I admit what I’m about to share was not the best time in my life, or my proudest moment. I also, admit the idea for this title came from an article I saw on Tim Challies site. His article covered a little different angle/topic, but it brought to memory a very powerful moment in my walk with the Lord.
Growing up I dealt with some depression. Even into college the shadow that overhung my life and soul followed me. Now, mind you this all happened while I was in Bible college. And, I say that not as a reason to say “look at me,” rather as a means for us to understand that depression and anger at God can happen to anyone, anywhere.
During one semester in college that depression came out of nowhere, and this time stronger than ever. It literally felt like my world was crashing down on me. I couldn’t seem to keep my head above water.
I got to a point that I pretty much flipped God the bird. Honestly, I can’t tell you if I actually did or just figuratively. Anyway, one thing that I did was run from God. I wrote in my journal (yes, I journaled) that I quit; I was throwing in the towel. I told God to find someone else to take over what He wanted me to do.
That shadow continued until the next to last day of the semester. Somehow in the midst of darkness I still left a sliver of room for God to get in. I could have just left mid semester from school, but stayed till the end. I even still attended chapel just for appearances.
On that next to last day, a lady I did not know got up to sing. Before she began she spoke a prophetic word. In it she spoke verbatim the words that I had written in my journal.
God found that sliver and came in like the Hulk. That moment both crushed me and lifted me higher than ever all at the same time. I had cursed God, gave Him the bird, and turned away, but somehow He still wanted me.
I Think It’s Normal
I share that to say that I think it is completely normal to give or want to give God the bird at some point in our lives. Since the fall of man our flesh has been in constant struggle with the God, with the Spirit.
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so. – Romans 8:7
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another – Galatians 5:17
I could point to a number of reasons why I think it came about that I wanted to give God the bird, or even why it happens in others lives. The truth of the matter is this; daily there is a battle between our flesh and the Spirit.
I have said it before and I will say it again, Jesus dwells within every believer. That Spirit will always be at war with our “flesh” or our “self” (as the New Testament refers to it). Which one wins is a matter of who we focus on and allow to live each day.
You see, the story of the prodigal son is exactly that. It is a retelling of flipping God the bird, and God being gracious, always seeking restoration. The story was a representation of Israel’s turning away from God, and His acceptance if only they would come back…with no questions asked.
Sometimes we get to that point of being the prodigal son and flipping God the bird. As humans we are emotional beings. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us, and we end up shooting God the finger and going off to a distant land for a while.
I’m not saying this is right by any means, rather it’s in our human nature to be in rebellion to God. But, God has never left us or forsaken us. Rather in His kindness, he leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Thank God for His grace and His desire for restoration. Thank God that even when we flip Him the bird, grace is still there; it is still available.