When I first read that a lot of people link these two things (anger & bargaining), I thought it odd. Now, not so much. The thing is it’s not fair! How could they leave me in this state? How could God allow this to happen? Why didn’t… someone…do something? God could have prevented it from happening now or at least in this way! I am not ready for this! All these thoughts come raging in.
Then I think…maybe there is a way I can get through this? If only …? What kind of agreement or bargain can I strike with God that will make it possible to cope with this crushing reality? Which way do I need to go? To the left…or to the right?
Maybe you can remember when…a long time ago…you put your boots on the wrong feet? Something didn’t feel quite right, but away you went anyway. After a while your toes started to hurt a bit and so to compensate you turned your feet out just a bit, but it didn’t help. Before long, your ankles were hurting and your knees and hips. Finally, you realized that the discomfort was from your feet not knowing which way to go. The pressure was all wrong. The remedy was just the wrong thing to do. That’s kind of how this part of our journey in grief feels. We are angry…our toes hurt…but we don’t really know what to do to stop the pain. In the moment, bargaining seems to make sense. You are asking for this…but I’ll give you this. It’s a kind of compromise. I’ll do this to take some of the pain away. But, in the end it doesn’t work, and we need to move on. We stop bargaining with God or those around us and we realize that we are plain upset with where we area at.
We are angry and there is no way to bargain out of the pain. There is no way to negotiate around the reality of loss. It just doesn’t make sense and it HURTS. That is why I get so mad! There is nothing I can DO to change this outcome. I have no control.
Mark 9:23,24 23“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
My name is Dennis. What’s your name?
Have you tried to bargain with God? We would love to talk more with you about it and walk through your journey with you.
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