While serving as a chaplain I remember visiting with a woman who had just had her second leg amputated.
She said, “I know God does everything for a reason, but…I just can’t figure this one out. I’m not mad at God. I just wish I knew why. He’s been good to me. He gave me a wonderful husband, and he has been so good to me through this whole time. Also I have a wonderful daughter. I just hate not being able to care for them right now. I cared for my father when he was sick. It’s just hard being here. I feel like God is punishing me.”
I asked her if she had prayed about it. She said, “I want to pray about it, but I can’t pray. I try but I just can’t seem to talk to God. I’m used to praying to God about everything.”
I responded, “What if I said that it is just fine to be angry at God. That if you were angry at God that he could handle that. God would not punish you for being angry at him. I wouldn’t blame you at all for being angry. I would be too.”
She asked very cautiously, “It’s ok to be angry at God?”
It turned out she was indeed angry at God. She prayed that God would save her leg and she still lost it. She had been blaming God for the loss of her legs, but in the process she had lost her relationship with God. It’s not that she ceased to believe in God or that she lost the salvation that God had given her.
She still couldn’t pray, but she allowed me to pray on her behalf expressing her questioning and her anger. As I prayed holding her hand her emotional being became like an iceberg breaking up. She was weeping and she starting praying along with me with “Yes, Lord”s and “Thank you , Lord”s. God’s Spirit came flooding into her.
When I visited her the next day she had a smile on her face and told me,”I had a good talk with God after you left and we are on speaking terms again. In the middle of the night I hollered out so loud at God that the nurses came running down the hall to ask if I needed help.”
She had all the help she needed.