Years ago, a friend of mine shared something traumatic from her past. She ended her story with a question.
“What do you think I should do with that?” she asked.
Before I could answer, she rushed on to explain how someone else told her faith meant letting it go. Burying it. Leaving it alone. Forgetting it ever happened. Someone told her to “move on and get over it.”
In my opinion, the response was appalling.
Suffering, trauma, and sin should never be treated lightly.
At the same time, I watched as this friend struggled under the weight of the burden. She saw connections every day between pain in the past and her challenges in the present. Her past trauma paralyzed her, and she was bitter, withdrawn, and defensive most of the time.
I didn’t have a good answer to her previous question. But I knew carrying her hurts with her all the time, everywhere, wasn’t good either.
Suffering, trauma, and sin don’t have to define and control us.
Praise Jesus, He has an answer to “what to do” with suffering. He meant it when He said “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Suffering, trauma, and sin have a definite end.
There is nothing beyond Jesus. No suffering He has not overcome. No sin He cannot redeem from. No trauma He won’t work for good.
We live in the present tense, where things are ongoing, but hear Jesus’ tense:
Outside of time, active today, certain of the future He holds, and aware of all that has been, Jesus can declare done what is very much still doing in our lives.
We are complete in Him, and He will bring us to completion. He has saved, but there are still believers yet to be born.
Though there is paradox, this is what faith (the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen) means for whatever it is we don’t know what to do with:
Jesus died for that. Don’t take it lightly, but also don’t take it with you. Bring it to the cross. Share it with Jesus.Jesus died for that. Don’t take it lightly, but also don’t take it with you. Bring it to the cross. Share it with Jesus. Click To Tweet
Call sin sin, and let Jesus deal with it.
Weep when it’s time to grieve, and recognize Jesus’ empathy in that.
Treat wounds like wounds, and ask Jesus to heal them.
Recognize what’s false, and cling to what Jesus says is true.
Whatever it is you’re dealing with, deal with it with Jesus.
This is what I would say today, knowing Jesus, to my friend and myself about what to do with our “that.”
Jesus knows what to do, He holds it all, and He does so compassionately. Keep going to Him.
Oh My Soul, a song by Casting Crowns, speaks to this. One of my favorite lines is: “there is a place where fear has to face the God we know.” Listen for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPLdtDeD7Xc
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