Injustice: Letting Go and Giving It Over to a God of Justice

God is Our Refuge and Strength

Recently I watched a movie in which a 17-year-old cheerleader got raped by football players. Sometimes I’m drawn to these movies just knowing justice usually wins out, unlike in real life, but other times I can’t bear watching them. I was riveted to this story, probably because I, too, was so young and vulnerable. I deeply identified with her pain, though the circumstances were different. I admired her courage and wished I was brave enough to bring out the truth and face my abuser.

As the movie ended, the over-pressured floodgates split open. I felt so forsaken, and I sobbed, “God, I didn’t want it either. Why wasn’t justice meted out to my abusers? Why can such injustice go on while I often carry the weight of it all yet? Why can people still blame me?”

God graciously answered me from His Word in Psalm 9 that He never lets His justice turn aside, I have to leave it in His hands, and He will continue to be a Refuge for the oppressed.

“He will judge the world with justice
and rule the nations with fairness.
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.”
Psalm 9:8-9

“Tell the world about His unforgettable deeds.
For He who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.”
Psalm 9:11-12

Yes, it is unbearable sometimes to think that evil and abuse get away with it, but I’m going to try to remember that God is a Judge. This means His anger waxes hot against our abusers in defense of us. It is not my place to mete out justice, but I have to learn to leave the time and place in His hands.

Sometimes, especially in some churches and families, justice is not served. The abuser is protected and the victim is silenced, shunned, and shamed. I have read of far too many cases like this and have experienced it myself. But sometimes it comes to the point where we just have to let go and let God. Sometimes no matter what we do or say, attitudes will not change. But God remembers still, and He will mete out justice or mercy as He sees fit.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak out the truth or escape from the clutches of abuse and manipulation. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t report abuse to the proper authorities. Neither does it mean we shouldn’t set boundaries against churches or persons who continue to victimize us. God doesn’t want us to heap justice against ourselves and punish ourselves. We are precious in His sight, and He cries when we cry. He wants us to find shelter in Him.

Have you been silenced, shunned, or shamed? Have you done all you can to protect yourself and others, and still there are many who do not believe you? Concentrate on your healing, not on the injustice in your life. Don’t get me wrong. I know it is far from easy. But sometimes there comes a time when we know that no matter what we do or say, justice isn’t served. And we can’t keep letting it eat us up inside. We can’t let it keep chaining us to our abuser. We have to let go and let God. God sees, knows, and remembers. He has it all under control. In His love and favor, He gives us a place to flee for refuge.

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Praying we will seek for shelter and strength
in an Almighty God who has all power in His hands!

In His grip of love and grace!
Trudy

God can make our broken beautiful!

“I know that I don’t bring a lot to the table

Just little pieces of a broken heart

There’s days I wonder if You’ll still be faithful

Hold me together when I fall apart?

Would you remind me now of who you are?

That Your love will never change,

that there’s healing in your name

That You can take broken things,

and make them beautiful

You took my shame

And You walked out of the grave

So Your love can take broken things

and make them beautiful

I’m better off when I begin to remember

How You have met me in my deepest pain

So give me glimpses now of how You have covered

all of my heart ache, oh with all Your grace

Remind me now that You can make a way

You say that You’ll turn my weeping into dancing

Remove my sadness & cover me with joy

You say your scars are the evidence of healing

That You can make the broken beautiful

You make us beautiful, oh oh

You make us beautiful.”

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Fear Flees to Safe Arms

safeinhisarms
The eternal God is your refuge,
and His everlasting arms
are under you.”
(Deuteronomy 33:27a NLT)

A bunny runs for her life. The dog is gaining ground. So close his breath feels hot and his bark rings in her ears. My emotions entwine with the bunny’s. Heart-thumping, stomach-clenching, bone-piercing fear.

My husband was surfing channels just as I walked past. I stopped and stood like a statue, waiting to see what was going to happen. I love dogs, and they were my best friends as a child, but in this picture I did not see the dog as a friend. I could only see myself from the perspective of the bunny as fear pounded in my ears and tightened up my muscles.

Hurry, bunny! Run! Run! Relief flooded my veins as the bunny got to a hole where the dog couldn’t reach him. But the dog stuck its head in the hole and kept on barking fearlessly, ferociously, forcefully. Tension again, then “Whew!” He could only fit his head in. And yet he persisted, and I could almost feel the razor-sharp snap of his fangs.

Bats swinging from above screeched and flapped, adding frightening notes to the scene. The dog was unrestrained while the poor bunny shrunk tiny against the back of the hole. Just out of reach.

Then in a flash one bat swooped down and bit hard into the dog’s nose. Yelping in pain, the dog couldn’t get his head out fast enough.

Apparently this was a prelude to a movie. I don’t know for sure, because my husband surfed on. I don’t know why, but for some reason I identified with the bunny. Maybe because my emotions have been more raw lately. I suppose the ominous music in the background didn’t help.

I had to watch until the scene played out. I just had to root for the bunny’s safety. I just had to make certain he was out of danger. Okay, I know this is just a natural scene of everyday life, but it stirred up emotions in me.

When deep emotions get triggered, I have to process why. So I stop and think as I sort this out. I know I often over-analyze, but this dog reminded me of the evil of a perpetrator and the devil himself (though I hate to think of a dog as a devil). The hole was the grace of God holding him back, not letting him reach me.

I am the “bunny” running in fear from demons of the past, then scrambling for refuge in the arms of Jesus. I run in and the devil can no longer torment me. I cry out, “Jesus!” And the devil yelps and takes off with his tail between his legs.

The bats? Ok, maybe they were just angry from being disturbed. But I like to think they were protecting the helpless bunny.

Do you sometimes feel like this bunny? Flee to the wide open arms of Jesus. And you will be safe.

The devil is a liar and loves to hit us in the vulnerable spots, shooting his arrows of lies into our thoughts. God describes him as always lurking and prowling around us, roaring like a lion, ready to devour us  in a weak moment.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

But a comforting TRUTH is that Jesus has already conquered the devil. We are safe in His arms.

“The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation).” (Psalm 9:9 AMP)

A Child's Trust

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