Sunday, January 25, 2015

Trust the Lord

DEALING WITH ABUSE: Shortly after a person has been wounded by religious abuse, friends of the victim invariably say, “It will be okay. You just have to trust the Lord; that’s all.” With this, they are finished with the issue. No further practical help is offered. After a while, the victim doesn’t even receive a word of comfort from their fellow congregants because people tend to withdraw from someone who has been pushed aside. They simply don’t want to deal with all of the negativity. Who can blame them?
To the victim, however, such advice is meaningless. Instead of helping, platitudes like the one above tend to make a difficult situation even worse. As people withdraw, the abused person is left to deal with the problem by himself or herself. This is when many turn to self-defeating behavior. It provides relief from the pain—a one-day reprieve from reality. It’s also how people become “hooked” on alcohol, prescriptions, or inappropriate relationships—none of which work long-term.
When a person reaches his or her bottom, and there are no other options, that’s when they are finally willing to take the advise of their friends and “trust the Lord.” By this point, their emotional isolation has taken a substantial toll, and the person doubts that their life will ever be worthwhile again. When a person reaches this point, that’s when God’s presence and help become more real than ever. It’s when He touches the places that hurt, providing illumination, insight, understanding, and healing.
All that’s necessary for this to happen is one thing: the person must realize that the responsibility for getting back on tract is theirs and no one else’s. When they reach this point, when they become willing to admit this, their lives can begin to change for the better.
"Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:25-26)

If you had enough faith.....all would be well.  Does the reciprocal mean since all is not well I don't have enough faith? One wonders at time.  I had a clearer understanding as I studied the New Testament when Christ reminded his apostles that the people killed the prophets.  The apostles came to a similar end.  If the all is well thing applies, did that mean the apostles and prophets did not have enough faith?  I believe the error comes in what "all would be well" means.  I remember vividly the moment in time I hit rock bottom and I had nothing left except my faith in Christ.  I believe in Christ.  I also believe that I am expected to strive, look for, and seek for answers.  I am expected to study things out in my mind and when I get stuck ask humbly in faith.  He will send his angels to rescue me, those angels sometimes have PhDs.  Religious abuse is particularly vicious in that not only does the abuser try to make their victim believe God does not loves them, they attack the person themselves until the victim loses trust in their own faith.  In that moment that I hit rock bottom, some particle of faith assured me that Christ would not abandon me in my darkest hour.  I took that particle faith and fanned the flames until I understood several things.  My belief of what is safe and Heavenly Father's meaning is not the same.  Heavenly Father allowed His Son to be crucified.  My discomfort is acceptable to God.  I accepted that Heavenly Father sent His Son to bring me peace by God's definition not mine.  I also learned that the church goers that shunned me were not my problem.  My own understanding of Heavenly Father and my relationship to Christ became my focus. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Psalms 23
 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (My spiritual hunger is always fed.)
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (He leads me but doesn't force me to recognize His blessings.  Gratitude opens my eyes to the green pastures and still waters.)
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (He leads another reminder that He will lead, I choose to follow or not.  He will patiently wait for me as I stumble.  His patience is Eternal, however He leads me down the path of righteousness, not always where I want to go.)
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (He knows all there is to know about death and evil because He over came both.  When I am with Christ, I know evil must flee.  His correction and guidance bring me comfort knowing He is watching over me. Loving me.)
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  (He prepares nourishment for me where I am at, not just in the after life, but right in front of my enemies. He anointed me and I have an abundance of His love.)
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (As I follow His lead down the path of righteousness, others will be blessed by my service for I will leave goodness and mercy where ever I go.  He prepares a place for me to live with him forever in the life to come.)

The green words are my attempt to understand this passage.  Personalizing the scriptures binds them to my heart.


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