When Life Really Stinks, What Do You Yell at God?

'Very cool dark clouds' photo (c) 2007, Josh - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I don’t think it’s wrong to yell at God. After all, most of the Psalms are just David yelling at God. I think we read them wrong. We tend to read them in a pretty reading voice like this:

“O God, where are you? I am surrounded by enemies and pressed down, and I cry out to you.”

But I think David said it like this:

“O GOOOOOOOODDDDD!!!!! Where are YOU?!? !? I am SURROUNDED by ENEMIES here, God, and I’m pressed down!!!!!”

You know what I mean? And since God knows what we’re thinking anyway, we may as well be honest and yell it out.

There have been times in my life when I’ve yelled a lot at God. When my son was diagnosed with a terminal heart defect, I was devastated. I cried. And I yelled.

But one of the things that made me scared to yell too much was the idea that I might tick God off. And if there was any chance He was going to save Christopher, I had to be picture perfect and figure out what God was trying to teach me through this.

At some level, I thought that if I could just figure out what God was trying to say, then maybe the pain would go away. Maybe Christopher would get better. Maybe the grief would lessen.

What God showed me was that I was asking the wrong questions. I was making the whole thing about me, rather than about God. And I was misunderstanding the way that God works.

If you’re having trouble walking through suffering, or if you’ve ever cried out to God and tried to figure out how to appease Him, this might help. It’s an article I wrote about some of the things that I learned when I was walking through that really hard time. Is death a punishment? Is God really mad at me? If you’ve ever felt that, I hope that these words can help you see His love through whatever storm you’re going through.

Here’s a bit:

C.S. Lewis, after the death of his wife, remarked that grief felt a lot like fear. It was the same sickening pit in your stomach that precedes something truly awful. That’s what I felt, too. But what is it, exactly, that we’re afraid of? Facing the future alone? Forgetting? Or that this feeling will never end?

Perhaps it’s a combination of all of them. After Christopher’s death I was scared simultaneously of forgetting and of never being able to cope well again. During his illness and after his death I wailed many questions at God to try to make sense out of what was happening to me. In many ways, though, this quest was self-serving. I reasoned that if I could just find the reason for this storm, then it would stop. So I searched my repertoire of explanations for suffering in order to make sense of it. As I did so, these are the questions that vexed me.

How Big Is Your Umbrella: Weathering the Storms of Life, Second EditionYou can read the rest here. It’s based on my book How Big Is Your Umbrella? Weathering the Storms of Life. I hope it helps you, too!


  1. >I too think it’s ok to yell at God..I’ve been EXTREMELY MAD AT GOD….not understanding his plan drives me nuts….I yelled at him during my divorce and then with all the infertility crap…but just like a good friend….we patched things up and we’re best friends again.

  2. Dena @ Green Acres says:

    >I agree it’s ok to yello at him. He’s got big shoulders, he can take it. :)

  3. >Such a wonderful article you wrote! I’ve saved it for future reference.

    I too wanted to rail at God when our first born was terminally ill. I told our pastor I felt so guilty because all I wanted to do was yell at God. He told me, “Go ahead, God can take it and he understands.” I was so mad because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t heal my baby.

    I still don’t understand (23 years later!), but I trust that His plan makes sense….we just can’t see the whole thing as He can. We did turn to Him and I think that’s why our marriage survived the whole ordeal and several other stress filled (and joy filled) pregnancies.

  4. Growing in God's Grace says:

    >That article was so very encouraging. I always have people saying, when something bad is going on, “Well learn your lesson quick, so it can end.” That has messed me up for a long time. A friend and I were talking about it, and that’s when I realized that it’s not a true thought. Thank you so much for putting it into words I can’t always do myself. :)

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