As a counselor, I’ve listened carefully to painful stories
of mistreatment. People have confessed deeply shameful sin. And I’ve encouraged
my clients to think objectively about their self-destructive patterns.
In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called a “wonderful counselor.” In
my own growth toward holiness, Jesus has been my counselor. I’ve poured out my
heart to him. I’ve been scrupulously honest, no matter how ashamed I’ve felt. And
I’ve asked Jesus to show me how he, the only objective observer, views my sin
and unbelief and fear, so I can see myself as he sees me.
Here are three of my passionate prayers:
1. “Where were you when I was suffering?” In childhood, I’d
been seriously mistreated. I wrestled with God for ten years about where he was
when I was abused. He showed me.
2. “God, I hate you!”
Parenting challenged all my control issues. One day, I fell by the side of my
bed, gnashing my teeth because I couldn’t make my daughter behave. He delivered
3. “I lay myself open before you. Clean me out, fill me up.”
Behind all my intense questioning of God, I knew he was my only hope for a
peaceful, powerful life. I still pray this often.
Be intense in our pursuit of God, be honest with him about
our feelings, and, with him, think objectively about our circumstances. These
three attitudes of prayer will save our emotional lives.