Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Is It Too Hard?

Over the last year or so, here in my home state of Ohio, two tragedies were much in the news. Both of them involved the deaths of very young children, babies really, who were forgotten by their busy mothers and left for hours in cars that became super heated by the sun. Man I hate to hear such things…I hate that such things ever happen to anyone anywhere, especially babies. In neither case did the law officials decide to prosecute, having determined there was no criminal intent involved. “Tragic accident” was the conclusion.

Can you imagine the hell such a parent must endure over this kind of horror? To wake up every day (if you were ever able to get to sleep) realizing that you are the reason your beautiful child died such a terrible death. And that fact will never go away no matter what you do. To have to think that the one your child needed protection from was you…was mother.

Now, if you were to be the friend of such a person…what would you do? What would you say? Is there any help…any hope…real hope…hope they could actually somehow accept…which you could offer them…to help them deal with the accusations of their own heart every day…the hateful stares of the community around them…the haunting memory of a beloved child who is never coming back to them in this life?

Now King David didn’t leave a baby exposed to the elements…but he did illegitimately father a child who, though he was not punished for David’s sin, did indeed suffer and die as a result of David’s sin. David committed adultery and then covered it up by murdering one of his own faithful bodyguards and other soldiers who had the misfortune of serving in King David’s army alongside Uriah…there fighting the King’s battle…willing to give their lives for their king…but instead were murdered by that very king.

When all of this settled down into the heart of the man, who had so characteristically been a man after God’s own heart, when he woke up one day realizing that he was not only an adulterer, but a murderer as well…a murderer of a trusted bodyguard and of his own loyal soldiers…what happens to one’s heart after that? A man like David…so obviously human…and yet who had been so devoted to God for the bulk of his life, since his youth…what kind of hell does he go through? And doesn’t he have to go through it? Can he ever come back? When? How? And what is changed forever? And can things ever be good between God and him again? Is it too hard? Is it so hard as to be essentially impossible?

Who among us is willing to go approach the murdering adulterer…to try to help him find the way God has devised for him to return home? And what will you tell him? You don’t go on a mission like this without the cost of pain! Do you? Can you? For you will say nothing to offend the innocents who suffered so because of his sin. For God cared and cares about them.  BUT, God also (bless His Holy NAME) cares about this wretched sinner (and therein lies my only hope). What do you have to offer? Speak…for a soul hangs in the balance.

(I love you for helping me think through this…God bless you richly and Jesus give you peace in believing.)

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2 thoughts on “Is It Too Hard?

  1. David is an example for me of what happens when we mess up … and then trying to hide it … fix it … we mess up bigger and bigger and bigger. Next thing you know you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and you no longer recognize the one looking back. How did I get this low? This is not what I intended my life to be.

    I had sin in my life. Sin that I had to hide and cover up and worry about daily. The sin that bothered me most was committed while doing “mission work” so of course it bothered me more than any other sin. I don’t know why we classify things like that, but I did. I did not commit murder … but had it been necessary … we had a plan. Really. I thank God things went a different way, but to know what was in my heart … to know what I was willing to do to keep my secrets … that terrified me.

    The only way I could get the thoughts to rest was when I drank. It didn’t really help much, but it allowed me to care less and numb things some. Then I started in with the pills … those helped me stay “out of it” enough that I couldn’t form a coherent thought. Which meant I couldn’t think of all my horribleness.

    In recovering from all this I was introduced to a group of people I don’t imagine I would have met otherwise. Many would have been considered the lowest of the low. Some were homeless, some were murderers, most were theives, and all of us had no where else to go. We came in search of a solution to our pain. The majority of us found it with God. Not immediately, but eventually. For years and years of work … mixed in with tears and pain … we were guaranteed that our lives would be “different”. That was the main promise. Not terrific, not even better … just different.

    This different life comes with an appreciation for our past in light of how it can help someone else. Does this mean we embrace it and view it as a road worth traveling? No. We hate our past, but acknowledge that even God can’t change it. What’s done is done.

    The pain can be unbearable at times. Time does not really heal some things. But the more you are able to use your “junk” to help someone else get through theirs – the more valuable those lessons become.

    So I do not believe that David ever forgot what he did. There was probably not a day that went by that something didn’t remind him. Living with that was probably the hardest thing he ever had to do. But he did it. That’s the power of God. God can heal us … He can help us. The only way I can think to explain it is that He helps us make some good out of it so we do not feel like our life was a complete waste.

    I have approached that murdering adulterer and talked to him about God, I’ve held his hand as we said the Lord’s Prayer and promised to keep coming back. I was only able to do it because we had a common problem and a common goal. We had to stick together to survive.

    This is a problem with our “churches” I think. We don’t always see this life as something we are in together … sticking together to survive. The murdering adulterer might be there, but we would most likely never know that part of his life unless we get really close to him and talk to him alone. Our place has bridged this a little, but it’s still hard.

    The relationship we need in order to overcome these tragedies you mention come from realizing what we have in common. Having escaped the same disasters is something that brings people together. But what keeps them together is discovering a common solution that helps them live with the damage that disaster left behind.

    Thanks for making me dig deep Doug … I’m learning.

    PAIGE, WHAT YOU SHARED HERE TOUCHED MY HEART…MADE ME THANK GOD FOR BRINGING YOU THROUGH SUCH DEEP, DARK VALLEYS…NOT ONLY KEEPING YOU ALIVE, NOT ONLY FOR RESTORING YOU TO GRACE AND TO YOU THE JOY OF SALVATION (AT LEAST SOME OF THE TIME…AND HOPEFULLY IN INCREASING MEASURE), BUT ALSO FOR GIVING YOU A RARE GIFT OF INSIGHT THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PENETRATE THE CALLOUSNESS AND GET TO OUR HEARTS WITH GOD’S TRUTH…ONLY FOR YOU…HIS TRUTH WHICH YOUR FIERY TRIALS HAVE BROUGHT YOU TO SEE WITH MORE CLARITY, APPRECIATE MORE FULLY AND NOW TO SHARE OPENLY…HONESTLY…WITH ALL OF US.
    YOUR WORDS HERE NEED NOTHING ADDED BY ME. AS I READ YOUR WORDS, I WAS GLAD TO BECOME YOUR STUDENT. THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME. YOU MAKE ME DIG DEEP…AND I AM TRYING TO LEARN.

  2. What a challenge! As I was reading your post I just kept thinking that I don’t know what I would say. I am not sure there are words that any of us can offer to ease the kind of pain caused by mistakes. Whether they were intentional or not, the pain is still tremendous.

    I think this is where it might be best not to necessarily try to come up with the words, but to show them the love of Jesus through our actions. Sometimes just the presence of someone who cares means more than their words. Our words can’t erase anyone’s pain, but our actions can help bind up the wounds.

    This has definitely given me something to chew on. I am gonna keep thinking about this one. I appreciate you stirring the thoughts in my head!

    THANK YOU FOR COMMENTING, SARAH. I AM SORRY FOR THE LONG DELAY IN MY RESPONSE.
    YOU BRING UP A GREAT POINT…SOMETIMES THERE REALLY AREN’T WORDS…AND IF WE TRULY ENTER INTO ANOTHER’S PAIN, OUR QUIET PRESENCE WITH THEM IS REALLY THE WORK OF THE LORD, ISN’T IT? IT’S NOT EASY EITHER. WE CANNOT TRULY HELP THEM, UNLESS WE CARE ABOUT THEM. THIS TRUTH ABOUT OUR CARING LORD IS WHAT MANY TIMES KEPT HIM FROM RESTING…FROM GETTING AWAY ALONE WITH THE DISCIPLES…FROM FINDING A HOUSE OF HIS OWN…FROM RAISING A FAMILY OF HIS OWN…FROM TAKING A CUSHY JOB AS A RESPECTED TEACHER SOMEWHERE IN THE INTELLECTUAL CIRCLES OF GREECE…AND ETC. HE CARED…SO HE COULDN’T DESERT THEM, EVEN WHEN THEY WERE SO BAD. IF WE ARE TO SERVE IN JESUS’ WAY…WE MUST DO SO AT THE COST OF PAIN. IT’S NOT THE PAIN WE ARE LOOKING FOR…IT’S TO BE HELPFUL TO ONE FOR WHOM JESUS HAS LED US TO CARE. SO THERE IS NO OTHER WAY THAN FOR US TO ENTER THEIR PAIN. WHEN WE DO THIS, WE SEE HOW HIDEOUS IT IS TO SIMPLY TOSS A FEW SCRIPTURES OR WELL-WORN AND TRITE PHRASES AT A SUFFERER. NO. WE WILL CAREFULLY TASTE OUR WORDS…WE WILL PRAY FOR GOD’S WISDOM…AND THEN WE WILL SPEAK, IF IT SEEMS RIGHT TO SPEAK, OUT OF A HEART OF LOVE. BUT NOTHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN BETWEEN US AND THE SUFFERER, IF WE CHOOSE NOT TO BE THERE.
    I WANT US TO SPEAK YET MORE ABOUT DAVID’S STORY. THANKS FOR HELPING OUR DISCUSSION, SARAH.

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