Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Unit 4 Lesson 5, Help from Psalm 23

Another Hebrew word for restore is found in Psalm 23. This is perhaps the most familiar passage in all of Scripture to Christians and non-Christians alike. The Hebrew word for restore in verse three is used in a verb form that means "to cause someone or something to return and to restore someone or something to a former condition." This Scripture can be a powerful part of your restoration. God desires to cause you to return and to restore to you those things that sexual abuse has taken away.

Psalm 23

"1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, a]">[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

As you think about this scripture, take time to journal about how the Shepherd has ministered to you.

God does restore the soul, mind, feelings and emotions. Often survivors can't relate to God, and especially God the Father, during the early part of their recovery. Psalm 23 can help you to start a new relationship with God. The Shepherd will restore your heart, mind, and soul in spite of the scars that remain. Under Christ's lordship, even the scars can help you to become more compassionate, understanding, and resilient from having successfully survived such abuse.

Take a break right now and pray. Talk to God about how you feel about Him as Father. Share your feelings with Him about Psalm 23 - even if those feelings do not seem acceptable. Ask Him to lead you to restoration and healing.

More about restoration

The Hebrew word for restore found in Joel 2:25 means literally, "to make whole." God promised He would make the people in Joel's day whole after a devastating loss. He is still in the restoring business today. He can restore to you those things that betrayal has taken away. God will restore the time you have lost by making the time you have now more meaningful. Most survivors have had part or all of their childhood stolen. Often when victims survey the past, they cannot see anything that is good.

No human could give back what was taken from you. Only God can do that. If every person who abused you came and asked you for forgiveness, none could give you back the loss that you have experienced. You may feel better, but only God can give a life with meaning and purpose. He can make a beautiful mosaic of the broken pieces of your life.

In the book of Job, Job suffered devastating losses. He lost his wealth, his health, and he suffered the deaths of his children. At the end of the story, God restored Job. Job received far more than he possessed in the beginning. He regained his health, greater weather than before, he even had more children. But Job did not gain his dead children. Satan had caused their deaths, and they were not restored to Job - at least not then.

God can restore you in the same way that He restored Job. You can feel clean again. The love and grace of God can cleanse and replace the feelings of shame and filthiness, and the stain of abuse. Allow God to touch those areas where you need restoration. Life will not return to exactly the way things were before the abuse, but God can give you a life with meaning and purpose. You may even come to the place that you see that God has given you more than the abuse took away.

Does understanding God's process for restoration bring hope into your life? Take some time to journal about that.

I have written several different blog entries about the way God continues to heal and restore my life. Twenty-two years into recovery and I continue to be overwhelmed by his awesome power and concern for me! The authors of our workbook could not be more right when they say that the abusers can apologize and seek our forgiveness, but they cannot restore what they stole from us. Only God can do that. I was quite content to merely have a good amount of peace and happiness in my life, but apparently God was not satisfied with stopping there. He continues to surprise me by healing even the tiniest broken pieces of my life. Nothing gets by God and I'm thoroughly convinced that He will never stop his mighty work of healing me. It is overwhelming and totally humbling... Why does He care so much about every little detail? I believe the answer is because He loves his children.

1 comment:

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