NaNoWriMo Part 13: Forgiving God

Posted: November 13, 2017 in books
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Well friends, I just went over 30,000 words in this project in 13 days, all while doing other things. Yes, I know my schedule is a little more flexible than most, but this has also been one of the busiest seasons of recent years. I share this only for this reason. You can find time to write. You might have to fit it in here and there but with a little planning and preparation, you can do what you really feel led to do.

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Some of you need to forgive God. I can almost hear your blasphemy detectors going off from here. You’re thinking, “How can he say that? God is perfect. God never sins. God never does anything wrong.” By the way, I agree with every one of those things, so let me ask a follow up question. They why are you mad at him. Because many people are. I know I was.

When I was forty years old, I was pastoring a church plant and I was working like crazy. The church couldn’t sustain my income so I was what they call bivocational. As a little aside, my spell check always highlights that word. Maybe for good reason. Bivocational should be temporary. The workman is worthy of his hire, but I digress. Bivocational was my reality. I worked all day at a day job, and spent most of my remaining time working on the church. I would get up early and go to bed late and it took it’s toll. One day, after having been sick for a few days, I began having pains in my chest. I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t excruciating, but it was Saturday, and I was supposed to go on a lengthy trip the following Monday, so I decided to go to the E.R. to get checked out. I figured I would get some meds, go home and take them and be ready for my trip. My symptoms were so mild, I was shocked when they said, “Mr. Weiss, do you realize you’re having a heart attack?” “I do now!” I thought.

As they rushed around, figuring out how to keep me from going into a much worse situation, I got more and more scared. Then conflicting voices came into the back of my head. I heard the voice of a woman years before who questioned the salvation of a friend because in the midst of an illness, she feared death. That voice put questions in my head “Is there something wrong with my faith?” “Am I really saved?” I heard all kinds of other stuff, guilt and condemnation. I thought of my sons. My oldest was just about to be married, would I live to see the wedding. My youngest was ten, who would care for him, and what would happen if I died.” Fear and anxiety were manifesting in big ways and then a new emotion came—anger. I would have understood all of this that I was going through back in the day when I was mistreating my body with alcohol, but now I was working hard for the Lord, and how could he let this happen to me?

Theologians call it the retribution principle and it’s really easy to fall into. The basic idea is good people deserve good and bad people deserve bad, and in my mind at that moment, God was unjust. I didn’t deserve this. Right now theologians want to scream at me, so let me just be clear. My rational mind know that the retribution principle doesn’t always work in the Kingdom. I also know that Jesus came so that we would not get what we deserve and further I know that God is good regardless of what happens. My rational mind knows all of that stuff, but at that moment I was not rational. I was sad scared and mad and it took a long time to get over all of them. I felt like God had let me down. Pair that with a medication, that was causing my surface chest muscles to tighten at the slightest provocation and you get the idea. It was a really bad time for me. I was mad at God and I was trying to pastor a church while I sorted it out. Not an easy thing to do.

And then one day, it broke. I realized I couldn’t go on like that anymore, something had to give so I did something that seemed ridiculous even to me in that state of mind. I forgave God. Now to be clear, I knew He didn’t need my forgiveness. I knew in my heart all of this was actually my problem. but I went to God in prayer and said something to the effect of, “I don’t know why you left this happen, but there’s a wall between us and I’m pretty sure I put it there. God I still love you. I still trust you, even if it doesn’t look like it and I know you don’t need it, but I don’t know what else to do, but I forgive you.” That was when the healing really began. In my spirit, I began to hear the still small voice of God. He was saying things like “David, did I ask you to work that hard? No, I didn’t. That was you. Did I tell you you couldn’t rest? No, I didn’t. That was you.Who asked you to work like it all depends on you? It wasn’t me. It doesn’t all depend on you. It depends on me and you depend on me.” He took me through my questions. He reminded me that as much as I love my sons, He loves them more and that He can be depended on to take care of them better than I can and when it was done there was one last thing to do. I needed to ask God to forgive me, which was kind of the point all along.

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