That period of time may have lasted about a year or so, but the amount of time isn’t that important. What I really want to tell you is how I got there. I am not one to blame God for things…well actually I take that back. Thinking about it now I recall how I did have a tendency to assume God was punishing me if anything went wrong, be it cat dying or anything else, before learning more about God’s love for me. But even back then I viewed it as punishment justly deserved, not something worth getting mad at God for - unlike this time.
I lost someone who was a father figure to me, not to death, but it was a loss all the same. And it is normal to grieve over such things. However I noticed some of the logic fellow believers seem to present at such times isn’t very helpful. For example, let’s say someone you love very much died and you don’t know why. And while you are there questioning what happened and how things could have been different someone walks up to you and tells you some random guy down the street killed him or her because he wanted to have a closer relationship with you and thought this was a good way to get your attention. Now, would that make you want to get to know this person more, or at all? Isn’t it more likely that even if you did know this person before, you would not want anything to do with them?
Obviously if you are a normal human, being told that you lost someone you love because someone killed them out of jealousy or something would not be an incentive to start a relationship with the person who did it or maintain what little relationship you did have with the killer beforehand. So why it is that well meaning believers seem to think telling grieving people that their pain (whatever that pain maybe) is God’s plan and a way of getting closer to them is a good idea? Even if God can use it to bring about some good (and I am sure God can) I think we need to be very careful about spiritualizing situations especially painful ones. We need to learn from Job’s friends in the Bible that not everything bad is because the person’s relationship with God wasn’t right.
The advice Job’s friends circled around insisting bad things happened because his relationship with God was not good enough. Yet despite God rebuking them for it and saying “...‘My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.’” Job 42:7 this still seems popular among believers despite this warning. What did Job’s correct words say? Job’s words showed that the notion that it is correct to assume God is behind all pain and that all things would be well if you are close to God is not true. It is okay to grieve. Even if sometimes our own wrongs have led to pain which may be true in some cases “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1 there is a time and place to say such things and if your timing is off things can go wrong.
You can greatly harm someone’s picture of God by bringing God into everything bad that happens. We may like to assume bad things only happen if are not good enough because that gives us a false sense of certainly that we can avoid suffering if we do everything right. But believers must not be delusional and promote that as Biblical when it isn’t true; sometimes people make mistakes and sometimes things just happen. I know some people may have pressure to “fix” grief, but grief itself is not a sin that needs fixing. Due to people’s well meaning perhaps but poor timing of trying to bring God’s “will” into my grief like Job’s friends by telling me that in my loss I was increasingly trusting God as a father I was upset and blamed God for my father figure leaving rather than seeing God as good.
I didn’t want a sick God that would go on some ego trip and hurt me because he is jealous of my father figure and wanted to be one instead. What helped was when an old and wise Jewish lady said (during a casual live chat online so spelling isn’t as polished as normal) “God IS your father, not just wanting to be your father. You r HIS by creation and redemption…U r like a baby cat trying to nurse from a duck and screaming at your cat mother why r u taking my duck mother away, and the duck…says I am out of here…” I won’t say I immediately reattached myself to God, but I did start to rethink my anger.
It is true, humans are nice but they can’t provide for my needs the way God can and too often with human relationships all you may need up with in the end is a mouth full of feathers (especially if you are trying to get them to fill a need they can’t meet) and spiritually starving myself out of spite by rejecting the one being that could help me who was not in fact responsible for the choices of others made no sense. “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23