I Blame God…

Grief

I love getting comments on my posts from those who happen across my blog.  Just recently a reader left a comment in response to an earlier post about how he does blame God for his singleness.  Seeing as there may well be a lot of you out there who may overtly or covertly feel the same way, I thought that it might be a useful thing to talk about again.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. Psalm 31:9 (ESV)

All of us at one time or another throughout our lives have been horribly disappointed or monumentally let down.  This does seem to be the nature of humanity:  to at some time in our lives passionately hope for something only to be eventually disappointed.  Perhaps it’s because of what we hope for, or how we express our hopes, or how persistently we cling to them against all odds that makes the disappoint in the end so intense.  I am confident that we all have, or will, have this happen to us at some point in our lives.

Now, there are 2 basic responses to disappointment:  1).  camping out at that point of disappointment and making the rest of your life about that issue, or 2).  mourning the loss of that particular hope and then moving on.

Sometimes the intesity of the hope lost precludes ones ability to move on.  You feel compelled to stay in that place of disappointment, circling it, staring at it, grieving it, wishing that it had worked out differently, creating worlds in your mind where it did work out differently.  Mourning the loss of a hope or expectation is natural and, should I even say, healthy.  I think a problem arises, though, when we refuse to let it go.  When after a while the grieving becomes a habit that we are unwilling to give up, when we literally get STUCK in this place of disappointment and sacrifice our future to mourning this lost hope.

At that point it almost seems like we WANT to be stuck in our sorrow.  That we want to warn all that pass of the vanity and futility of hope.  Is this a ‘dog in a manger type response’ (eg. if I can’t have happiness neither can you) or do we really think that hope is dangerous and best avoided?

C.S. Lewis published a little book called A Grief Observed.  In it are journal entries from the early days after he lost his wife to cancer.  Now, as I understand it, Lewis never really wanted to get married but fell into it to help a young lady and her children.  He fell in love with her though and was heart broken when she died.  Imagine his grief–he was a happy confirmed bachelor who was ‘dragged’ into marriage, discovered an unexpected joy in it, then loses it again.

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Tennyson

Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?  I do not know.  I sit firmly in the camp of those who have ‘never loved at all’ so I will have to let you read Lewis’ book, consider your own experience and come up with your own opinion on the matter.

I think that the important point to make here is that if you have been seriously disappointed in your life, being single when you dream of marriage, being alone when you dream of togetherness, being solo when all you want is a duo, remember this:  if you stay stuck in the mire of your dead hopes things will never change.  If you insist on camping out at that spot of disappointment, whatever you think of God, you will always be there, surrounded by your broken dreams and sorrows, and you will never fulfill any of your other potential.  Unless you take courage and walk out the front door you will always be looking at the same four walls.

It does take courage to walk out that door, to move on.  Especially if you’ve been stuck for some years.  To move on means that you might be disappointed again, your hopes might be shattered again.  But, then again you might find a promise fulfilled or joy in a different place than you expected.  When you move on, instead of your lost hope being a weight around your neck, it can become an extra bit of character that gives you strength and courage and that will help you to stand strong–‘I went through pain and suffering but I made it through,’ or ‘it didn’t come to STAY, it came to PASS.’

We do not need to be stuck in our sorrow.  We can choose to move on.  And we will see things that we never expected and may even find joy in that which brought us the most sorrow.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

Blame

To BLAME:  Assign responsibility for a fault or wrong. (from Google)

It is my impression that no one is responsible for any action today–it seems to always be someone else’s fault.  I feel bad for the guy on the bottom of any totem pole because when it comes to passing the blame buck he has no one else to pass it on to!

You can’t blame gravity for falling in love. Albert Einstein

Passing or assigning blame has become an epidemic in our society and perhaps around the world and I suppose this is because there are consequences that have to be meted out in certain circumstances.

But really, why can’t we stop wasting our time passing blame?

Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. John F. Kennedy
People blame God for all sorts of things today, from mosquito bites to death and mayhem.  I used to blame God for my being single.  I thought if God is in control and all powerful, then how come He put me in a world that seems to rotate around couples and He hasn’t given me the chance to be in a ‘couple’?  This does bring up a few interesting points.  Firstly, the view of the world on singles and non-singles (this we will deal with in a future post).  Secondly, what did I mean by “if God is in control”?  Obviously, I was dealing with doubts about more than my singleness at that point!  (I’m better now…well, a work in progress!).Thirdly, though, and really the point of this post:  blame refers to assigning responsibility for a fault or wrong, according to Google, but what fault or wrong is there in me being single?  As mentioned before, we are single because this is God’s best for us.  How can there be a fault or a wrong in that?  Would we prefer not to have the best?  Would we prefer to have what we want rather than what God knows is for our own good?

Hmmm…good questions…

The beauty of our position is that God gives us the freedom of choice.  It is up to us.  Will we follow Him and be content and confident in where He leads, or will we take the steering wheel into our own hands and dictate our own direction? The beauty and the responsibility of our position…

Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions … Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.  Freidrich Hayek

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God truly does have your best interest at heart!  If you don’t believe this or if you still want to blame God, perhaps you’re dealing with doubt as I did.  Doubt is not a bad thing necessarily. It can challenge you, stretch you and grow you into a stronger Christian. But you must deal with this doubt or it will grow into something disturbing–bitterness. How to do this? Dig deeply into the Bible. Cry out to God–ask Him to reveal Himself in your life.  Talk to other Christians that you respect.  Find the answer to these doubts and squash the bitterness!

We have the choice to trust God or to trust our own judgement–this choice is indeed our responsibility and we can assign no blame to anyone but ourselves for the outcome.