Rather than providing consolation, Scripture can feel like torture to abuse victims. We hear promises of hope and protection as lies…or “proof” of our unworthiness. After all, God’s promises were not kept in our case, were they? So it can seem to us.
Worse still, we may fear deep down that the fate “assigned” us was deliberately cruel because of our lack of worth. This is torment, placing the blame for our pain squarely at God’s door.
But listen to verses 7-11 of Psalm 139:
“…Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me…”
This is what it means to be a child of God. We are not spared suffering, but remain the focus of His care and attention at all times.
Our wounds grieve God. More than that, His hands and feet were pierced for our sakes. We forget this when lost in our own sorrow.
Abuse victims have known the bed in hell. For us, depression may be the form darkness takes. Yet in the throes of that illness, we are not forsaken. God seeks us out despite our anger, despite our despair, despite even our atheism.
Originally posted 11/17/13
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