Today while I was driving from one appointment to another, I heard a radio interview that has really stayed with me. It featured a lady named Rebecca Alonzo, and she was telling the story of her childhood that is detailed in her new book, The Devil in Pew Number Seven. Her father was the pastor of a small church in North Carolina when she was a young child, and the thorn in his side was one of the men who attended his church, Mr. Watts. Mr. Watts had ruled the church and the town with an iron fist until the new pastor came to town, and began a campaign to get rid of him from the very beginning. When this didn't immediately happen, Mr. Watts began to stalk and harrass the family, to the point of bombing their house several times.
One day, Mr. Watts encouraged a neighbor to attack the pastor and his family, and on Easter Sunday, the neighbor walked in to the family dinner and shot Rebecca's parents. She was 7 years old. Her mother died immediately, and her father suffered injuries that ultimately led to his death a few years later. Rebecca went on to tell what happened after that, with her and her brother going to live with her aunt, the subsequent trial with minimal punishment, and her intense confusion and anger with God. It was a devastating story. But then she made this statement, "I got to the point where I realized I needed God MORE than I needed to be mad at God". Wow. I know many adults that never come to this realization, and their life circumstances aren't nearly as tragic. She was a teenager at the time, and has written this book in part to help others who find themselves in the same cycle of fear, anger, and confusion. Yes--bad things happen, even tragic things. Believers aren't immune to that. At all. And sometimes, just realizing that these things matter to God can make all the difference. No, they might not change the circumstances, but they can change the outlook.
It's OK to be angry about circumstances, and I think it is even OK to be angry at God. He understands and can handle it. But how tragic it is when a person stays in that place, and remains distant from God because of it.
"I got to the point where I realized I needed God MORE than I needed to be mad at God".
You can read more of Rebecca's story at http://www.thedevilinpewnumberseven.com/