I’ve been a Christian for more than 30 years, I’ve had drier seasons and fruitful seasons in my Christian walk, but through it all I had always, always been able to stand secure in the deep rooted belief that God is good, and God’s love is good.
Several years ago, this security began to erode; slowly and imperceptibly something began to change. The peace morphed into cynicism; the love turned into habit; the joy turned to pain and fear, and ultimately my lifelong gratitude to God turned into a deep rooted and bitter anger. Anger toward God. Anger toward Christians. Anger toward anyone or anything that crossed my path. The anger was rooted in deep pain and resentment and cast a long shadow over many aspects of my life. I knew it was not serving me in any helpful way, but it all just hurt so very, very much. It seemed that God, previously so solid and unshakable, the rock I had built my life around, had just run through my fingers like a million grains of sand and I was left grasping at thin air.
I started to think of myself as an ex-Christian, however, many of my most supportive friends were Christians and they continued to love me. They endured my bitterness; they ignored my rudeness; they loved me and ‘held’ me in my lashing out. I came to see that it was they who were the ‘love’ and ‘presence’ that God promises us in times of trial. I wasn’t alone, they were there for me and came through for me despite the fact that at times I was incredibly unlovable.
Then one day quite recently, somehow, I was able to see how my intense anger was not serving me. So I prayed. I told God what I thought of him (generally not good) but also told him that I was so grateful for the people who had faithfully loved me in my pain and ugliness. I offered that mustard seed of hope to God, and asked for a miracle.
In that moment, my anger tangibly fell away in the way you shrug off a heavy, rain sodden coat from your shoulders. Practically, absolutely nothing in my live has changed; my burdens, responsibilities and disappointments remain the same. However, I am no longer carrying the significantly greater weight of my hopeless anger too. Some miracles are bright and shiny, this one is neither, but it has given me peace and hope and I’ll take that.
This article featured in the Autumn 2019 edition of The Bridge – the magazine for All Saints’ Church in Marlow. Pick up your free copy in church or download it here.