through something to teach us a lesson and grow our faith. And every time, His timing is way better than our “right away” mindset.
I’m completely aware that this all seems pretty silly to anyone reading this, and especially to me. An allergic reaction is no fun, but it’s not the end of the world. And just maybe, God wanted to show me through my pain, how many people in my life are willing to help me and pray for me and come to my rescue when I’m in the slightest bit of trouble. And even more than that, maybe he wanted to remind me to remember Him – to look back at those times I do have recorded where He has worked that miracle and provided that job and answered that plea for love and shown me what friendship is. Maybe when He makes us wait, He is teaching us to remember.
On top of being sick and missing work, I have been preparing for probably the most important conference I’ve ever been to. It’s a big deal for me in so many ways, and I have felt unprepared and so flustered because of the days leading up. I know the enemy for sure doesn’t want me to go and answer the calling God has on my life, but he doesn’t get to choose because he doesn’t win. He can make me feel like I’m not enough and make me feel bad about my appearance (the eyes, y’all), but he can’t take the freedom my Jesus gave me and he can’t take the confidence I have in my calling.
When you get mad at God for something silly, or something huge, and you think He’s not listening, remember that He always has, so He always will. He’s there. He’s listening. You just have to look closely for Him sometimes.
“I’ve seen you move, you move the mountains, and I believe I’ll see you do it again.” – Elevation Worship, Do It Again
He has promised to always heal you, but sometimes that healing comes on the other side of Heaven, but don’t ever let that stop you from praising Him on this side of Heaven.
But even if you don’t, my hope is you alone. – Mercy Me, Even If
Keep fighting the good fight, my friends.
In all His love,