I had an argument with God recently, a full foot stomping tantrum. I’ve never done that before but I was awash in feelings of frustration and annoyance.
I wanted to know why, as I follow what I think he is showing me and calling me to do, is it sometimes such a heartache. Why do I feel sometimes like I am wading through mud, why is it that I always feel like I’m on the outside looking in wherever I go, will there ever be a place where I feel at home. I finished with threatening to walk away, from my new role, from church, leaving my pierced heart at the vestry door and throwing away the key.
The day after, still embracing my stubbornness my mind remained silent, I was giving God the silent treatment, how childish of me!!!!!! I picked up my phone and mindlessly opened Facebook, the first post on my timeline was something shared by a very secular friend from a women’s ordination support group. Nice try I thought, and I continued my day off to uni. I could not concentrate, the lecture was long and dull, and yet a nagging feeling to share my thoughts on how I was feeling was building to an almost annoying crescendo. One long garbled email later I felt better. I still was sulking with God, but I felt brighter.
Throughout the day he prodded me, until I finally gave up in Marks and Spencer’s food hall. I felt exhausted and as I stood gazing over at the bread counter I heard the music from a speaker above me booming “you’ve got a friend in Jesus”.
I laughed and smiled.
I was reading a book this morning “To be a pilgrim” by Basil Hume that sparked off the memory of my tantrum with God. A passage really hit home with me with how I’d been feeling, in the section “As we climb the mountain” Hulme describes Elijah on the run from his pursuers growing weary, not just physically but through the burden of life. He calls out “Lord, I have had enough” and goes to sleep. As he slept an angel touched him and told him to eat the food that was there for him. He eventually got up and ate, and it sustained him for forty days and nights.
How amazing that God comes with a message when we need it and brings us nourishment. I hadn’t planned to come to communion on Wednesday this week but God was certain that I should go, I asked him if I needed to because I was overwhelmed with uni work, but he said go.
So I went and found I was able to be Lay assistant for the first time. As I stood their feeling so very humbled that I could assist in this way I realised that here was my nourishment sent from God, enough to fuel me and keep me going through all the ups and downs.
“From time to time we feel like the prophet Elijah. The temptation is to lie down and sleep, protected by that sleep from getting too involved in the life of the church, or so downcast and overburdened by difficulties of life that I can go on no further. There is always a messenger from God, an angel to nudge us: ‘Eat and drink. Receive the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, for there is the food which will help you to walk forty days and nights, and more to the mountain of God” (Hume.1984.p41)