When was the last time you fought with God? When's the last time you really had it out? I don't know about you, but fighting with God doesn't sit well with me. First of all, I don't like fights I can't win. Given God's obvious omnipotence, it seems like it's my job to just take what he gives and deal with the rest. And isn't that what most of us do? We take something hard and we try to find a way to live with it. We may blame others for our struggles or we may blame ourselves. We look for ways to correct it on our own and we cut God out of it because it's a fight we know we can't win.
But what if the reason for fighting with God isn't about winning or getting our way, but about something that our hearts need even more? What if we choose to fight with God because we love him? What if we do the hard work of resolving conflict because that's what people in relationship do?
Fighting with purpose
There is no one who can get me more angry than my husband. Why do I get so mad? Because it is important to me that I feel known and understood by him. Whenever we are out of step in a way that makes me feel undervalued or disregarded, I want to fight. But the fight isn't for the purpose of being right (Okay, sometimes it's about being right . . . ). A good fight is for the purpose of being heard. A good fight is because I want to be back in sync. I want to live in oneness with my husband, where I know he hears me, he understands me, and he loves me. And if I'm really honest, those things are more important than whatever "thing" it is that I want him to fix.
Apply that same logic to your relationship with God. Sometimes we're angry at God because we aren't getting our way. We feel he hasn't held up his part of the deal. We want to get away from him. Perhaps we believed that life would look trouble-free because of him. So we distance ourselves because we feel like he's let us down.
If that's you right now, then that's an honest place to be. Getting as specific as you can about what you think God was supposed to be or do for you is the very first step. If you feel like God has let you down, try to write it out. What specifically do you think he's supposed to make happen? And what is the hoped-for outcome of that action? Usually, our thoughts end in something like "and that will make me happy," or "and that's what I want." Getting honest and specific like this will help you identify the condition by which you feel loved.
Nicole Unice is a TCW regular contributor. Nicole is on the ministry staff of Hope Church and author of She's Got Issues. She writes for a variety of magazines and speaks nationwide at retreats and leadership events. Nicole and her husband Dave have three children. You can find her blogging about honest living at NicoleUnice.com.