Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Asking Myself: Have you ever felt resentful, angry, or afraid of God?

This is the 31st post in my series "Asking Myself," in which I weekly ponder one question posed in Teresa Blythe's excellent book, 50 Ways to Pray. You can find the start of the series here and last week's post here. The first nine posts focused on theological musings, while posts 10 to 25 prayerfully consider the specific questions Jesus posed in the New Testament. Posts 26 to present focus on Questions on Spirituality.

Q: Have you ever felt resentful, angry or afraid of God?

I wanted to write about anger and resentment because I have a ready wellspring of life episodes that fit this category of my dynamic relationship with God. But, I realized, all of them were deeply personal; writing about them on the internet just didn't seem safe or fair to the other people intertwined in these moments.

So, I moved on to my third choice-- a time when I feared God. I touched on the topic of fear a couple of posts ago. But this time I want to tell a story of fearing God--- or maybe, more precisely, of fearing because I didn't trust God's goodness. I feared that God's will would not be for my own good. 

Winter in Taiwan, 2002.

Taipei winters are wet and breezy. Sometimes typhoony. Sometimes with earthquakes. Clouds and pollution settle on the city's mountain-rimmed basin. Fist-sized snails suction themselves to the palm trunks, and the geckos come inside. (I add these latter details not to creep you out, but because I'm actually very fond of both geckos and giant snails. I digress.) The main trouble with Taipei's winter and the 24-year-old version of me was that I was damp and bone-chilled and tense and allergic and asthmatic and covered in eczema, and having diarrhea 8 times a day. I was also prone to nightly anxiety attacks.