By Lis Cheesman
Are there days when you just want to yell? Or cry? Or even curse at God?
Usually though, I settle for a prayer of hope or strength or peace. I know the things I’m “supposed to” say, and instead of asking the questions that are plaguing my heart, I pray that my heart will stop questioning.
Being the youngest of six children, I am no stranger to screaming matches that express the tormented soul of an eight year-old girl with four older brothers. Never once did I consider, in the moment, that I should hold back any ounce of emotion. I knew, when it came down to it, they were family and they weren’t going anywhere. I knew they could handle it.
After all, that's part of the chaos of family, right? To walk with us through our darkest moments. To be there in the midst of our pain and anguish. To get the brunt of our anger and frustration. It takes intimacy to scream at someone. I wouldn't just walk down the street and air my grievances to every random passerby. But I've never had any trouble telling my brothers exactly how awful they’ve made me feel.
Why then don’t we believe that God can handle it? For some reason we want to shield God from those parts of ourselves that are wrought with emotions deemed unacceptable for courteous conversation.
Loved. Chosen. Adopted. Forgiven. Redeemed. Righteous. His. That’s what he says about you before you decided that you wanted to live life with him. Before you became family he loved you; he chose you; he adopted you.
He can handle it.
Sometimes I just want to yell. Or cry. Or curse at God. And I do.
God, why does it seem like good things happen to everyone around me, while I’m drowning in the monotony of everyday life?
God, where were you when depression set in and life took on a weight and a darkness that I could not bear on my own?
God, where is the good in 21 men being murdered, 21 families torn apart, for following you in the face of terror?
This is our brokenness. This is our pain. This is the torment in our souls.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." // Psalm 51:17
Not only will God not despise our broken hearts, he desires them. Lent is a journey toward the cross that comes with an authenticity that is expressed in aguish. Intimacy with our Father is seen in our desperate cries when we don't understand and we don't agree.
It is with our broken spirits that we will find ourselves kneeling at the foot of the cross rather than trying to carry the cross ourselves.
So if today finds you in a place where all you know and all you can see is brokenness, then cry out to the Lord in the midst of your pain. Yell. Scream. Cry. Don't pull yourself together. Don't try to pick up your cross and bear it. Kneel at the foot of the cross and let your broken spirt be your only sacrifice, for God desires you no matter the state of your heart.