Are you among the 51% of women or 61% of men who will experience emotional trauma?
Are you a veteran or first responder with PTSD? Were you involved in a tragic accident? Have you lost a child? Have you experienced abuse or been the victim of a crime? God sees you and says:
“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’” (Isaiah 35:3-5).
In these verses the Bible teaches two things.
First, when God is your God, you don’t need to be afraid of him or of anything. Your sins are forgiven. Even when you are feeble and fearful, God won’t leave or forsake you but will come to you and strengthen you.
God comes in his promises and his presence. God came once at the birth of Jesus Christ and will come again on Judgment Day. God comes to you. He’s not distant or disinterested. He’s not sitting on his hands or otherwise involved with bigger problems.
Believe that God is your God, and then his mercy is yours, his forgiveness is yours, his strength is yours, his saving acts are for you, his healing comes, his answers come, his guidance comes.
The second thing the Bible teaches in this verses is depicted in a scene I want to describe. The rapist on trial in the packed courtroom is sentenced to 327 years in prison. Cheers erupt. Everyone hugs each other.
Except him. The rapist hangs his head. For him this is judgment, punishment, retribution for his sin.
But he will not assault another innocent victim. God is making sure of it. God has come with vengeance. God has come to save others from his terrors.
God comes to you with the same vengeance on whatever threatens to make you fearful instead of faithful.
God’s anger is not against you, but against his enemies so that you are saved. So that you are strong.
PRAYER: I’m so sorry, God, that people in our world have experienced trauma. Assure them that you see them. That you care. That they matter, their trauma matters, their healing matters. In their trouble or fear, come to them and save. Make them strong. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: I am reading a book about trauma survivors and the gospel of Jesus that I’d like to recommend. Check it out.
Here is a preview: “Physical or emotional abuse, accidents, unforeseen loss, military combat, and other tragedies remind us that we live in a fallen world. The painful emotions that arise from these circumstances often linger long after the experience is over. This book is not a devotional or self-help guide, but a carefully written walkthrough of the healing process. Using his doctoral expertise on addressing trauma through a Christian lens, Pastor Timothy Bourman will help you grieve through the pain, find refuge in God, and discover a new purpose in life. Pastor Bourman provides an overview of current psychological treatment models and many comforting Scripture readings to address the grief, sorrow, shame, anger, and other emotions that accompany traumatic events.”