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Monday, June 16, 2014

Victim be healed

A victim is someone who is actually cheated or deceived by their own emotions because of the actions of another.  It is quite easy to slip into the role of "victim" whenever we feel like we have been wronged - someone has done or said something which makes us feel threatened, misunderstood, "used" in some way, etc.  There are people who really are victims, though. They have been truthfully harmed by another and it is more than emotional scars they may be dealing with.  They could have injuries to their body, or perhaps have suffered an assault on their finances.  Either way, they all have something in common - they have had the actions of another negatively affect their lives.  There is something God wants us to see, though - our current circumstances are not permanent - he has the ability to make those areas damaged by another into something honoring and glorifying for his use.  This should give even those who have suffered the most destructive of actions some sense of hope and encouragement today.

God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel. God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said. (Psalm 103:6-13 MSG)

How does God make bad stuff in our lives "come out right"?  For anyone who has suffered the terrible destructiveness of rape, or perhaps the awfulness of physical abuse, there may not seem like a way out of the pain and memories associated with such violent and violating attacks.  Yet, I have met countless women who share their testimonies of God's grace and mercy showing them a way out of the pain and a release from the continual torture of negative memories.  Do I fully understand how God does that - no.  Do I trust he can and does do it - yes.  Why?  I see evidence in the lives of those around me and because I trust what scripture tells me about the character of God.  His entire make-up is to extend grace where it is undeserved and to heal what cannot be healed by human touch.  

As much as we can count on God separating us from our own personal sins, we can count on him separating us from the sins done against us by others not aware of how their sins affect us.  Violating sins such as rape and physical abuse don't just go away - they leave scars.  God has a way of separating the pain associated with those scars away from us, though.  It may be keenly linked to his ability to help us release when no release is deserved - by giving us grace to extend grace to the one who harmed us.  As I said, I don't fully understand how God does this, but I know he does because I have seen it in the lives of those around me.  What one thing I did see in the lives of those who rose above their pain is that they walked steadily in the things God showed them.  In their consistency, God turned ashes into a thing of beauty.

This may be paramount to the very healing we need today in our own lives. Maybe it isn't that we have been raped or physically violated by someone's anger and hurtful blows, but our pain is no less significant to our heavenly Father.  He "feels" the pain of his kids and his heart is turned toward those who will cry out to him for their pain to be removed.  Too many times we play the part of "victim" so well - holding onto the pain - not because we really want to, but because we don't think it matters to him.  This is sad, but true. 

We somehow discount his love for us and his care over our lives just because someone was "able" to hurt us in some way.  Truth be told - no harm befalls us that is not seen by him and deeply experienced by him.  We often associate harm coming to us as God "allowing" for bad things to happen to us, or because he doesn't care about us. The exact opposite is true - God never desires for the bad to come.  We live in a fallen world - bad is part of mankind's fall.  It doesn't mean God doesn't love us or care deeply for us, but because of man's freewill and the fact he possesses a sin nature, evil is in this world.  When we deal with evil against our own lives, God's heart reaches out to us to quickly heal and restore.  We just have to reach back.

I don't proclaim to have all the answers here, but I do know this - God has all victims in his hands.  His desire is to embrace their pain - to ease their suffering and to restore their heats/minds to wholeness.  If you find yourself holding onto your pain, God's cry to you today is to let him take it.  He knows how to restore what damage is there.  He knows how to extend grace and mercy so as to bind up the wounds.  All we need to do is remain consistent in allowing him to take that pain - just sayin!