To all you Christians who read your Bibles to feel better when you’re hurting, for whom “Jesus is the answer,” to those who fix everything by praying; good for you.
You make me feel so inadequate. Like a failure. Like I am missing something, like God made me wrong.
My dad read Job 38:39-41 the other night, saying he found such comfort in it. Job is suffering indescribable pain and he’s calling out to God demanding to know why God has tortured him so and then left him alone. God responds:
39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
Dad says we have a God who knows and understand the hunger of wild lions and random raven babies. God knows even of these minor hurts, so how deeply does he understand our pain? How good to have a God who knows all of this!
But you know what I see? I see a God who knows my pain and hurt, who knows all my struggles as well as I do, but chooses to leave me there while he runs off and cares to the stupid lions and stupid ravens. It’s not like He has to choose one or the other. God could 100% relieve their hunger and my pain at the same time. But instead, like rubbing salt in a wound, God feeds even the stupid lions and leaves me in my ache.
And you perfect Christians chime in, “Oh, but God is using this pain for His glory!” and “it’ll all be worth it in time” and “pray for eyes to see as He sees.” “He’s not forgotten you. Here, read this book. Or read your Bible. Or pray. Or at the very least, set aside your fears. The Bible says ‘Do not worry about tomorrow.'”
Thanks, Christians. Thanks for telling me everything I already know, already feel guilty about, but doesn’t actually help my hurt. Thanks for trying to be God for me, but–like Job’s friends–rubbing even more salt in the wound that I feel God is already filling with salt.
I don’t want any more freaking platitudes.
Will me expressing my pain create panic and gossip and desperation in other Christians who feel it is their duty to “keep me in the faith”? Do you really think you can change my hurt by telling me to read my Bible? Do you not think God is big enough to defend himself?
Screw it. This is what I feel. I feel that God is leaving me to feed the stupid lions.
Take it or leave it. Because it is truth.
And whether you take it or leave it, it does not really matter. Because my God will take it. He will take it and all the other flak my heart gives him and he will not be afraid. He will not fear that I am on the brink of heading toward hell, nor will he try to fix me, nor will he tell me I’m messed up because of the way I feel.
If expressing this hurt means I am not accepted by the Christians around me, then I am willing to sacrifice their fake for my real.
So, perfect Christians, do what you must. If you feel God’s calling to try to fix me, you must do what you must do. I, however, spend today convinced that God accepts me just as I am. My God accepts me even when I am angry at Him and when my perspective is all wrong.
So today, I will sit in confidence that what I am feeling is not wrong. That I am not in need of being “fixed.” That I am not a bad “Christian” because reading God’s word doesn’t calm my pain. If that makes you uncomfortable, I welcome you to join me and, in company of one who is there right now, to express your own “wrong” things–the things that Perfect Christians never feel or think or do.
My God is big enough to handle them.