God and Sexual Assault

God Uses Holy Buckets

A perfect bucket or a holy bucket?

Today when I went to my therapy session I really didn’t care about anything. Again. My therapist reminded me not to look at things here on earth, but the eternal perspective. Because when we focus on things here we can get hopeless fast.

Why get better just to feel all the pain I’m feeling physically and emotionally? To go back to work when I’m 50? Have no retirement? No family. Why? I can’t answer it. I have to look at eternity or I get hopeless.

He read to me from Revelation where John writes of the vision Christ gave him. In verse 5 he says, “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”

Picture it now, up in heaven; God, Jesus, angels, all creatures gathered around and our prayers are being lifted up to them like incense. Incense gives off a constant aroma. It’s always in the air. Always lifting up. Our prayers are always being lifted up to God. Every time we say them they go straight to God.

Many times when I pray I wonder where it’s going. Who I’m talking to. If I’m talking to anyone. Especially when someone else is praying and I’m struggling to follow along. It’s just sometimes feels like I’m talking to the air. But reading that today made it seem real. God is listening to every single prayer and what we are doing in recovery has eternal significance.

Reminds me of something I read recently. Imagine a large pile of dirt with a few buckets laying around on top. Then it rains for several days and finally the sun comes out. The buckets that were perfect and had no holes or anything in them are full of nasty, black water and mud. However, the buckets with the holes in them that look tattered and worn have new, green, grass growing all around them from where the rain came through the holes.

What would you rather be? A perfect bucket that holds stagnant and dirty water or a tattered bucket that has been through trials and allows the rain through so growth can happen? Very similar to what our lives are like. We have been tattered and worn. We are broken vessels. We can choose to allow God to grow us in recovery or be like the dirty water and not grow at all.

I struggle daily, but I want God to grow me. I don’t want to be a perfect bucket. I tried to be that for several years not allowing myself to grow and I don’t want to be that again. However, I have learned it is one small step at a time. Sometimes I think I should be reading the entire Bible every day.

For my brain, many of our brains, it just can’t handle a lot of information. Today, I could take in a couple verses and learn what God wanted to teach me. That was enough for today. I listened. God spoke to me. Many times as survivors we expect too much of ourselves. It’s okay to take it one step at a time.

So, today imagine your prayers drifting to heaven like incense and also remember God uses holy buckets.

© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

I am a former elementary school teacher who loves God. I am currently in the process of recovering from a childhood of sexual abuse and assaults. I am pursuing God's will for my life right now which involves following various writing endeavors and working on publishing some books. I feel God has led me to write this for my own healing, and to share with others who have been through the trauma of sexual assault.

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