When prayers turn to screams

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I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted to heaven, but my soul was not comforted. Psalm 77:1-2

There are times when life is seamless. When all the chips fall into place, and all the requests uttered to our Father are granted. Each day feels like a smooth sail into the Promised Land.

But, there are those other times when that sailboat begins to take a turn into stormy seas.  Each day is more like swimming in a raging current without a life vest. The ride is bumpy. You are pretty sure you are going to drown, and there seems to be no one coming to rescue you.

I have had too many of these moments. The desperately keeping myself from drowning clutching to a useless life vest moments.

It is in these moments I want to scream at God. Sometimes in my choked-out, sobbing prayers…I actually do. I scream out in anger, because I feel like He has left me. I scream out in pain, because I don’t understand why I am constantly the one who is hurt for doing His will. I scream out in confusion, because I thought I did what He had asked.

My cries often sound a lot like this:

If you are so loving, and you care so much, Lord…why are you leaving me here like this? Why are you letting me stay here in this storm saying nothing?

I want to believe He can make something out of this mess. That from the screams, the sobs, the hurt, ache, and pain. All that makes life bumpy, that something beautiful can grow.

My God, My God, Why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:1-3

I’m David in hiding when my storms rage. I’m filled with tangled emotions, moving between praise and cursing. Moving between surrender and wanting to give up.

But, the good news? The great news? Is that God can handle all these emotions.

Because, let’s face it. This world can’t. If I am being honest, our feelings and emotions as Christians scare others. Messy people scare us. We praise over our woes, and give pat answers, instead of digging trenches and sitting with someone else in their messy place. We, as flawed humans, just can’t handle our all over the place messes. So, we leave those messes in the storm clinging to a life vest. Steer clear. Either don’t express any emotion, or leave the ones who do feeling lonely.

We are all messes. Dealing with life’s many storms. Hoping someone will throw us a life vest.

God can handle us at our screaming worst. He hears us when our prayers are nothing but choking sobs.

He offers us grace even when we may be angry at him. Throwing us a vest while the storms rage. Encouraging us to hold on a while longer, even when we become to much for the world to handle.

He will hear us. Even when our prayers turn to angry, sobbing screams.

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