“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen. 3:13
All the way back to Adam and Eve “If only…” has been used to excuse our sins. Eve used the serpent as her excuse, Adam used Eve as his excuse. “She gave me… and I ate it…” (Gen 3:12) In other words “if the serpent hadn’t…” and “if Eve hadn’t offered me…” What would have happened if none of these “if only” excuses had not happened? What would have happened if the “if’s” were used in other ways?
All through the years people have pondered the “if’ only.” We usually use the “IF” for blame. In David A. Seamands book, “IF ONLY” he calls this “the Great Blame Game.” How true that is for even today! No-one wants to take responsibility for their choices or their behaviors. We always blame someone else or something else. The “IF” is complaining, regretting, or blaming.
I’ve done it myself! “If I hadn’t been abused…” “Lord, if you hadn’t given me these parents…” “If he hadn’t told me…”How many times we use the “IF” in complaining or as our excuse for our attitudes and/or behaviors! The Lord said that He can take what is meant for evil and turn it to good. (Gen. 50:20) Complaining, regretting, and blaming is not faith, it is sin.
Take for example the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. Martha says to Jesus when He arrives, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John. 11:21) Sounds like an accusation and complaint to me. Can we relate? “They abused me and now I…” “If only God had stopped it…”
Did Jesus beg Martha for forgiveness? Did He look at her with an expression of, “Are you kidding me!?” Did He say, “If only it hadn’t been so far and my feet didn’t hurt I would have been here sooner?” No! He turned that “If” into a challenge. “Jesus said to her, “‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)
In one of my counseling sessions, it was pointed out that the Lord knows my pain and in great frustration, I blurted out, “But Jesus wasn’t sexually abused!”
So how can He relate to our pain?
*He was betrayed by those He loved. In my post, “What is sexual abuse” I stated that 90% of victims know their abuser.
*Jesus was beaten, spit on, and belittled. Sexual abuse also can involve being belittled by the abuser. Physical abuse is also involved. (I may discuss that later)
*He was hung naked on the cross. Crowds of people staring at Him. How humiliating is that!? Didn’t we feel humiliated?
*His friends fell asleep when He asked them to stay awake and pray for Him. They didn’t listen. Many of us have told someone what was happening and they didn’t listen.
Jesus knows your pain!
So how can we go from blaming, complaining, and regret to healing? First we must look at the past for what it is – the past. We are not being sexually abused now. We must choose to remain a victim or to be victorious. If guilt, shame, anger, hatred, bitterness and un-forgiveness is still a strong part of your life, you have remained a victim. Yes, you survived, but the bondage of victimization is still there. It’s time to let light in. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Eph. 5:8)
IF we believe, we will see His glory.
IF we believe the Lord is our Counselor, we will see healing.
IF we believe, He will meet us where we are.
IF we believe, we shall walk in freedom.
Discussion: Has starting a healing journal helped you? If not, why?
Ask the Lord to bring to mind the “IF”s” that you have used. List them.
Ask Him to shed His light on each “IF” you listed. What did He say? Write it down.
If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you and I hope to see you next week.