I had a shouting match with God.
I’m not one of those that shies away from an argument, and me and God, well, we’ve wrestled from time-to-time. I’ve pushed and He’s pulled, and I left the match convicted and humbled. But, the other day, it was a shouting match. Double fisted.
I waded slowly into it with tears and an admittance of confusion. I was confused! He knew that. What I failed to admit (until He forced it out of me) is that I was also very angry…at me, at them, at Him. He wasn’t fooled. Bigger than that, He wasn’t shocked. It surprised me initially, but then I let Him have it! The “why’s” the “how’s” became “how could you?” and “why did you let this happen?” My sadness and confusion became aggravation and accusation. I was not pleased. It was not fair. He knew it…before I even admitted it.
Realizing He is God and I am just lil’ ol’ me, you’d think I’d back down. Not quite. I was livid, seething, selfish and I wasn’t quite through. I came at Him again with my words: all the fears and pain and questions that had silently built up in my heart. I let Him have it, throwing my fist in the air like some kind of gesture of power in insurrection. He would not budge… in fact, I got the feeling He was taking it all in…absorbing my frailty and pain.
Before I knew it, I was weeping and shouting and finally feeling what I had pushed down for so long, what I had refused to see. And, His voice became loud…not irrationally so, not audible, but increasingly evident to me. He took what I said, every accusation, every question and proceeded to direct some of His own. “Why didn’t you trust?” and “How couldn’t you see?” and “Where exactly did I forsake you?!” He completely blew up my defense. He showed me in no more than 5 minutes what, where, and why. Exactly. He expressed His own frustration and His righteousness and He coated it with love and grace and mercy.
As He spoke, He painted a picture. It wasn’t clear at first, just a fist. Not a strong fist in defiance but a gripped fist that shook in it’s intensity. Then, as He continued I glimpsed another fist, stretched and clutched, over and over. I thought I knew what He was saying: “I get it. You had me in Your grip, You were holding me tight and beckoning me.” That made sense. Then, he showed me that those fists were connected and spread wide. “Welcoming” – I got it. But I didn’t really, because then, it was like one of those posters where you see bits and pieces, but if you look just right it develops into another image all together, a three dimensional picture that suddenly pops out at you and you finally see it; it becomes more than a design and a swirl of color; it has meaning! About the point my eyes were strained, I saw the it clearly. Funny, it was right there all the time.
The thing about those posters I mentioned, when you finally get the image, you can’t see anything else. And, that’s how our shouting match ended. All my anger and yelling and questions and accusations couldn’t change what He did…any more than my actions, my sins, my mistakes could. He was God, big enough to take my emotions, strong enough to carry my burdens, patient and loving enough to paint me a picture, a picture of grace: A cross, with arms stretched out wide, lifting up a double-fisted Savior.