After hearing their stories, I have told countless new Clients: “I cannot tell you that I know exactly how you feel, but I want you to know tat there is little that comes through my office door that I haven’t had at least a taste of.”
It’s true . . . and most seem to know it, as I look them in the eye with as much tenderness and compassion as I can muster.
I thought about this as I scrolled down my Facebook timeline last week and noticed several “Me Too”* posts entered by people I care about. Knowing personally the powerlessness of being a victim of abuse (sin imposed by another), and having listened to countless stories in the Counseling Room, I was deeply saddened by the dark reminder that such evil continues.
While a sympathetic, “Me too”, may offer temporary comfort, the larger question remains, “Where do I go from here?” That is the question we face in the Counseling Room, and the answer is always the same:
“We go to God and the Scriptures,
for the wisdom and perspective we lack.”
Why? Because, while the world offers theories that change with the seasons; God calls us to trust Him as He speaks to the heart of our problems in every season. A good example of this is a conversation that took place between God and Cain. Cain had stormed off in a huff because God was not pleased with the offering given by Cain to to Him. (Cain offered what HE thought best, rather than presenting what God had prescribed.) It is an amazing scene as we see God pursuing Cain, speaking a foundational truth (actually the first counsel recorded in Scripture) that can still be applied today:
“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry?
Why is your face downcast?
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?
But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door;
it desires to have you, but you must master it.’”
Of course we know that Cain didn’t listen to God; instead he committed the first murder by killing his brother Abel. (Ironically, Cain was then terrified that someone would murder him!)
So where can we go when we are hurt and alone? Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29,
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
Simple, sweet and to the point, as the Good Shepherd, Jesus certainly in worthy of our trust.
But there was another shepherd who lends wisdom and perspective in dealing with the difficulties that can be very much a part of life. Consider the words of David in Psalm 139:
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your Presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.”
To those who isolate themselves from the world to avoid further pain or heartache, Psalm 139 reminds us, there’s nowhere to hide from a Sovereign and Good God.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.
Truly, when the whole of Scripture
and the ultimate, sacrificial offering of Christ on the Cross is received,
a new dawn speaks light, hope and ultimate joy
into our brokenness.
This is why I urge Clients to enter into the Journey Notes process, to discover God has so much more to say to them personally. As they do, I am always profoundly touched as I watch God’s peace pushing back the darkness.
“He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.
Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name,
He gave the right to become Children of God—
children born not of natural descent,
nor of human decision
or a husband’s will, but
born of God.”
So my question to you, no matter what your past history is: “What are you waiting for?!!”
All to His Glory!
*Part of a movement on social media, meant to expose the problem of sexual harassment and assault in our culture. “Me too” was a quote taken from a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano.