Anger disguises hurt. Hurt camouflages fear. Fear breeds mistrust. Mistrust kills faith. Layers. Humans use layers to protect themselves from pain. These defenses are exposed when the rug is pulled out from under us. Before then, our illusion of control remains intact. It is when we feel out of control that we see what is really in our hearts because the pressure squeezes us.
Mistrust says someone is to blame. Fear says withdraw, pull away. Hurt says hide from the pain. Anger says I want control. A wound sends alarms off in the brain. The brain responds with these emotions. Different people react differently, but ultimately the truth is God’s character is what is under attack. Sort through all the details, whatever they may be, and the bottom line is the question, “Is God trustworthy?” We wrestle with the answer to that question over all. Sometimes, we do not see the question, but it is there, if we are honest, under the emotion.
When life is out of control, and we realize it, we scramble to put the pieces back together in a way that makes sense to us. It is in that window while we are still trying to catch our breath, before we get our grasp back, that God does the most work. We are at our lowest and most dependent on him. You see, the core of faith means that we believe God is trustworthy. We say it, but in times of trial, we must decide if we believe it. The attack comes and we are afraid, because his trustworthiness is in question. However, we must remember that he is not surprised by our trial. He knew and allowed it. My guess is that he wants us to answer the questions that he raises in our minds. That is the heart of the matter. Is God good? Is he really in control? Can a man interfere with the plans of God? Am I safe from heartache? Does he really work ALL things for good? All of these questions rise up to equal one big question…IF THIS TERRIBLE THING CAN HAPPEN, CAN I STILL TRUST GOD?
If we do not see the questions, we lash out at those around us. We hide and withdraw from relationships. We gossip and slander others to try to regain a sense of control. We fight. Rather than seeking the truth, we settle for falsehood. The truth is that if we use our emotions as warning flags, we can see beyond them to the heart of the question God is asking us as individuals. That is why he allows trials to begin with, to challenge us into being honest with him. No pat cliché answers will work when you are in a storm. If they do, you are not looking deep enough. Ask him to show you the root of your emotions in the midst of traumatic circumstance. He will do it. He is faithful to deal honestly and truthfully with your heart. When he does, your faith will rise up past the anger, hurt, fear and mistrust. It will bring hope to a difficult situation and, more importantly, your heart.