One night after the nurses and technicians had difficulty stabilizing Jasmine, I left the hospital with angst in my gut. My spirit was troubled. I felt like I was driving the 48-mile journey home on autopilot. Then a clear thought emerged from the fogginess of my mind:

There are three ways that we can raise our hand to God. We can raise an accusative finger, blaming Him for what we perceive as unnecessary pain or unfulfilled promises. We can raise an angry fist in His face because we feel He caused the ‘bad stuff’ that has happened. Or we can raise an open hand, offering up anything that we are holding onto and receiving whatever He decides to place in it.

In my lifetime, I have probably done the first two; I know for certain that I have done the second. There is no joy in living like that, only the misery of self-centered arrogance. God has His ways of humbling us. Sometimes the things we are accusing Him of or are angry about are the very means that He brings across our path to break our hardened hearts and remold us into the character of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). True humility is not a natural human trait. It is the product of God working in a heart that is willing to let the Holy Spirit do whatever it takes to transform it from the inside out. Only through a humble heart can we have a growing intimate relationship with God. I am not yet fully there. He is teaching me. I am receiving. It starts with raising an open hand.

Stop and Consider: It may surprise you to hear that it is okay to raise an accusative finger or a fist to God. God can handle it. Eventually, though, you must come to the place of realizing and confessing your weaknesses as a human being. How have you reacted to God during the most difficult times of your life?

(Part 8: Pounding a Hammer and Chisel on My Heart)