(September 1, 2007)

No, we didn’t get angry at our Living Room group yesterday. We only discussed anger. Anger with God in particular.

The discussion started with the question, “Do you ever feel angry or frustrated with God for your suffering with mood disorder?” Some people did feel that way and we talked a bit about how such frustration, if we hang on to it for too long, will lead to bitterness and separation from God.

We talked about Job and how he riled against God and asked God to explain why he allowed such terrible things to happen to him. But God answered him “…out of the storm…I will question you, and you shall answer me.” (Job 38:1-3). In other words, it’s not our place to question God; it’s the other way around. In Job 38:4 – 41:34 the most beautiful poetry follows with God expressing how awesome he truly is. God does so in a long series of powerful rhetorical questions: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?…Who marked off its dimensions?…” And in 42:5-6, Job replies, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. (so vivid is the picture God paints) Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Looking at the Psalms we saw how David was frequently frustrated with God. But in almost all cases, he doesn’t stay there. At the end of his lamentations, he turns to expressions of hope and praise. We played a song by Brian Doerksen based on Psalm 13 – a beautifully sensitive prayer that I think touched us all deeply.

Our conclusion? It’s often difficult to trust God when we’re in the midst of depression. Sometimes the best thing to do is to turn to a Christian friend who we trust, a friend who will have faith for us until we recover.