I have a lot of resentment. Ehhhh, that doesn’t feel all that great to put out into the world. I’ve been going to counseling to sift through the reasoning behind my tendency to get angry and resentful in situations that don’t really call for those feelings.
For the last seven years or so, I have been angry. So, when I watched a performance of the way that Jesus protects us and so badly wants to save us from the hurt of this world, solely because of how much He loves us, my instinct was to get angry. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, right? I was frustrated that He would stand in front of me and protect me when I hadn’t earned that right.
I tend to resort to resentment instead of confronting my feelings, which in this case are me not feeling good enough, feeling like I’m too much and not enough, feeling like I’m not worthy of God’s love and presence. So, in this case, I guess I am been experiencing anger with God for the way He loves me so much. The way that before I had even made any mistakes, He had already forgiven me. Before I had even spoke or wrote one word to Him, He loved me more than anyone else ever could. I’ve taken so much pride in my life for being deserving of what I’ve received. I felt dirty because I didn’t earn it. I didn’t earn this love.
Even though I was stuck in the muck of this self-deprecating circle of thoughts, all I could think of when I was at the heart of this was nothing can separate me from the love of God. Sometimes, I don’t necessarily feel like that is the truth, but I turn back to this verse that I had to memorize in training to be a Young Life leader. When I get angry, I’d like to think God reminds me of that truth.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 37-19 NIV).
My questioning His love doesn’t scare Him away. My anger with Him does not scare Him away. He knows my thoughts. He’s not confused. He hurts with me.
Although the center of my being felt shaky, I felt it. I felt that sense of calm that makes no sense. I felt our Dad from above trying to tell me that it was okay. That although I am frustrated, He isn’t going anywhere. Wow.
Sit, close your eyes, and picture that no matter how hard you fight, how hard you scream, all the trip ups, all of the words you say but didn’t mean, He’s here. And here for good.
He isn’t going anywhere.
words by Ashley Jesus and photo by Leah Van Otterloo