Thursday, November 13, 2008
SESAL YANG DATANG TERLAMBAT
Sekalipun dosamu merah seperti kirmizi, akan menjadi putih seperti salju (Yesaya 1:18a)
Saat ia memandang putra kami, nampak air mata menetes di pipinya. Kutanyakan padanya,”Ada apa, Mbak?” Wajahnya makin tertunduk, ia menghela napasnya dalam-dalam dan berkata,”Seandainya waktu itu aku tidak mengaborsi anakku, pasti ia sudah sebesar putramu ini. Kenapa saat itu aku begitu picik dan mengambil sebuah keputusan yang menyebabkan rasa berdosa, yang menderaku siang dan malam. Tuhan pun pasti tidak akan mengampuniku, aku ini pembunuh….pembunuh darah dagingku sendiri”
Tangisannya mengeras saat kupeluk dirinya, ia menangis cukup lama dipundakku. Setelah ia cukup tenang, ia bertanya padaku,”Apakah Tuhan akan mengampuniku atas dosa pembunuhan ini. Sebab Tuhan telah menyatakan bahwa kita tidak boleh membunuh. Dan aku sudah membunuh jabang bayiku sendiri karena aku saat itu malu telah hamil sebelum menikah. Pasti Tuhan membenci dan menolakku.” Dengan tatapan penuh kasih, kupegang pundaknya dan mengatakan,”Tuhan mengasihi semua orang berdosa, dan Ia mati di kayu salib untuk menebus semua dosa kita. Apapun dosa itu, Tuhan akan mengampuni kita. Asalkan kita datang padaNya, mengakui dosa dan meninggalkan dosa yang telah kita perbuat itu.
Tuhan membenci dosa namun Ia mengasihi orang berdosa yang mau bertobat.
Semua kita pernah melakukan dosa dan kesalahan, seringkali kita menyesali kegagalan tersebut. Namun Tuhan tidak menghendaki kita tetap tinggal dalam penyesalan dan kekalahan. Tuhan ingin kita untuk bangkit dari dosa dan hidup dalam kebenaran.
Pertama-tama, sadari dosa dan kesalahan kita terhadap Tuhan dan sesama kita. Kedua, akui dosa itu di hadapan Tuhan, minta maaf pada orang yang telah kita lukai dan adakan restitusi bilamana diperlukan. Ketiga, lihatlah dirimu sebagai seorang ciptaan baru dan jangan hidup dalam masa lalu. Sebab kini kau ada di dalam Tuhan dan adalah ciptaan yang baru. Bila saat ini anda masih hidup dalam dosa, cepatlah betobat dan berbalik pada Tuhan. Sebab penyesalan selalu datang terlambat.
Doa: Tuhan ini aku seorang pendosa, hari ini kudatang dan mohon pengampunanMu. Biarlah anugerahMu turun atasku.
FT: Yohanes 8:1-11
Monday, November 3, 2008
INNER HEALING 3
I mentioned last week I'd share about some of the people of the Bible that had emotional hurts they had to deal with. Space prevents me from going into detail of people like Jacob/Esau and their need for inner healing, or Joseph's severe trauma, or Mary, Lazarus' brother, or the woman at the well - and the list goes on - all real people with real emotional trauma who had to walk out their inner healing by thinking new thoughts and new ways. But there is time to share the stories of a couple people:
He said, she said
King Saul had a son, Jonathan, who was David's best friend. They were in covenant together, and Jonathan had a son, Mephibosheth, who was lame. Do you know how he became crippled? II Samuel 4:4-5 reports that at age 5, when the news of Saul and Jonathan's deaths came to their families, Mephibosheth's nurse picked him up to run away but tripped and fell, and he become lame. (His name means "remover of shame")
Why was she running with him? Because the death of Saul and his dad meant that David would become king, and often all the family of the previous royal family was killed by the victor - so Saul and Jonathan's relatives were terrified of David. From the age of 5 Mephibosheth was terrified David would one day summon him to court for execution. Can you imagine the emotional scars that boy carried - first from fear for his life, and then the fact he was now crippled for life - all because of David.
One day David did call Mephibosheth before him. At the time Mephibosheth lived in Lodebar, which means "no pasture". It was a barren place, where he lived in constant fear for his life, and being crippled and having to depend on others, probably suffered lack in many areas - life was hard - and then the king summoned.
Unknown to Mephibosheth, David had said: "Is there yet any left of the family of Saul, that I may show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" That's why he summoned Mephibosheth. David's first words to him were: "Fear not; for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your (grandfather); and you will eat at my table continually." (II Sam 9:1-8)
The emotional healing was starting. Mephibosheth had to un-believe the lies he had grown up believing about David. So too we must un-believe the lies about ourselves or our past - and believe God's perspective of the situation in order to heal. Mephibosheth was not asked to forget the deaths of his father and grandpa, he was merely asked to focus on the goodness of the king and his provision! David was offering provision today and in the future, AND restoration of lands lost. You may not be able to forget what you did or what was done to you, but the invitation is to be consumed with all the King has for you now!
Going through life while hanging onto man's view or Satan's view of our history is like eking out a living in Lodebar - no pasture - not enough to 'eat' spiritually and emotionally. The king was ready to restore the lushness that was his family's rightful place, but which Mephibosheth had never known. He had never seen his dad and grandfather's properties - but they belonged to him. He had to leave the place of no pasture, take that scary step to come before the king, and be willing to believe the King's good wishes for him.
The king says eat at my table and I will also restore all your lands - some of which you've not yet seen! The enemy says "at least you know Lodebar - it's not much, but it's safe!"
Years later David had to flee for his life because his son Absalom wanted to be king in his stead. After the rebellion had been put down David returned to Jerusalem and II Samuel 19: 24 tells us: "Mephibosheth came down to meet the king, and had neither washed his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king left until the day he came again in peace."
Mephibosheth had been so won over by the king that in his absence he mourned the whole time. In fact, he was so glad to see David that when David reaffirmed his offer to let Mephibosheth and Ziba divide their land, Mephibosheth told David that Ziba could have it all - he only cared that David was back in peace! (v29-30)
That's the way healing is. We may first look at the inheritance and what is 'rightfully' ours, and at first that seems what is important to us - regaining what has been lost. But later, when you live in that healing, in that emotional peace, you find that 'things' don't matter to you, only the peace you now have. Attaining 'land' you never had in the first place is icing on the cake, but not required for you to be happy.
You reach the place where Mephibosheth was, content to sit at the king's table, rejoicing in his presence!
Not a victim, but the "perp"
Who was the worst sinner in history up until about the year 33 AD? Herod who killed the babies of Bethlehem? Ahab and Jezebel who led Israel astray? Nope. It's Paul, or rather, Saul of Tarsus.
In I Timothy 1:15 Paul said "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." The word "chief" is in the Greek, "proto", which means "first". It's where we get proto-type - the first, chief, and example for all that follow.
This man who met Christ on the way to Damascus says he was the worst sinner because he persecuted Christians, and refers to his persecution when he calls himself a "blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious"...but he received mercy.
He goes on to say in verse 16: "...in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who would hereafter believe on him to life everlasting..." The word "pattern" here originally meant a written outline or sketch, again bringing out that Paul's life and the mercy he received was a prototype or basic outline to help those who would believe on Jesus after him. If Paul can be saved, so can I!
How deep is your love?
But Paul struggled with guilt. He was there when Steven was stoned to death, and when Jesus appeared to him outside Damascus he didn't say "I am Jesus and you are persecuting my followers". He said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting", such was the depth of his sin before God. (Acts 9:5)
To the Corinthians he revealed his inner struggle: "And last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time, for I am the least of all the apostles, that am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (I Cor 15:9)
"Born out of due time" is one word, "ektroma", and means "abortion or miscarriage", and was originally used in the Roman Senate to describe a proposed bill that was killed in conference or on the Senate floor. Paul said that's how he felt about his life - born at the wrong time, as an abortion or miscarried life - he didn't see the ministry of Jesus, persecuted the church, and then to top it all off, Jesus made him an apostle!
Many people who have been the victim and/or victimizer of friends and family, wrestle with feelings of "it would have been better if I'd never been born", as Paul struggled here. In one way he felt his life had been a waste, and even as he wrote he said he considered himself the least of the apostles.
On the other hand he could not argue with the fact that he had been shown mercy, for he told the Galatians: "...but it pleased God , who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him..." (1:15-16)
His memory of the past hadn't been erased, but redeemed. He remembered so he could see God's mercy in his life and be used for inner healing in his life.
15 years later or more after he was saved he is writing to Timothy, the Corinthians, and the Galatians - yet his inner struggles flowed fresh from his pen even then.
Paul had to do what we all have to do. We have to weigh out both sides. On the one hand, a life filled with wasted years - a miscarriage of a life before coming to Christ. On the other hand he was shown mercy and called as an apostle. He had to choose to believe God rather than continually looking over his shoulder at his past sins. And it should be noted that in I Timothy 1:15 he used present tense: "...Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I AM CHIEF..."
He lived ever-aware of his sin that he might live ever-aware of God's grace in his life. Like Paul we must look forward and be consumed with the King's provision and mercy today, and not looking over our shoulder at the past; aware of our past yes, consumed or focused on the past, no.
He had to forgive himself - that's what it got down to. God felt he was worth saving and making an example of, so he had to get over himself and trust the King.
In his last letter Paul said "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that (last) day." (II Tim 1:12) We all have a past that we committed to him the day we believed on Jesus; the key is getting to know him whom we've entrusted.
When we get to know Him more and better, we will begin to think his thoughts concerning our lives, and the healing will flow. Then we will be like Paul; our lives a pattern and example to those who will believe because of the mercy shown us!
Some thoughts this week,