I figured that some day I would write a follow-up to I Hate God | An Ugly Truth – you know, something to resolve the tension, whenever God revealed it to me. But, well, I’m beginning to think I may need more than one follow-up. Maybe a Part II and a Part III? So for now, here’s Part II:
Have you ever hated someone you love? Been so angry with them that you seethe with rage? No? Are you sure?
What about your spouse after a terrible fight? A boyfriend or girlfriend? A friend? No?
Well, what about your parents? Surely, there’s a time in your life that you can remember hating your parents. When you stormed into your bedroom, slammed the door, threw yourself face down onto your bed and screamed into the pillow, “I hate them! I hate them! I hate them!”
That’s what’s happening with God and me. I’m angry – albeit rip-roaring angry – like a child toward her parents.
It’s not that I don’t love Him. Though what is my love compared to His? Like a child, my love is a selfish love.
I love Him simply because He first loved me. First – as in once upon a time I was just an idea in His mind, a thought, a dream. I love Him because He is my Creator, because I need Him, because without Him I am nothing.
He is the artist that sketches and sculpts me. The One who’s coloring me in. I love. And I love Him. But it’s a pale, thin love. Like gold leaf, precious but weak.
So when I say I hate God, it’s not because I don’t love Him. And I don’t think it’s heresy either. It’s not false to confess that I hate God for what He’s allowed. It’s just the truth about my feelings. If anything, it’s an indictment against me, not God. An indictment against my frail, transparent, brittle love.
I take comfort in remembering that God is bigger – so much bigger – than my hatred. His love conquered the rebellion of the world on the cross. Surely, He can conquer me.
And that’s really what my hatred is about. It’s a war between the Lord and me. It’s the remnant of the most epic battle of all time: the battle between the Creator of the Universe and anything and anyone that opposes Him, the battle between good and evil. And every day, that battle rages in the universe, the world, between nations, between people, in my heart, my soul and in every single cell and atom of my body.
We are on the battlefield. And we are the battlefield.
My hatred for God may make you uncomfortable. Heck, it makes me uncomfortable. But war wounds a person. And some wounds fester. This place I’m in – of admitting to you and to me and to God that I hate Him – it’s the best thing I’ve done in years. Because I have finally opened a deadly, poisonous wound. Actually, I should say that I have finally let God open that wound, because He is the one who revealed the hatred. He is the one who exposed the condition of my heart. He’s known all along. I needed Him to show me.
And when I finally gave in to the fear and the denial and the rage, when I finally wailed and railed and beat my fists against His chest, He stood there. Steady. Unchanging. Unmovable. My hatred can’t move the unmovable Rock. My emotions, no matter how overwhelming, can’t shake the unshakable God.
Because He is Real. He is Reality itself.
And His love is Real. It isn’t pale or thin or fragile. His love, like Him, is solid, unshakable, unmovable.
If I want to enter into the Real, into the Reality that is His love, then I need to go through the painful process of letting God make me real. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, I’ve found myself worn and tattered and ugly and lacking. But I am becoming real. And someday, my love, like His, will be real too.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10