Do you ever argue with God? Does the idea of that feel familiar? Make you uncomfortable? Feel like it’s not allowed?
Lately, it feels like all I’m doing is arguing with God.
I started a series on Still Forming about the new season I’ve been telling you about — of learning to carry stillness inside myself no matter the circumstances.
This has to do with my quiet, fairly contained and orderly life moving out of its structured serenity into a bit more dissembled chaos the last six months or so. As I shared with you several weeks back, God’s helping me see he wants me to start learning how to depend on my external circumstances less and learn to carry stillness no matter what’s going on.
I’ve found this difficult. I feel resistant to it. I keep bobbing and weaving away from it, trying to find a way out of this being the way things are.
As such, every post I’ve written about this process so far has felt like sharing different angles on why this isn’t my idea of a good time and why it’s confusing the heck out of me. It has felt a bit like the book of Lamentations, Part 2, or like scraping sores with the sharp end of a piece of pottery.
And then three nights ago, on top of all that, I had a really strange experience.
I shared a moment with God in prayer where I believed to have heard him say he’s going to take from me one of the most precious aspects of my life. A piece I cannot imagine ever living without.
Now, I may have heard God wrong. It’s happened before. But the impression was so clear, and it was so very much like what I’ve learned God’s voice sounds like in my life.
And it shook me. Really, really bad.
I’m still shaken by it.
I don’t know how to talk to God about what happened that night. I feel resistant to even a conversation with him about it. The times I’ve tried to pray, it’s felt like staring at a blank wall. All I’ve been able to muster so far is, “Why would you say that to me?” — without being able to wait and hear the answer.
Kirk’s been encouraging me to ask God to confirm — or deny — if I heard him right. But I don’t feel able to even do that. The truth is, I don’t feel ready to hear the answer. If he says yes, then my world begins to shatter. If he says no, then my sense of surety in knowing his voice in my life goes suspect.
I don’t know quite what to do with all this yet. I’m in a bit of a holding pattern with him, I guess.
And as I share this truth with you, I can’t help but wonder what it’s like for you to hear me say these things. Does it freak you out? Concern you? Make you feel less alone?
I’m of the firm opinion that God wants the truth from us. Because that’s what real relationship is, right? You can’t have a real conversation with someone who’s not willing to show up and be honest with you. If they are willing to be honest, even if they’re angry or confused or disagree with you, well, that’s something the two of you can work with.
I think God’s more concerned about being in a real relationship like that with us than he is about hearing any cleaned-up, what-we-think-is-the-right-way-to-think-and-feel answers to what he’s offering us. That’s the demonstration Jesus gave us in the Gospels, after all. He hung loose with the questions the disciples asked. He let Mary and Martha question him when Lazarus died. He entered into the charged atmosphere of Peter’s unwillingness to hear of his impending death.
He wants real engagement. And so I’m being honest. I’m arguing a lot with God right now, and I’m hoping that changes soon — because it’s really not pleasant.
But even if it doesn’t change soon, even if he and I go rounds on some of these things for a really long time, I know he’ll keep showing up. I know he’ll respect my voice. I know he’ll be present to listen and share his own side, if I listen.
I know he’s in this. Even if “this” isn’t so pretty right now.
Do you ever argue with God?