Sometimes I get mad at God.
Just like the Israelites in Numbers, there have been times my patience has been “worn out by the journey,” (Numbers 21:4) and I, too, have “complained against God” (Numbers 21:5).
Honestly, it’s hard to even write that—to type it out knowing that others will read it and might think badly of me or my faith life or the type of person I am. But it’s true and I don’t think I’m alone in this experience of humanity.
My dreams do not always align with God’s will and encountering that can be a hard pill to swallow. When situations are turned on their head and things don’t go the way I’ve imagined and planned, I find myself blaming God and even “disgusted with the wretched food” He has given me (Numbers 21:5)—especially when I look over at another’s plate and presume their food is better than mine. In the moment, it can be hard to recognize what is a gift when it isn’t the gift I imagined or even wanted.
But, as I read those first few verses, I can’t help but notice a distinction between the act of complaining against God and that of complaining to God.
In Psalm 102 we hear, “Let my cry come to you” (Psalm 102:2). What a beautiful reminder that it is okay to cry out to God. It is okay to be frustrated or hurt when you lose your job, or end a relationship, or are suffering illness. Life is hard and messy and instinctually we look around to blame someone. And while God is certainly not the cause of our pain, He can handle the anger and sadness that come with it. And He can hold it and hold us as we process and journey through it. We just have to ask.
This list is a compilation of Catholic prayers. They can help when we are crying out without knowing which words to use. See which are new ones for you.
Sarah Stanley is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.