MAMA SAID THERE’D BE DAYS LIKE THIS
MAMA SAID THERE’D BE DAYS LIKE THIS
“Mama said there’d be days like this.” So goes a pop song from 1961. But I do not believe my mother actually gave me any warning about the day I had recently. The details must remain private for the sake of others involved. But trust me when I say that it was one of the worst days of my life, came at an already very stressful time and it shook me to my core. At the time, it seemed too much to bear.
In the midst of the drama, I wanted to plead a heart-felt, miracle-making prayer to God. Instead, I broke down and said some things I wouldn’t have said in a less stressful moment. God did not strike me dead. When the immediate issue had passed, and I had more time to let it sink in, I got mad. I tried to pray it out, but the words wouldn’t come. I wanted to shed cleansing tears, but they would not come either. I wanted God to calm the raging emotions inside me. He did not immediately do that. So, frustrated and sick inside, I basically told God that I “couldn’t even with Him” right then. He let me get up off the floor walk away.
Does all this seem shocking to you? I apologize for that, but what I am about to tell you sounds sanctimonious and preachy if I don’t admit that I have been a pitiful, angry, whiney child with God and lived to tell about it.
God really is able to take anything you throw at Him. The Bible tells us that God knows our hearts [Acts 15:8; Psalm 44:21]. If you are raging mad at Him or someone else, realize that He already knows your thoughts. Go ahead and speak your mind. If you are frustrated. He already knows. Speak your mind. If you are fearful, He already knows. Go ahead and speak your mind.
Eventually, I slept and woke up the next day, ready to give God another chance. We had a good, cleansing cry together and I journaled my thoughts and supplications for relief. I even had the good grace to give Him the credit and thanks for what I could now see was His intervention. It might still have been a little grudging at that point.
I picked up the book I am reading (Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg) and tried to follow her advice to ask God to open my eyes to His wonder – to answer all my “whys” with the “who” of Him. I have often asked God to show His wonder and typically the sight of a rainbow, the sound of my wind chimes or the return of the crane that visits our pond is enough to tell me He is there. This time, I admitted it might take something more dramatic.
What happened next felt like a sucker punch to the gut. We got a text from our renter, saying that the hot water heater had busted and soaked the bedroom carpet. Then Wes’ truck wouldn’t start, even though he’d recently had it checked out and was told it was fine. The tow truck would take days to come because the company was busy. There were a couple of other issues I won’t go into. And I thought, really? This now? Normally, I’d feel each of these issues to be less traumatic on their own. But it did not seem like the timing could be any worse. I asked to be wonderstruck. Instead, I was thunderstruck.
Oddly, this paralleled the story that Feinberg outlined in the beginning of her book…right up to the point where she finds herself laughing in the midst of her troubles. That did not happen to me. But through the process of continuing to seek out God and speak my mind, to ask why and beseech Him for help, (and maybe do a little accusing), eventually I came to some new revelations about my God, my relationship with Him and my Spirit-given ability to endure and work through pain. There was a sense of wonder in these relationship-deepening revelations.
Sisters, God is big enough to handle all the pain, fear, anger, and frustration we care to throw at Him. He just doesn’t want us to let go of Him or to walk away from the relationship.
To be clear, I would never “curse God and die” as Job’s wife advised him. I am with Him to the end, no matter what He allows me to endure. And, more importantly, He is with me until the end - in days of small troubles and in the days of mountainous trials.
Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. [KJV]
I believe the Father wants us to come boldly before Him and honestly lay out all our feelings, hopes, fears and pain. He has big enough shoulders for us to cry on. He has great enough wisdom and compassion to forgive our honest questions and pain-filled fits of despair. He wants us to share it all with Him and to turn to Him for comfort and aid.
When trouble strikes, take a page out of David’s book. Search the words “how long” and you’ll find it to be a constant refrain of the Psalms. Here are just a few examples:
Psalm 6:3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
Psalm 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
Psalm 89:46 How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?
It seems pretty bold to me to speak to God like that – to question His judgment and accuse Him of waiting too long to intervene. But David was a man “after God’s own heart.” So, I feel like these bold Psalms testify to many more frank conversations King David had with God. The relationship David had with God – his ability to speak frankly before his Maker – also shows me a loving Father who would rather we come to Him with the worst we have to offer – with our fear and accusations and doubts and worries and pain -- and talk it out with Him instead of being afraid to speak frankly about what He already knows we are feeling inside.
I believe that we are just as welcome in His presence when we question, grouse and cry as we are when we thank and praise Him. As part of a deep, personal relationship, He wants it all.
So, whether you are wonderstruck or thunderstruck, be comforted by the fact that God already knows your thoughts and feelings. He knew you’d have days like this. Go boldly. Speak frankly with God. He is a big God, a loving God. He can take it. He will meet you there, at His throne.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org..