Thursday, March 5, 2015

Have you ever been mad at God?

Wellll, my husband and I found something out this week.  We've been encouraging/prodding/chivvying Dale for months to do his daily exercises, work harder, try harder to walk properly.  All that seems to do is make us hoarse and upset.  Dale hasn't responded like we want him to; it seems like he's just given up.  Tuesday night we found out why.

Dale told us he's mad at God.  Downright angry, in fact.  He said he's mad that God would let him drown, that God chose to let him live but not have a life.  He feels cheated by God out of even a chance to grow up and have a normal life.  He's grateful that God chose to spare his life and he's not upset that God chose to perform such a great miracle, but he wishes someone else could be the recipient because, to his mind, he got shortchanged.  He didn't recover fully---although he's gone much farther than the doctors have said they've ever seen anyone with Dale's medical history go.  He isn't able to plan for the future, like college or dating or becoming what he once dreamed of becoming.  He can't do so much like go on some of our teen activities or go out with teen soulwinning or learn to drive a car or get a job because he isn't strong enough or steady enough to keep from falling or shaking---or seizing.  He can't even walk to the bathroom any more by himself because he stopped trying to exercise his muscles and so lost a lot of strength that helped keep him steady.  He doesn't understand why God allowed this to happen to him, and he doesn't want to even try to live the life God has set before him now until he gets some answers.

And I understand exactly what he's feeling.  Because I agree.

WHY did God allow our son to drown?  WHY didn't someone see him before it was too late?  WHY did the other boy in distress that day get rescued but not Dale?  WHY did it take so long to find his body?  WHY couldn't the rescue workers get his heart going again quickly?  WHY wouldn't his lungs work properly?  WHY wasn't the youth group at a beach closer to home?  WHY did God wait until we had lost all hope before He performed His miracle?  WHY couldn't God just let Dale wake up......and sit up and stand up and walk around and be all normal again?  WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE OUR SON???

I really hate that three-letter word.  WHY rarely gets a real answer.  A full explanation of events.  Especially when we are addressing the question to God Almighty.  So much of faith rests in that troubling, pain-filled, swirling gray pea-soup-thick fog of doubt and uncertainty that chokes our throat with the utterance of the word WHY.  I have read the Bible over and over in futile efforts to determine WHY.  I have prayed endlessly in vain attempts to glean more information as to the reason behind the tragedy.  I've asked pointless, anguished questions like "Weren't we obeying enough?" and "Why would You do this when we were serving You?" and "Don't You love us, God?"  I've listened to sermons and read prayer letters and perused magazine articles and done devotions and spent hours deep in conversation with my husband and family, all dedicated to this all-encompassing, emotion-filled, heart-wrenching agony of soul wrapped up in one single syllable---WHY?

I didn't find out the answer.  God didn't magically reveal His will to me in a dream as in Bible times.  He didn't have someone give me a word of knowledge.  I didn't listen to a sermon and realize, "Oh, now I know!"  I didn't spend hours in prayer and fasting and walk out of my prayer closet with the divine knowledge of God's purpose having been revealed to me.  I'm still just as much in the dark as to God's ultimate plan for Dale and our family as I was, apparently, before Dale's accident.  I still don't know WHY God allowed him to drown or WHY God didn't heal him fully right away or WHY God deliberately placed this burden on our family or WHY we can't make spur-of-the-moment plans but always have to accommodate Dale or WHY God thinks we have some kind of super strength to bear up under this hardship or WHY we have to wait until we get to Heaven to understand His plan.


I do know I trust God implicitly.  I do know He embodies good, right, and truth.  I do know He is the personification of love.  I do know that, though I cannot see the future, He does.  I do know that, though I may not have the strength to face the daily struggles, He does.  I do know that, though I may not have the courage to face the vast unknown, He knows already.  I do know that the One Who was willing to sacrifice His Son for my eternal soul would never maliciously harm me or my loved ones.  I do know that the One Who cares about each common sparrow that may fall cares even more about my son when he falls.  I do know that the One Who loves me so much He sent His Son to Calvary so that my eternal future would be secure would not willfully and cruelly withhold a possible future from my son without purpose.  I do know that I TRUST GOD, no matter what.

Now to help Dale see that.  I don't think he'll remain mad at God forever.  But he's going to need a lot of prayer and guidance to find peace about this.  Dale did lose a lot in the ocean that day:  confidence, physical ability, brain capacity, a future brimming with possibilities.  I don't want him to lose his God too.  He's stated that he loves the God before the accident; now he just has to realize that the God after the accident is the same God.  Please pray with us that Dale will understand---or, better yet, trust.  Our God can do anything.....which means He can reach a teenage boy's heart and help him through a terrible conflict of soul.  Our God can do it, and our son is worth it.

Ephesians 3:16 - 19  "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."


  1. Dear Ostrander Family,

    You are to be commended for the strength and courage you have shown by not allowing yourselves to be swallowed up in the grief and sorrow that you have experienced since Dale's accident! I am not an expert but I have lived enough life to know that there will be stages of loss and gain as you go forward. I would imagine that with each passing "would be" milestone, there will be a since of loss and that loss will have to be grieved. Just as the victories have been and will continue to be celebrated! Sometimes the death of a dream seems harder to face than the death of a loved one, especially when that lived one is in Heaven. We can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that they are with the Lord, they are better off , and we will see them again. These things we know assuredly, but in the case with Dale it is the unknown that must be so frightening. My prayer for him is that he will quickly see that If he is still here, then God isn't through writing his story yet. It's so hard to imagine what will go on those blank pages, but they are still blank and much of what goes there will be the result of the choices he makes everyday (just like anyone else). :)
    Twice this week, God has put Jeremiah 29:11 before my eyes and I didn't know why, but Dale, I think it was for you! Don't give up now when you've come so far! God wants to give you an expected end but can't unless you choose to keep moving forward. Please be encouraged by the fact that at the time of your accident and in the days that followed, many people spent countless hours pouring out their hearts to God, begging him to save your life. A revival spread through our lives and our church because of the prayers and the miracle that God wrought in you! :) please don't feel that I am scolding you here, just simply trying to encourage you to remember that when we are not our own but we are bought with a price, created to glorify God in our bodies. I admire you because God had chosen you and your story to bring more glory and attention to Himself and his great power than most of us can ever hope to bring! Yes, your story will be different, but remember different doesn't have to be disappointing. It might mean that God chose you out of all these other Christians to show us all that "different" with God is better than normal without God's power. We prayed believing that God would save your life and He did. I am now committing myself to you and your family to pray with same fervor and faith that God will perform a spiritual miracle in your life! With every physical miracle that Jesus performed while here on Earth, there was a spiritual miracle as well and that will be my prayer for you!

    Thank you for your post, Kirsten. You may read this to dale when and if you think his is ready to hear it. You may or may not tell him who it is from, that is up to you. But please know that I will be praying just as before for this much needed miracle.
    Lovingly your friend,
    Susan Ritchie

  2. Hi Ostrander Family its Leslie Jordan. Forgive the comment name it is my maiden name and I do not know how to update it. Mrs O the answer to your question is YES I have been mad at Him. This reply is specifically for Dale. Dale we had just moved to Texas when we heard what happened to you at Ocean Shores. I almost said "heard about the tragedy" but I stopped myself. If you read on I think you will understand why. My family has had some terrible issues for more than three years now. When you went through your situation it completely took my mind off of mine and made me focus on someone else. Thanks Dale. When we found out that you pulled through it we were reminded that prayer works. Thanks Dale. When we visited over the holidays and saw you looking sharp in your church clothes and standing on your own two feet, we were reminded that God is in control no matter what the situation is. Thanks Dale. When you give your parents a hard time and don't want to do what they say you remind me that my 17 year old is no different than you are in that respect. Thanks Dale. I will only ask two things of you because really you have given me and my family far more than you should have. Please whatever you do don't give up and don't quit working hard. You see even from 2200 miles away everything you do has an amazing impact on my family and of course me. You have personally reminded me that God is very good. God is always right 100% of the time. And you have also reminded me that God has a plan for everyone and certain things have to happen for his plan to work, yes of course I know it would be nice if I knew what that plan was but that's not my job it's just his. You have absolutely blown our minds Dale and I owe you a thank you for reminding me how the spirit of God that rest in your heart and in your soul is at work in you and I enjoy seeing all the progress that you have made. I dint know if you remember this or not but I will never forget what you told the little girl that pulled you up on that board. I will forever. You told her "don't swear God doesn't like that" Again you have taught me so much and thank you Dale. Love you very much Mike, Leslie and Cloe Jordan

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