God and Sexual Assault

Close to the Brokenhearted

God understands the deep wounds.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;” Psalm 34:17-19 NIV

I am angry. Before my therapy appointment this morning I felt I was angry at everyone and everything in this world, including God. Yesterday I even told God I hated Him. Then came the guilt and shame. How could I tell God I hated Him?

Not long after telling God I hated Him, while I was still crying uncontrollably, I asked God to forgive me and repented of my sin. My hatred and anger.

Yesterday I yelled at the doctor’s office receptionist because I waited fifty minutes to get ahold of someone to just leave a message and I’m tired of feeling bad. They can’t figure out what’s wrong with me and I’m frustrated.  Except it’s not the receptionist’s fault. She was just doing her job.

I cussed and cried and asked “Why?”, and was a mess yesterday and this morning. I even blamed my therapist for being late and then having to change my appointment next week over something he has no control over. I got angry with him. I had to ask forgiveness and repent of all of this for yesterday and today, from God and from my therapist.

My therapist was gracious and forgiving. He showed me an example of how God would react and forgive. He demonstrated how God is forgiving of me. Something I’m not used to seeing.

It is hard for me to not see God as a vengeful God because of the way I was treated growing up. Being sexually abused and assaulted will give you a different view of God. You may feel the same way.

However, it’s the wrong view. As my therapist calmly explained to me today, Jesus told His followers if they saw Him they saw His Father. Jesus never condemned anyone, or got angry at sinners. He was angry at the sin, but never at the sinners. God understands us better than anyone else, and He understands our anger.

Even in the temple when He overturned the tables, Jesus was angry at what was being done, not who was doing it. He showed compassion and forgiveness to sinners, as He still does today.

It’s why He died on the cross. We have forgiveness of our sins. More importantly God is not an angry God like humans. Humans have anger. God’s anger is not toward humans, but toward sin.

As my therapist tried to help me understand today, and what I am still trying to comprehend, is how God can be so loving, forgiving and caring?

It’s not something I have experienced in relationships. If I get mad at someone they get mad at me. My therapist told me they get mad back at me because they have issues they have not dealt with too. God doesn’t.

My anger is not really toward who I’m yelling at, it is from the abuse and everything I have endured in life. The anger which has come back to me from friends and others results from their wounds too.

Jesus, however, doesn’t react in anger because he sees through our wounds. He knows we don’t really mean it. He sees our hurt and brokenness. Jesus never responded to anyone in anger when He was on earth, and He won’t now.

People who truly care about us will react this same way. Although as humans even with the best intentions people will fail. However, they can choose to react the way my therapist reacted. With grace and understanding of the deep wounds which lie within us.

God hears our cries and is close to us. He wants to deliver us from our hard times, but He also knows it is the hard times which make us the people He longs for us to be in Him. Psalm 34:17-19 NIV says:

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;”

God is closer than we can imagine. He is near to us who are broken and crushed, but He longs to deliver us. It may not be within our time frame, but He promises to. I know I wish it to be sooner rather than later, so I pray for patience.

 I don’t know about you, but I’m new at trusting God with His promises.

It’s step by step, day by day, and sometimes hour by hour.

I have no idea when my journey of recovery will end, and I’m not foolish enough to think there will not be other troubles in my life.

I can only begin by praying for Him to draw near to me like these verses declare, and hold on to the promises they provide. Knowing God understands the deep wounds which lie within.

 Father God,

I have so much anger built up inside of me from what happened sometimes I feel I may explode. Please help me direct it in a different way, and not take it out on innocent bystanders. Draw close to me and my crushed spirit, and as you deliver me from this journey help me grow closer to You.

Amen

 

© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

 

2 comments on “Close to the Brokenhearted

  1. Thanks, Susan, for the reminder that we need to express our anger yet be willing to give and receive forgiveness. An important post!

    Like

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