Complaining to God

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

One day a parish priest was in his room, writing on a piece of paper, preparing for his Sunday homily when the care taker of the church came to him panicking, “Father come down right away to the church because there is a woman shouting to the Lord.  She’s yelling at the altar telling God, ‘Why have you not answered this and why have you answered that…”  When the priest went down to the church and saw what the woman was doing, he said, “What faith!  What intimacy she has with the Lord!”

Regina Brett, the author of the best-selling book, “God Never Blinks” says, “It’s ok to get angry with God at times, He can take it.  God wants a real, authentic relationship with us, the same kind of openness and honesty in a good marriage.”  It’s ok to complain to God for we are His children and children do complain at times to their parents, if they feel unfairly punished or their requests have not been answered.  His beloved Son Jesus Christ not only complained but protested in His great agony on the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46)

In the book of Regina Brett, a story narrates how his friend priest Fr. Jim Lewis vented his frustration to God.  Fr. Jim was struggling with the new job he was given by his superior general.  He hated his new assignment to say the least.  He tried accepting it with holy obedience but he was still miserable.  He tried to pray with gratitude but did not have any.  He tried to play God’s happy simple servant, but it wasn’t working.  Finally, one day he broke.  He went to the chapel alone, vented his displeasure towards God saying, “Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.”  He said the same prayer every day until it was out of his system.  Once the anger was gone, there was room for something else.  Peace.  The slate was clean.  Now God could write on it.

Job who complained to God for his sufferings, was more pleasing to God than his three friends who blamed Job for his ordeal as a punishment for his sins and these three guys even defended God.  But why was Job more pleasing to God even though he grumbled against God?  Because Job talked to God whereas his three friends just talked about God, but they never talked to Him.  God prefers that we talk to Him even complaining to Him rather than ignore Him or be indifferent to Him as if He does not exist.

St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, cried bitterly in a chapel when he received the news by phone of the death of his mother, complaining to God that He has taken everything away from him.  The mother of St. Josemaria Escriva was instrumental in starting Opus Dei who took care of the domestic needs of the first study center where the apostolate of Opus Dei would take place and her loss was a big setback to the mission.  St. Josemaria Escriva later on was comforted by God with his sorrow with the passing of his mother by making St. Josemaria understand that his mother was already in heaven.  St. Josemaria ended up saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God during the burial.

We too will end up thanking God for everything, even with the very things we have complained to Him, because He will make us see that everything is for our own good. Because “everything is grace” as St. Therese of the Child Jesus would say.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)