The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Honest to God

Somewhere we've lost the searching, questioning part of our faith

"Lord, this stinks! I don't know why you put me here." After this volley, I laid into God for putting me into a frustrating and demoralizing situation. For 10 minutes I spewed forth what I had been holding inside. I hit God right between the eyes, and he didn't even blink. In fact, I think he asked for it.

How can I say that? Two reasons. First, when I finished lacing into the Almighty I felt drained but relieved. It was as if I had exhaled the bad air and could breathe freely again.

Second, in the Scriptures, Moses, David and Jeremiah--among others--demonstrate a stunning honesty with God. They not only offer praise to God that draws us to the heights but also doubts, questions and anger that show us the depths.

Somewhere we've lost the most honest, searching part of our faith that walks into God's presence and asks, "Why?" Too often our prayers, public and private, are saccharine, sanitized. When was the last time you heard your pastor publicly pray, "Where are you, Lord, and why did you let this happen to us?" That would raise eyebrows.

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