Feel His soothing love again.
While fighting cancer, caretaking, or just navigating everyday hurts, one attitude will bring more pain and sadness into our lives than any other – resentment. I know this from years of pastoring; counseling patients, caretakers and married couples; and of course observing the disastrous impact of my own bouts with bitterness.
In future posts, I will address resentments toward others, toward the sick people we care for, and even resentment toward ourselves. Yet first I want to focus on an unexpected target of resentment – God.
Resentment Toward God
Perhaps you’ve lashed out at God, or witnessed someone rail against Him, yet often resentment toward God is more subtle. Now I’m not backtracking from my theme from last week – that grieving and mourning loss is appropriate. Again, King David, Job, and Jesus all lamented their circumstances. But there is a line we can cross from grief into resentment. Despite a flood of anguish from devastating personal tragedies, Job managed to walk the line: “Through all of this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (Job 1:22). In other words, Job did not charge God with being evil or unjust. How do we recognize the lines?
- Demanding answers from the Lord as if we are the final judge of Him.
- Commanding the Lord to change a situation because we “deserve it.”
- Numbing ourselves to Him – shutting Him out of our lives. I must admit at points during my battle with Stage IV metastatic melanoma that in my disappointment, I shut God out (more on this in my book, My Stronghold). In the final analysis, passive indifference is not much better than open defiance.
So what do we do with resentment toward God? Admit and confess our feelings to Him and a trusted person. Ask Him to help us release all bitterness and to help us resolve the tensions that led to the bitterness in the first place. When we let go of rotten anger, we may begin to make sense of His purposes for allowing hardships… and to feel His soothing love again.
Father, thank You for Your graciousness in overlooking our bitterness, and for helping us to resolve it in a healthy manner.
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All materials in this blog copyright (c) Joe Fornear. Scripture quotations from the NASB.