Honor Your Father and Mother

I'm Not Mad At God

In the course of 40 years of pastoral shepherding I've met many people who are mad at God.  They usually aren't willing to admit it.  But after you get them talking, it bubbles to the surface.  They can't believe that God let this thing happen to them.  They assumed that loving God would insulate them from all suffering and harm.  They are shocked to learn that regular church attendance and giving did nothing to prevent calamity in their lives.  Like I said, they won't admit it, but they are ticked off at their heavenly Father.

Several side effects usually accompany anger with God.  Prayer stops.  Giving dries up.  Worship wanes.  Church attendance becomes sporadic.  Bibles get dusty from non-use.  What was once a warm and close relationship with God becomes a silent cold war.  Angry people know better than to reject the Gospel.  But they quietly harbor resentment towards God and they keep their distance.

These people remind me of the contrast between Job and his wife.  You know his story.  God blessed him abundantly and singles him out when Satan tells about his surveillance of believers on earth.  "Have you seen my servant Job?  There's nobody like him. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk."  Satan smugly points out that this is only because Job has experienced health and prosperity.  "Take it away," says Satan, "and he will curse you to your face."  God says, "OK, test him, but don't take his life."

Job loses everything in a matter of days.  10 children, his business, his wealth, and eventually his own health - all gone.  Job's wife is mad at God.  She keeps it simple - Honey, "Curse God and die."  She invites Job to get good and mad at God....like she is.  She had it.  She couldn't stand to see her husband suffer like this, especially after seeing his devotion to God.  I've met many "Job's wife" Christians.  They just want to be done with the suffering and die.

Job refuses his wife's advice.  He calls her a "foolish woman!"  Listen to what he says in Job 2:10 - "Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?"  And then, in one of the strongest affirmations of faith in the Bible Job says: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him!"  Job is not mad at God.  He has questions for God.  But He isn't mad at him.

For the past year, I've experienced things I never imagined God would allow in my life.  I'm not Job, but my losses surprised me, as I'm sure his surprised him.  It started with a colon perforation and abscess that put my life at risk and hospitalized me for 9 days.  After a month of heavy duty antibiotic treatments, I came down with C. Diff - a highly infectious diarrhea.  I experienced a second colon flare up a month later and went back on antibiotics.  Eventually, my surgeon recommended colon re-section surgery.  Thankfully, the surgery was successful.  But at the same time as all of this, I was dealing with the potential of losing my position of Senior Pastor at a church I served for 32 years.  8 months after my initial hospitalization, I lost my position at the church and faced the challenge of setting up a "retirement" even though I wasn't retiring and didn't plan to at this time.  Since then, both Jan and I have had heart symptoms, including troubling chest pain, and been assessed with nuclear stress tests and other diagnostic exams.  Loss after loss after loss.

Yet through it all, I have not been mad at God.  I've been mad at God in the past, but not this time.  This time I've trusted God, even though I have been disappointed in people at times, I've never doubted that God is in this with me.  It feels good to say, "I'm not mad at God."  Here are some of the reasons why:

1) I've felt God's presence in the midst of my suffering on so many occasions, at home and in the hospital, that I could not doubt that He was working.

2)  God raised up hundreds of prayer warriors to join us.  Jan and I have felt it and repeatedly say, "Someone must be praying for us right now."

3) Nearly every time we read the Bible for devotions, we feel as though the Lord is speaking directly to our situation.  What amazing spiritual nourishment He provides.

4) The medical care we've received from doctors, nurses, and technicians has been stellar.  Some of them have even become friends.  God sent us who He wanted us to meet.

5) Peace.  Yes, the "peace of God that passes understanding" has been incredibly real in the midst of several crises.  The problems often remained, but peace filled our hearts.

6) God sent some amazing encouragers to us.  A card, a phone call, a text, a home visit, a meal, or just praying with us in our home - encouragement is alive and well in the family of God.

7) I don't blame God for our circumstances.  Yes, like Job, I believe He permitted them.  But we live in a fallen world.  Sickness and disease and relational disruption are all the result of the Fall, not some devious plan of God to target us for attack.

If you're mad at God, I get it.  But I hope and pray that my list will inspire you to eventually feel and say, "I'm not mad at God."



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 Brian Sears

My parents are going through the exact same thing. My dad lost his job as a pastor after 31 years of service. The church wanted to go in one direction (universalism) and my dad wanted to go another. They purchased a travel trailer a few months before they knew they were leaving and are now living in their trailer behind a church in Florida. The pastor of the church where they are staying used to be my youth leader who is now the senior pastor at this church. I have used your situation and your comments to help encourage my dad. You never know how your situation may help others stay faithful. My wife and I pray for you and Jan almost daily. We love and miss you guys. It's not the same without you but we're trusting that God knows what he's doing with our church and our new pastor. God does love you and he's not done with you yet.

Erin Rainwater

I'm sitting here at DIA waiting to board our flight and reading your post. I love what you said: Job had questions for God but wasn't mad at Him. Back in 2000, when Keith had surgery that went awry, had a perforated stomach, peritonitis, abscess, fistula that wouldn't heal, pneumonia and a collapsed lung, I can honestly say it never occurred to me to be mad at God. We, too, had people praying and visiting and sending cards, sending cash to pay for parking, etc. God's people doing God's work. Like Job, I have questions for God, but not anger. He has taken you and Keith down similar paths. We are glad to be among those who cheered you on.


Wow just wow. Inspired from the "benched guy" Thank you


You are an amazing man of God and I love you to pieces!


Thanks so much for this post. I'm reading Tim Tebow's book, Shaken, and he speaks a lot about making conscious choices to seek God in the midst of disappointment.

I know for Bryan and me, after our son Cory's death, we had a choice - whether to be bitter and angry at God or to seek Him. We chose the latter, as even in our pain we knew He loved us and that evil is not from Him. That's not to say that we didn't rail and cry and express our confusion to Him. We still miss Cory and grieve the circumstances. But we chose Him.. And that's made all the difference.

Praying for you and Jan, loving you both beyond words, and thankful for your example!

Pam Campbell

I am thanking God He has lead you to teach us once again. Your heart for God and desire to learn and listen and teach will never change, only the place from which you do it.

Pat Williamson

You are a rock. I am amazed and blessed that we were in your church.

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