Tonight I realised that I was angry at God. Is it okay to be angry with God? I hope so because I certainly was tonight. And I’m pretty sure that He is big enough to handle it. More than this, it was when I brought the emotion before Him that He was able to show me the reason for my anger – in this case, it was simply that He was answering my prayers; my prayers to be formed in to the likeness of Christ and to live a life serving Him.
Unfortunately, the moulding process has been a little out of my comfort zone recently. I’ve experienced God as my Healer (both spiritual and physical), my Comforter, my Companion, my Father. I am now learning of Him as a Provider. I am seeing how He has provided for me all of my life, and now I am seeing it more clearly as day by day I rely on Him for provision; not only for myself, but for the work of Redefined Ministries International. It is a blessing to see His hand so clearly, but also challenging as He removes my cultural desire for “financial security” – whatever that means!
It is easy to pray nobly for Him to use us, for Him to increase our obedience to His will, that He will mould us in to His likeness . . . And yet how do we respond when He begins the work?
What I forget in the moment of the prayer is that His ways are not our ways. When He begins to answer my prayers, I rage up against Him because the change does not come in the way that I wanted or expected it to. More often than not, I desire the change to occur through a miracle and forget that God works through a process.
When He begins to work, my spirit begins to get wriggly, and I become focused on me and my wants. I forget that He is God. I forget that He is a good God. I forget that Scripture says we are to rejoice when trials come, for these build character. I forget Him, and focus on myself. I forget to love others, and focus on myself.
Stretching times are “good for the soul”. They mould us in to the likeness of Christ. They bring us to the point that I arrived at today; the realisation that we cannot bring change in our own strength, and we cannot complete what He asks of us without His help. This brings us to a point of desperation and we cry out for God. This is when we see Him most clearly. This is when we attune our ears to really hear what He had been saying.
I am inherently selfish and I put my needs first. God calls me to turn my eyes first on to Him, and then on to my neighbours. It rankles when He reminded me that it is not all about me, that I am not at the centre of all things, but it has done my perspective a world of good! When I look to Him I forget my growing pains, and my heart is filled with joy and love for the Great King.
Turn your eyes on to Christ when you reach that place of desperation. Remember that isn’t all about you, you can’t continue in your own strength, and that, as hard as the moulding process is, it is for your good that God does it.
To finish, I think the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi is appropriate (if you’re brave enough to go through the growing pains that God will use to mould you to be such as this):
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen