Somebody in Florida was pretty up-tight.  Back in the day The Florida Baptist Witness ran an article about a book titled, Making Peace With Your Past:  Help for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families.  The book was written by a pastor, Tim Sledge, who grew up in a dysfunctional family.  This pastor realized that events in his childhood still produced a great deal of trauma and difficulty in his present life.  The book tells what he learned in his journey toward wholeness and offers a biblical approach for others who deal with the same sort of thing.

One week later, enter one angry letter-writer.  How could the Witness even think of highlighting a book that relies on psychology rather than on the Word of God?  How could the writer not see that psychology and Christianity are based on two totally different suppositions?  The Biblical answer to our past is just to forget it, like God does.

Alrighty then.  How’s that working out for you?

Think about it.  Is it unscriptural for hurting people to try to get a grip on their past?  Is there any such thing as Christian (def. – “under the lordship of Jesus Christ) psychology (def. – “the study of human behavior”)?  Is there something spiritually wrong with me, or with you, if we can’t “just forget it, like God does?”

Maybe my Florida friend should take a lesson from the hurricanes that routinely blow through that state.  In a matter of hours, those deadly storms can destroy lives, property, and a lot of dreams.  No one there escapes the fury.

But then an interesting thing happens.  The hurricane ceases its attack.  It “forgets” Florida and headed elsewhere.  But the next morning, and for months to come, residents survey the damage and begin the long process of picking up the pieces.

Suppose in their “relief effort” a bunch of preachers went to Homestead and passed out little tracts that proclaimed, “The storm is over!  Now forget it!”  Would that rebuild their homes, or help them in the process of healing?

Of course not.

But maybe if they’re passing out food and blankets, they will have an opportunity to hold a storm-shocked little girl and tell her with all the love they can, “It’s over, baby.  It’s not gonna rain today.”

Perhaps your past resembles an emotional hurricane.  Trauma, abuse, loneliness, war, sin, grief – the possibilities are endless.  If you have received Christ as their Savior, your sins are forgiven.  God has forgotten them!

But maybe you’re still living with “storm damage.”  You didn’t ask for it.  And being a Christian didn’t automatically undo it.

I have some good news for you.  The same God who forgave your sins will heal the hurts of your past.  But chances are, He won’t do it overnight.  And He won’t do it without your cooperation.

Make peace with your past, if you need to.  In the next post I’ll show you a biblical roadmap for how that can happen.

In the process, you will find that while God has forgotten your sins, He hasn’t forgotten you.  You’ll find Him working – in you, with you, for you, through you – picking up the pieces and healing the damage.  If it takes a day or an hour, that’s great.  But if it takes a lifetime, He’ll still be there.

Weeping may endure. . . but joy really does come in the morning.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando October 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I have met many people in the blogging world who suffer from past traumas and/or abuse during their childhoods. Most are in some form of therapy even though they are believers. Your analogy to the damage caused by the hurricane is brilliant – yes, the storm may passed by, but what it leaves in its wake cannot be ignored.
Great inspiration here, Andy! Thank you!
God bless!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post .."Hear! Hear the Voice of the Lord!"

Belfor New York July 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

It’s important to believe in something. Things will get better. This isn’t to say that there won’t be work involved because there will be but it will get better eventually.

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