Is it okay to be angry with God? Is it okay to feel crushed under the weight of responsibility that He has placed on my shoulders?
I went to church with my family yesterday and by the time we got there, I was ready to explode in a fit of rage. I brought my wife and children into the sanctuary where the service had already begun and promptly turned around to find a quiet place to “vent” only to be pursued by my screaming three year-old son. When I got to the chapel, I held him in my arms and cried. Throughout the 10 months of Meredith’s struggle with a brain tumor and subsequent brain injuries, I have refused to ask God why. Why Meredith? Why me? Why us? Who am I to ask the God of the universe such a selfish question? Other than these musings, I still will not ask Him why. He will reveal that to me when it’s time.
Yesterday, however, I did have the audacity to tell God that I couldn’t take it anymore. I cried out that the burden is too great and I don’t know what to do. I wept openly with my son in my arms and telling God that it was too much for me to handle. Malcolm asked me what was wrong and I stuttered through and explanation of the truth in a language that a three year-old might understand. He empathized with me but did not understand. He brought me back to earth (and the responsibility of being a husband and father) by telling me that he was upset because the brass quartet combined with the organ and choir were too loud and hurt his ears. He led me back to the now quiet sanctuary and our family.
I don’t think I’ve finished my prayer of anguish. I know that God is not finished with me. He is sovereign and I remind myself often that I live to love Him and keep His commandments. That isn’t always comforting when you’re caught between a soiled diaper, a great deal of whining and crying, dinner boiling over on the stove, a hemiplegic spouse needing assistance to the table, and an ungrateful dog scratching at the door. God’s plan for us is unfolding and I have marveled at some of the miracles along the way. I know that He has given me strength to handle everything; otherwise I would have been crushed months ago by the weight of it all.
Am I angry at God? No, not really. Am I frustrated? At times, yes. Who am I to complain about burdens? He sent His son to die in order that I might live. Jesus bore the weight of the world on his shoulders. My burden is insignificant in comparison. More poignant to me than ever before is Handel’s setting of Matthew 11:30 in The Messiah, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In my distress, however, I’m not sure I am altogether aware of how to pick up His yoke and rest from my own burdens. God willing, awareness is not the only thing I’ll have when the God appointed time comes; I will be yoked with Christ and all of the glories and blessings that entails.
Below is a random sampling of Handel’s The Messiah. If I had hours of time, perhaps I could find one that I liked more, but this performance is certainly adequate for my spiritual musings.