I sat on that sidewalk in the middle of nowhere Mississippi, tears streaming down my face and all I wanted to do was scream. I was so angry. Angry at evil people who do heinous things. Angry at the world. Angry that I was so happy and cared for when I didn’t deserve it. Angry at God.
And it’s that last one that caught me by surprise. I was angry at God. Was that even allowed?
Flash back to two summers ago when I worked for my university as a summer camp recruiter for the admissions department. This was week two of my seven week adventure across the United States, and I was tired, but so happy to be becoming friends with the middle and high school students at this little church camp in Mississippi. It was the next to last night and this particular camp did a confession night where the high schoolers confessed things they’d been struggling with both mentally and physically. Not long after confession night began, it got heavy. One of the strongest leaders in the group broke down in tears because of some of the things he and his younger brother had gone through.
Hearing story after story of brokenness and despair, desperation and calls for help that seemingly went unanswered, my heart broke. Into little tiny pieces it broke for these kids. No one should be raped, but especially not a 14 year old. No one should attempt to take his own life, but especially not a 16 year old. Oh it hurt so bad and that’s when I got angry. I sat in that gazebo listening to these kids pour their hearts out to each other and every time, the rest of them would gather around and pray. But I didn’t want to pray. I was mad.
So that’s when I left. I stood up, and walked out of that gazebo and across the campground till I finally just sat on a sidewalk by myself and talked to God. I had so many questions and I felt like He wasn’t answering them. After calming down a bit and really reflecting and listening, I heard God say, “Don’t worry I can take it.” And that’s when I realized it’s OKAY to be angry with God and with the world and with the circumstances that just shouldn’t be. But what’s not okay, is being fine with being okay with it and becoming complacent. Use that anger and passion to direct your fire to all the right things like fighting for justice and reaching out to the broken and welcoming the unwelcome.
It’s okay to be angry. It’s even okay to be angry at God; don’t worry. He can handle it. But use it. Use it for His glory and He will use YOU to reach the unreachable.