The endgame of evil is to destroy our trust in God and then offer us any alternative that further distances us from the healing God longs for us to experience.
Dan Allender, Healing the Wounded Heart
Evil is out to take everything good we have away from us.
Allow that truth to sink into your mind. Do you remember a time when you lost something you dearly loved?
The memory of my precious little girl full of life, love and laughter running around as a toddler comes to my mind as I think of something taken by evil. As a little girl, she wasn’t afraid of anything. I remember how she crossed a fence and was running towards a pond when I’d turned my back on her for only a second until her twin brother told on her, and her adventure ended as quickly as it began. Not only was she adventurous, but she was sensitive and caring to those around her. If her brother had a boo boo, she’d calm him down and run go get him a band-aid with antibacterial ointment on it. She was and still is God’s beautiful, unique and glorious creation.
But one day evil whispered in the ear of another hurting soul to numb his own pain by taking advantage of my daughter in a terrible way. In what was a moment of relief for him, my daughter has had so much taken. The once adventuresome, lively child running across the field with no fear began hiding under tables sucking her thumb.
What evil took from her cannot be brought back. She is still struggling with depression and social anxiety. She lost years of her childhood confused and afraid. I am infuriated at all that was taken. I am crushed by all that she lost.
Perhaps this is hard to read. I get that. It’s overwhelming for me to write it. But I know that I have to. Because not grieving the pain of this loss has been used by evil to destroy so much.
When my husband’s mother died recently the father of the young man who abused our daughter was standing by the other ministers at her grave side. He denied his son ever harmed our daughter, and he had the audacity to shake my husband’s hand and pretend like nothing had ever happened on one of the worst days of my husband’s life. My husband was hurt, angered and confused by his presence and when he attempted to find a compassionate ear he was told he needed to forgive. Later, he was given some religious CD’s on how to break demonic strongholds in his life by the same person he attempted to receive compassion from. Only one aunt in his family has acknowledged the pain and comforted us in our daughter’s abuse, and the lack of acknowledgment and compassion when we needed it most has almost destroyed our relationships with family. It’s caused us to not want to trust anyone and being isolated has at times almost killed us.
Evil is out to steal, kill, and destroy us. Some days for us it feels as if it has won. The way evil uses abuse is insidiously effective. I long for the day for evil to be destroyed and a new heavens and new Earth to begin. I’m sick of all the suffering and sorrow and I want to go home.
What am I to do with all this grief? How do I trust a God who did not stop it? There’s only one answer. Believe He’s more angry at the injustice of what happened to our daughter than what I could even comprehend. And know that He feels all of our pain. He knows and He promises to make it right.
He is also grieved by the denial of the damage done by evil, by His own children who are made uncomfortable by hearing stories of abuse and quickly attempt to fix or shut up another who desperately needs to be heard and grieved with. We as Christians must stop this. Scripture tells us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We cannot rejoice until we have wept. We cannot weep if we are in denial. We cannot feel if we have numbed ourselves. We must learn to tell our stories truthfully to ourselves and others, wash one another’s feet and love one another. It is the only way to overcome evil. We desperately need the kindness of God to encourage us to find a better way than our own denial to deal with pain. Why is it so hard to listen to others stories and just to feel?
Probably because we haven’t listened to our own stories and felt. Human nature is bent on writing it’s own story and evil whispers to us a more comfortable tale. But it doesn’t work. Evil’s story is full of holes that only lead to more emptiness and despair.
Most of us tell stories regarding the heartache of the past in a manner that allows us to tell the truth without being transformed by it. We tell without telling. We allow details to be generalized and painful parts to be suppressed. And no one seems to notice or enter the forbidden terrain with a call to clarity or an invitation to grieve. The result is that our memories don’t call us to God in the present. People seldom remember in a way that causes them to be desperate for God to be God.
Dan Allender, Healing the Wounded Heart
Our pain causes desperation, weakness, neediness and vulnerability and cause us to long for relief. And Our help comes from the Lord. But trusting Him means we have to give up control and trust and our nature doesn’t want to do this. So we fight the pain by numbing through addictions or believing the more palatable stories evil has whispered in our ears. We attempt to be the captain of our own ships, yet we are sinking from all the holes that we do not acknowledge are there.
Our ways do not work. Can I say it again. Our ways do not work. Only one way does. Acknowledging it doesn’t work and running to Jesus. Losing our life, our control and finding His life and freedom. He sees the child you once were before the evil of abuse caused you to live afraid. He holds you in His arms, sings over you with His love and promises to cast out all the fear. He knows the trust that has been destroyed by those who have betrayed and He promises to restore the years the locust have devoured. He recognizes evil’s plan to keep working until it’s killed your last bit of hope, faith and love, and He has promised that no matter how much it tries it will not succeed. He is holding onto you and He will not let go.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39 NLT
Evil hates what I wrote, because as I finished my husband just came in to tell me a ladder fell on my first new car ever and dented the hood. Since he’s jobless right now it cannot be repaired. Another attempt to steal my hope, discourage me to despair. It’s just a thing. A thing I have loved. It’s shiny new surface and the pride it gives. It’s another loss and a reminder of all the losses we’ve had before. Crush the evil one’s head again for me Jesus. Please fight for us. We cannot do this alone.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
James 4:7-10 NLT