Summary: We get angry and disappointed with God, failing to see His purpose in life's hurts. We can learn to trust His will.
Have you ever been angry at God? When people ask God to “damn” something, they’re usually making a strong point without breaking dishes. Deep down inside they’re disappointed with God, though their expletive is usually not a prayer at all. It is, however, a way of telling God: “Take back Your world; if this is how it works, I don’t like it at all!” The true blasphemy is in failing to see what’s what. The true ignorance in such a profane and pseudo-prayer is not seeing the world for what it is. And so we end up telling God what to do.
While hiking in the woods, or kayaking down a river, we’re captivated by the beauty of Creation, but in a polluted, crime-infested inner city we’re likely to feel otherwise. The woods were made by God; the city by fallen humanity. Let’s not blame God for human creations. God made Paradise; we made sin. Disillusioned people who give up on God should look inward, and lay the blame on humankind, on our broken human condition, caused by our own rebellion. “We have met the enemy and it is us” (Pogo). This is why there is crime, war, pollution, and prejudice. People do bad things, because they’re rejecting ethical principles of right or wrong…and because they can. On one hand, people don’t want to be treated unfairly; on the other, they wish to live as if there were no moral absolutes. But if life is an accident, then nothing is “unfair.” This is the opening argument of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity: if someone claims there is no “right or wrong”, treat them unfairly, and they’ll complain without a valid argument.
Life hurts…expectations get shattered…dreams remain unfulfilled. We’re not satisfied, and that’s a good thing. Because if we were altogether content, we’d find little need for what God offers. And we would fail to realize we were made for a better world, one that will come when Jesus returns.
We’d like there to be angels that keep us from smashing our thumbs when we get out our hammers. I believe there are guardian angels, but sometimes God has a better idea in mind when he allows us to be hurt. He wants us to grow, and to care for the hurts of others. The Apostle Paul opens his 2nd letter to the church at Corinth by putting pain in perspective; he says, “God comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (II Cor. 1:3).
We live in a broken world, which is hardly God’s fault. The world isn’t how He made it. Paradise was lost by human sin. Adam and Eve wanted to be “like God” so they ate the forbidden fruit. They already were “like God”…after eating, they became less like God, not more. “Adam ate the fruit, and our teeth are still on edge” (Anon). Our world is not the way it’s supposed to be. Our world is fallen.