by Rick Warren — November 15, 2021
From Uncommon Courage
“Get up, cry out in the night, even as the night begins. Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord."
Lamentations 2:19 (NCV)
In the very first chapter of Job, everything in his life fell apart. His response? “Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20 GW).
Notice that Job openly expressed his pain to God. When you experience pain, do you tell God exactly how you feel? It should be the first thing you do.
This may surprise you, but God can handle your anger and frustration. He can handle your emotions. Why? Because he gave them to you. You were made in his image, and he is an emotional God.
When your 2-year-old has a temper tantrum and pulls on your legs, you can handle that. In the same way, God is bigger than your emotions, and it’s okay to tell him exactly how you feel.
When you pray for a promotion but don’t get it, when a loved one walks out of your life, or when you get the dreaded call saying, “It’s cancer,” you can tell God how you feel. You can say, “I’m mad. I’m upset. I’m frustrated.” God can handle your complaints, questions, fear, and grief. God’s love for you is bigger than all your emotions.
My kids know I love them. They know I have more experience than they have because I’ve been on this planet longer. But my children sometimes question my judgment. Still, I’d rather have an honest, gut-level conversation with them than have them stuff their frustration and disappointment inside.
God is the same way! He would rather you wrestle with him in anger than walk away in detached apathy.
When tragedy strikes, you don’t have to grin and bear it. Instead, go to your heavenly Father with your pain. “Get up, cry out in the night, even as the night begins. Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord” (Lamentations 2:19 NCV).