ATP: I Thought I Gave It To God?
PREFACE: This question originally came in relational to those who had lost a loved one, thought they had given the loss to God, but could not shake the "crazies" associated with the loss. As you will see in reading this column, when you give something to God and it keeps surfacing "Are you doing something wrong?" Be encouraged by the answer.
"PASTOR, I THOUGHT I GAVE IT TO GOD, I REALLY DID, BUT IT KEEPS RESURFACING – WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?"
The reality is you may have given the situation over to God. (Again, the situation could have many faces: a lost loved one, a wayward child who continues to disappoint or hurt you in some way or another, a husband or wife that has left you for someone else, someone who takes advantage of you, someone who owes you money, someone who mistreats you and the list goes on and on.)
For example sake, let's consider a situation that we categorize as an "offense." Let's say a woman's husband leaves her for someone else. She gives this situation to God. She does well until she sees the woman with her husband in the grocery store, then all of the past feelings surface again. Does that mean she did not give the situation to God? (In this instance an offense). No! It means that when she saw her husband with the other woman she received a "fresh" wound. To have peace she must now give this "fresh wound" to God. And, thereafter, each time she is stabbed she must give the wound to God.
(I realize that this example raises the issue of resolving offenses, and that is a matter which requires more than just giving it to God. Horizontal offenses – person to person – can only be settled "person to person." But, time does afford us the luxury of dealing with this subject now.)
Just as the woman who gave her husband and his girlfriend to the LORD has to continually give the matter to God each time she sees the two of them together, or may hear something about the two of them, because it reopens the wound. So, when the question arises as to "Why?" concerning the loss of a husband (or wife), that too must be given to the LORD.
The more quickly you give the matter to the LORD the less time the matter has to become huge and uncontrollable. Continually and immediately rest upon God's promise of Romans 8:28 -- "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Stand upon Romans 8:31 -- "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Also, realize that the "crazies" are normal – remember Martha's and Mary's words to our Lord? "If you had been here my brother would not have died." John 11:21, 32. What isn't healthy is dwelling in a world that you cannot do anything about. You cannot do anything about yesterday, you can, however, do something about tomorrow. Place tomorrow in God's hands and watch Him gently settle the crazies and add new memories that calm the grieving ones. NOTE! I did not say He would remove them, what He will do is calm them. Remember what Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." John 11:25. If you will listen, Jesus will always give you words that bring peace to the "crazies."
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