I’ve had many conversations with friends where people have turned away from God as a result of being hurt by people. You might struggle with the encouragement I give to trust God especially if your abuse happened in a church or by a spiritual leader. If that is true for you, I’m so sorry that happened. People can be awful representatives of God and not all who claim to be Christian are genuinely seeking to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. As human beings, we are sinful, broken, and selfish people. We continuously disappoint one another. We live in a world where, sadly, there is darkness everywhere and it is in many cases disguised and invisible to us. There will always be potential for people to harm one another. This type of abuse particularly grieves the heart of our Father — but please don’t blame God.
Where Was God? A Discussion About Free Will
I spent years wondering, “Where was God?” I wondered how He could have watched idly as the adults responsible for my wellbeing destroyed my innocence and trust in others, and my zeal for life shattered. I blamed God for failing to protect me and questioned His goodness. In my struggle to make sense of this I allowed bitterness to take root in my heart and justified my behaviors based on what I had suffered as a child.
Where was God? That unanswered question drove me to permit myself to act out in anger and defense. I reasoned that I was who I was because of what had happened to me. When little girls learn in their fragile years that love and affection are attached to touching in ways that make them uncomfortable, they are programmed to go through life allowing trespass after trespass. As a child, I learned that grownups are the authority. They were not to be disobeyed or questioned, which resulted in blind obedience. When adults we love and trust have full access to us, we are powerless and stand quietly by as the peace and beauty of life is snatched from us. I went from experiencing abuse at the hands of others to giving myself away later in a desperate pursuit for love and acceptance and making choices that buried me further in shame and anger.
You may wonder as I did for a time, how an all-powerful and good God allows such atrocities. Why doesn’t He step in to rescue an innocent child from being violated?
What happened to me was not because God allowed it or because He watched idly by as the innocence of His creation was destroyed.
What happened to me was a result of free will.
What happened to you was a result of someone else’s free will.
He has given us free will, and He respects our authority over our lives.
Someone made some evil choices around you. If you were swept away as a result of someone else’s free will, choose to place responsibility for what happened to you on the person who made those evil choices and not on God.
“Bad” things happen, not for lack of love. God chose to wrap himself in a human body to pay the price for sin that he knew since the beginning of time-would take hold of us. He created us with free will and knew we would be deceived and broken by the world and someone would have to pay the price. Then He chose to be the one to pay it for us so that we could have a bridge back from broken to wholeness.
He loved us while we were sinners and He makes every attempt to call us back to Him. He pursues us incessantly at every turn-through our circumstances, in our suffering, with friends and family-He is always there, loving and seeking us.
You are not here by coincidence. You are reading this — perhaps reluctantly — because He led you to it, He wants to heal you. He is knocking at the door of your heart and if you allow Him to, He will transform you from the inside out. Repairing your broken heart is just the beginning of all that He wants to give you.