I heard some bad news this week. The kind that makes your heart feel sick. The kind that you don’t even want to know, wish no one had ever told you. The kind of news that can shake you…news about monsters. But, as I talked with others about the news I saw that there were emotions and feelings and things that made each person react in a different way. Some reacted as, “Oh no, hope everything turns out alright” to “That *&^$%#&#, I hope they get what they deserve.” There was sadness and there was anger.
I had to take note of the responses and remind them, as I reminded myself, that we filter things through our experiences and our past and that can really affect the way we respond to situations and things we hear. Feelings come and go. When we hear news that reminds us of our past hurts and abuses, it brings those feelings up again. We lash out and get mad and want revenge because maybe that person who hurt us never got what they deserved (or so we think), so now here is the hurt again and we have another chance to get even and make it right. We make it our cause on their behalf…really?
I am then reminded that God says in 2 Corinthians 1:4: He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. This verse has given me so much peace through the years when people respond to my past with, “Oh, I am so sorry that happened to you…” I then remind them that we can’t think that God was not part of that early molding and shaping of our lives. Those things that happened and some were very awful, don’t get me wrong, made us who we are and we now are able to look at others in the face and say, “I know how you feel because that also happened to me and God has healed and delivered and brought me through it and He will bring you through too.” We have to be the “arms of love” for others, cry with them and bring them comfort by keeping our own emotions and hurt under the healing wings of God while we pour our hearts out to others who are hurting. We have to speak without fear and anger and help bring them through this – You see, it brings glory to Him. The stories of our redemption point them to Him – the Redeemer.
God made my life, He made your life. He ordained it from the foundation of the world and put it into place. No matter what choices we have made or what we have done. He will still use it all for His glory. In John Chapter 11 when Lazarus died, the bible states that his sisters came to Jesus and wanted Him to come and help. Then it says, “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”He did wake up Lazarus from death and it did bring glory to Jesus. I love 1 Peter 2:9 and that it says, “He called us/you out of darkness and into His marvelous light!!!!! We have to remind ourselves of that all the time and walk in it.
It’s so easy for us to slip back into thinking (like ghosts of Christmas past) that what has happened to us makes us who we are – we are not our past and we are not our experiences, we are not even what we do for a living. We are who God says we are – we are changed, we are different and we are new from what our mind and our feelings and emotions tell us.
Here are just a few reminders:
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The situation is strained and the people involved are sad and mad. They want justice. They want revenge. They want those who have caused harm to be harmed themselves, it’s human nature. But, we have to look the situation and feed it through the Word of God and use our “spirit nature” (walking in the Spirit of God and not our flesh) to see that revenge belongs to God. He will repay for what has happened. If we pray and the situation does not balance out in “our” way of justice, we still pray, we still trust, we still believe that God has it in His hands and will take care of it because He IS just! It more than likely will NOT work out as we thought or planned but we still have to believe God is at work no matter what because He is.
If the people who have harmed others walk away unscathed from this – it is not the end. Trust me, no… trust God!
talk soon, tlc