Coping with Anger at God During the Global COVID-19 Outbreak
This year started very strong for me. I decided late last year to develop a closer relationship with God.
I started almost each day of 2020 with Bible readings, prayer, devotions and other moments in silence with God. Each Sunday night, I watched Bishop T.D Jakes’s sermons without fail on YouTube.
I was in love with my newfound faithful intimacy with Christ and all the new mental downloads I was receiving from the Holy Spirit, them BOOM… like a bomb from the heavens came the COVID-19 outbreak.
I noticed, thereafter, that my early morning chats with God became reading every article possible about overnight developments concerning the virus.
I started reading the Bible a lot less and once I heard T.D Jakes’s first sermon on the COVID-19, I became disheartened and stopped watching his Sunday virtual messages completely.
I noticed the change, but I said to myself that this was only a ‘little break’. I needed to freshen my palate, similar to one sniffing coffee grounds in a perfume shop; read and listen to something outside of the Word of God, then come back to it refreshed.
What was most odd, whenever I tried to pray, I noticed that my voice would crack and I couldn’t really finish a complete sentence without feeling something.
Something was an unnamed emotion I repressed, because I didn’t have the emotional strength to deal with it at the moment.
Then this Tuesday, when I became tried of listening to Prince/Michael Jackson/Beyonce every morning before work (my new coping mechanism) I decided to finally relent and listen to T.D Jakes’s newest sermon.
The sermon is entitled Strange Tears and it is about those prayers that God sometimes doesn’t answer.
The sermon’s focus is on how Jesus lingered in helping his friends Mary and Martha when Jesus’s dear friend and their only brother, Lazarus, became deathly ill.
The sister duo called for Jesus to come hurriedly and heal their brother, but Jesus lingered around the town that he was visiting. Jesus did not come to aid Lazarus until it was too late- until the man had been dead three days (John 11: 18, 30, 32, 38).
Mary and Martha were livid when they finally saw Jesus-as any human would be.
Jakes went on to preach about being angry at God when we face circumstances like these. Circumstances where God doesn’t come in a hurry, and it seems like He is leaving us to burn in a living hell.
As I listened to the sermon, something strange overcame me. Next thing I knew, I was sobbing uncontrollably.
I finally had a name for this emotion that I tried so desperately to suppress- I was mad at God.
As a matter of fact, I was mad at a number of things:
- -Mad that COVID-19 is sweeping the globe over and many are dying daily.
- Mad that children can no longer attend school and many kids are missing out on free meals.
- Mad that a local child was hit by a car, midmorning. If she was safe at school, she would still be alive.
- Mad that many children are home alone, left without access to education, unattended, and hungry.
- -Mad that health care professions are risking their lives just by going to work
- -Mad that our world leader is spreading dangerous, unresearched information.
- -Mad that many people are without jobs and can not eat or pay their bills because they work at non-essential businesses
- -Mad that many people are dying alone in hospitals and nursing homes.
- -Mad that there are so few healthcare professionals, supplies, and ventilators, therefore many are dying unnecessarily.
- -Mad that many people will not stay at home and try to keep others safe.
- – Mad that older people without loving families must go to grocery stores and risk their lives for food, drugs, and other essential items.
- – Mad that I’m having anxiety attacks everyday before work, because I am so exposed in a branch of healthcare, it is quite possible that I get the virus and die too.
More than anything I was mad at God because I felt that He could and should put a stop to all this global distress NOW. Even more than that I was conversely disappointed in myself, because I had come so far in my relationship with God that I didn’t want to set myself eons back by being angry with Him, again.
This was a poignant and very raw moment for me, but Jakes’ sermon marched on.
Jakes explained that sure we have those moments of anger at God, but each of those moments are set-ups for a major blessing and a comeback.
Jesus allowed Lazarus of Bethany to die so he could be raised again. Also, Lazarus death set in motion Christ’s own crucifixion. Through Jesus’s extreme act of love, we have everlasting life (John 3:16).
This stream of thought made me ponder. Is this modern moment of peril the darkness before day?
It’s quite possible that this whole pandemic is a setup for global greatness. The land will became free of pollution with less cars on the road, essential businesses like grocers will offer raises to low-paid employees, parents will take more responsibility for their children’s education, families will become closer to cope with hard times, communities will become more generous, and next election a better official will be elected into office.
Another thought occurred to me, God can take my anger. Intimacy with God, as in any other relationship, is comprised of expressing true feelings.
No relationship is without the occasion burst of anger and God wants our truth. He can handle me when I am in love with Him and when I am angry at Him, equally. He doesn’t want me to hide my emotions by giving Him “the silent treatment”. He wants me to express disappointment so that in his loving ways, He can reveal to me His will and heal my broken heart.
I know I’m not alone in this venture. Many people right now are confused and/or angry with God, but we must understand that the epicenter of His being is love. Even when we suffer, it is never without reason.
If you are reading this and your pockets are getting low, your kids are home and wrecking your nerves, you don’t know how you are going to feed your family or pay your next bill, your loved one is dying or has died, understand that God has a plan.
God promised us that he would NEVER leave or forsake us (Deu. 31:6), this pandemic is a setup for something greater than we understand with our current wisdom.
Let your manner of living be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. For He hath said. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, Hebrew 13:5.
Just as Lazarus died so that he could be resurrected, Christ was crucified so that we might have life in abundance and life everlasting (John 10:10/ John 3:16). This moment in time is the weeping of the night before the joy of the morning.
Express to God your sorrows, then allow him to dry your tears. He loves us even when it doesn’t feel like it and his plan and foresight is beyond our limited understanding.
Trust God, lay your anger and cares at his feet and be assured that he will cradle you in his arms, shadow you under his wings, and be your provision in the mist of this terrible storm.
Hold on tight, Joy is coming in the morning.
For his anger endureth but a moment; His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5
Listen to Bishop TD Jakes sermon above and be inspired. Comment below your feeling during this trying time in human history, also leave any prayer request below so that we might pray, one for another.