Thursday, September 7, 2017

I'm Not Really Angry At God

In the agonizing days after Lindsay’s death last August, our feelings were raw and battered. Somehow James, Josh, and I functioned well enough to plan her funeral and deal with issues surrounding her death while welcoming friends and loved ones into our home bearing food, hugs, and tears. Maybe that’s what’s referred to as “being in shock” after a traumatic event.

There were questions and comments—and a theme began to emerge: Why did God allow Lindsay to die? The anger expressed was a normal, necessary grief reaction—one I’ve felt many times.

Regardless of how devastated I was, I discovered it is possible to have a crushed heart and still be able to state what I firmly believe: Everyone suffers this side of heaven. Parents sometimes have to bury their children. While the incredible pain of losing our daughter is unique to us, death is not unique in this fallen world. As awful as Lindsay's death was, God is faithful and would carry us.

Even so, I questioned God, cried out to Him, disagreed with His decision to take Lindsay, and begged Him to undo this nightmare. Resentful and hurt? I’d be lying if I claimed I wasn’t.

And even now, I get angry about the whole situation.

But angry at God? Not really.

I’ve thought about how I was able to separate the awfulness of what happened from the goodness and sovereignty of God in the middle of a crisis. The short answer is I was on auto pilot, rotely moving through time and space, and clinging to the faith that had carried me through every valley I'd ever walked through. The underlying truth: It was the power of the Holy Spirit.

In a crisis, the totality of a Christian’s life carries them. Your basic instincts while in shock override everything else. If your mind, heart, and soul are filled with God’s Word, and you’ve experienced His presence in your life, intuitively you reach for Him in a storm. His truth comes out of your mouth. Even when the waves crash around you, you know He’s holding you up.

The other part of this assurance comes through prayer.

 “… pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18), and “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

In other words, stay in God’s presence.

In 1 Peter 5:8, we again see the instruction to be alert. Why? Because our enemy, the devil, seeks ways to destroy us. He is proficient in crippling us emotionally and spiritually through our children and loved ones. Being alert means being aware, but it also means being prepared for the battle.

In addition to being equipped for earthly trials through Bible study and prayer, I’m also able to rest in God’s promises. Believe me, physical and emotional rest did not come easy, still doesn’t some days, but that’s when spiritual rest provides respite.

Christ said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest(Matthew 11:28)


 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

Isn’t it a comfort to know we’re not walking this road alone? Christ is yoked beside us, sharing our burdens, and carrying us through the valleys and over rough, rocky roads.

Every night, I step outside with Lindsay’s dog Sugar before we go to bed. Stars blanket the night sky, and the vastness of the universe envelops me. Lindsay loved star gazing, and in those quiet moments I feel close to her—almost like I could reach out and touch her.

That vast blanket of stars also paints a vivid picture that God’s thinking is higher than mine. I cling to the verse in Genesis 50:20 that what man meant for evil, God will use for good. Because make no mistake about it, Lindsay’s death was the enemy’s evil doing, not God’s. And the day of reckoning will come.

I also must daily choose to “take hold of the hope set before us” so I “may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf” (Hebrews 6:18-20). 

You may not ever face the loss of a child, but you will suffer loss, disappointment, pain, and heartache. You have the choice to face it alone or face it with God.

Pontius Pilate asked a very insightful question on the night Jesus was crucified, “What shall I do then with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?” We all have to answer that at some point.

As for me, I know I’ve faced the worst year of my life, and yet somehow I’ve survived. That “somehow” was Jesus walking with me, at times carrying me, and at other times allowing me to rest while he took my broken heart in his tender hands and held it close. He’s never left my side.

Christ has been my anchor. I can say unequivocally that God’s grace was the only way we got through this year—and it’s His grace that will carry us into the future.

Perhaps you are facing a crisis—something that has altered your world. I’d love to pray for you. Please leave a comment or email me confidential requests. Thank you for lifting my family and me up in prayer through this difficult time. 

Resting in His Grace,

©Laura Hodges Poole

Photo credits:
Cemetery ©Laura Poole
Other three photos courtesy of


  1. Such a good post. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Thank you, Phil. I appreciate your kind words. God bless you.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Janet. Your love and encouragement this year have truly helped! God bless.

  3. When my 14 year old granddaughter was dying, I kept telling my son "God's got it"! But, she died anyway. Then in the same month, my son and her daddy had a heart attack. He had a triple by pass. Praise the Lord, he pulled through. Then in April 2016, I lost my oldest brother. Then I lost my oldest son in September 2016. Then in July of this year, my youngest son(the one who lost his daughter) had 2 strokes. I thank God my son lived! He is back to work, but, he is not back to 100%. Anyway, I was so angry with God for letting my granddaughter die, until I asked God to give me peace! Even though, all these bad things happened afterwards, I still felt God's touch.

    1. Thank you for sharing from your heart, Linda. You've experienced so much loss, and I can only imagine the anger you must have felt. I'm so glad you asked God to give you peace and that you felt his touch. God comforted me through my sister's suicide 12 years ago and again through my daughter's death. You'll be in my prayers. God bless you.

  4. Dear Laura,
    This post was such an encouragement to me that I posted it on my fb timeline. Your transparency and honesty with your feelings means so much because your words describe my feelings exactly. I never was truly angry at God, but I did question "why" and I wished I had been able to be there with Christin. Even now there are still many unanswered questions that surface from time to time, but I do not allow myself to camp on those. Instead, I simply say, "That's Your business, Father." I continue to trust in God's character, Who He is!
    "Because make no mistake about it, Lindsay’s death was the enemy’s evil doing, not God’s. And the day of reckoning will come." I so agree with these clear statements concerning Christin's death too. Thank you for putting it so succinctly.
    A couple of days ago was Christin's birthday, and I can honestly say that God provided such peace, His grace, and wonderful sweet memories of that Sunday morning she was born. Praise His Holy Name! May God continue to wrap His arms of comfort, peace, grace and joy of the sweet memories you have with Lindsay around you and your husband and son. God is using you in the lives of so many other hurting people. Thank you for being faithful to His call. Love and prayers, Judi