Sunday, 6 July 2014

Let It Go

Like most mothers with young children recently I’ve had three words going round and round in my head for the last few weeks

"Let it Go"

But it’s not because my kids are into Frozen, in fact weirdly enough they must be the only kids on the planet who aren’t and for that I am eternally grateful.

Of course I do hear that song everywhere I go, there’s simply no avoiding it, but it hasn’t just been that. I’ve seen these kind of memes on my facebook and twitter feeds, and from people you wouldn’t expect them from:

I have a lot of wise Godly people in my life and they’ve been saying to me recently “you’ve got to let things go Sally, you have to stop dwelling on it before you become bitter.” God really has used every means at his disposal to get this message across to me, when I’ve stubbornly refused to engage it’s been everywhere.

I also read that telling an abuse victim to move on and let it go is trite and ridiculous not only because they have formed a traumatic bond to their abuser but also because it’s a hurt you just can’t imagine unless you’ve been there. And I have found myself agreeing with this and asking God “I know I need to move on but how when it hurts so much?”

Last night I was off to bed, it was late and I thought to myself “I wish I’d found time to read my bible today but it’s late now and I’m tired” but then I just got this feeling that I should read it. I argued with myself a bit (please tell me I’m not the only one who has conversations with herself in her head? I feel a bit crazy admitting this) but in the end I couldn’t ignore the feeling not only that I needed to read my bible, but that I should read the passage I read yesterday (Isaiah 53) because I had missed something.

BBC Cross from Flickr via Wylio
© 2005 Ihar, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio
And this is what I read:
 “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53: 3&7)
I pondered how Jesus experienced pain, sorrow, grief, rejection, abuse. I thought for a while on how he has walked the road I walk. It’s because he’s suffered he’s able to walk this road of suffering with me, he’s the friend who really “gets it.” Yet I’ve known he’s with me on this road, I’ve known he understands my suffering, but I haven’t understood how that can take the pain away. I haven’t seen how having a loving saviour who understands perfectly what I am going through, really in any practical sense helps me to let go and move on.

And then I read this
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.” (Isaiah 53:4)
In the morning at 09:05 am from Flickr via Wylio
© 2013 KarstenH68, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio
And suddenly, like a lightbulb moment, that horribly religious phrase “leave it at the foot of the cross” made sense to me. I had always understood the concept of atonement; I’ve always grasped that on the cross Jesus took the burden of all my sins, all my wrongdoing. But it never dawned on me that in taking the burden of all sin he didn't just deal with my sin, he dealt with the sin done to me.  I understood that Jesus felt the shame of my sin, I had never thought about how he also takes the pain of sin. On the cross Jesus felt this pain I am feeling now, the pain caused by my husband’s sin; he felt this exact hurt and anguish. He didn’t just die so I wouldn’t have to; he hurt so I wouldn’t have to.

So can Jesus take this pain from me? Well he already has, I just need to surrender it. All the times I’ve prayed “God please please stop me hurting” I’d known God was able to because he is all powerful, but I imagined it being like some kind of cosmic magic; where he would just make the pain vanish, and that kind of didn’t work for me. It’s only now I realise how God heals us, he does it by putting that pain onto his precious son and letting him carry that burden for us.

What a friend we have in Jesus!
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”
(Joseph M. Scriven)

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