Prayer When God Disappoints?
Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
Over the last few weeks, my reflections have been on prayer, specifically prayer in times of various sufferings. Perhaps no suffering is more acute to the believer in God than when God disappoints. You eagerly decide to lead a ministry, but that ministry feels fruitless and zaps every ounce of energy you have. God disappoints. You believe God has called you to marry someone, but the marriage is more hardship than joy. God disappoints. You want to bless people around you, but you have little to no financial or other resources. God disappoints.
It is easy in these moments to become disillusioned, numbed, or even disturbed. What makes these moments worse is that the sweet, obvious presence of God that seemed so normal, for so long, has, in all appearances, gone away. God disappoints and He seems not to listen. This is the case for the David as he began Psalm 22 and, of course, these words are adopted by Jesus Himself when He cried in dereliction on the cross. Now Psalm 22 ends well and the cross ends in resurrection, but let's not go too fast.
There are times where the void, the difficulty, feels impossible. It seems like the story of Jesus and David were for different times and different people. Yet, what I want to suggest to you is that this Psalm shows us a simple truth about communion with God--that we should go to Him even when we are angry with Him!
We do not relate to others like this. Someone hurts you, you recoil from them and bury deep resentment. Someone more powerful than you does you wrong, you do not boldly go to them, but feel threatened by them. Yet over and over again, those in Scripture that seem most injured by God yet love Him go to Him in their disappointment. They know He is the only place to go. One of the beautiful truths about God as He reveals Himself is that He expects His people to go to Him in their good and their bad, in their praise and even in their anger towards Him. God is neither threatened by you nor will He allow the pretense that hiding frustration is better than approaching Him with it. I know far too many people that have learned wrongly that we are never to talk to God with frustration--but I believe that is a mistake. God wants to hear us and be our dearest friend. Dear friends hear us when we are hurt, and so it is with God. If you are disappointed with God, go to Him. That is the only place to go.