By Kimberly Davidson

Imagine God pulling up a chair beside you. He looks straight into your eyes and says, “Let’s talk. Tell me what happened. I really want to hear your side of the story. I care.”

How secure do you feel about being brutally honest with God? (God already knows our hearts; see Psalm 139).

It’s okay for us to not be okay with what happened to us. Often, we need to confront or even forgive God, if we’re angry with Him. If we want to move forward with God, we need to get honest and ask Him the tough questions, expressing how we truly feel. Injustices are all around us, and they’re not going away. If we’re to have an honest relationship with God, we can cry out, “Where are (or were) you? Why have (or did) you abandoned me?” “Why ….?”

Athol Dickson wrote, “I do not have the answers, God does. Sincere questions give God respect. They acknowledge his power. They honor him.”

David, the fear-filled author of Psalm 22, and other psalmists were honest with God. They weren’t afraid to tell Him what they thought in their songs and poems that put Him on trial.

Study the Psalms. When we do, we can’t help but notice the Psalms seem to indicate that the long-awaited promise God’s people have been waiting for will only be fulfilled through a time of intense suffering. Despite feeling dejected by God, the psalmists always believed God would lead them out of despair and looked forward to the future when God would rule over the entire earth. “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him” (Psalm 22:8).

We are given the psalms, and the book of Lamentations, I believe, so we can pray them, ourselves, out of our own pain and impatience. God knows we need to express ourselves. When times were tough, the psalmists pulled up what I call “God monuments’” out of their memory banks. They would look back at the great moments—monuments—of the past in order to re-frame the pain and puzzlement of the present, all within the hope of what God will one day do in the future.

The Bible is a record for us about how God has been faithful to His people throughout history so that our own faith and trust in Him can be strengthened. Keep your eyes and heart open: God shows up in ways we don’t expect.

 I guess if I’m going to ask to be more like Jesus, more Christlike, I have to be willing to endure hardship and pain. But I will hold onto His promise to guide me through my times of crisis and change.

“I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you’ll not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

“The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles (Psalm 34:17).