• sibyllezion

About persevering in suffering, and about the courage to entrust oneself completely to God.

Updated: Jun 28




"Fear is not in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear reckons with punishment; but he who fears is not perfect in love. (1 John 4:18, Elberfelder)



My dear friends, dear wonderful women of God,


  • how do you explain that God is good?

  • How do you explain that Jesus really loves us?

  • How do you explain that Jesus wants to restore-and does?


A while back I listened to a podcast by John and Stasi Eldredge.

It was a very thought-provoking podcast*.


They questioned whether they had promised a healing and a blessing from God that is not readily available in this way. Not if unconditional surrender and relationship are not sought. And I understood them.


If there's one thing God always emphasizes, it's that He's all about undividedness of one's heart. A little bit of God, a little bit of Jesus-it just doesn't work.


Many, many of those who have a living relationship with God and feel truly accepted long, pray and struggle for what is called revival.


But revival, real revival, is a surrender and a taking possession of the...heart by God, Jesus, by the Holy Spirit as Lord and King.

It is not signs and wonders, claiming of authority, it is not mass conversion in stadions. It is knowledge, it is trust and it is faith in the perfect love that God is.


We wish that God would simply set us free.


And we dream that the shadows of the past will simply disappear. We are willing to try all kinds of ways to achieve this and argue like tinkers about which doctrine is the right one, which is the wrong one, and which is the one that brings salvation.

And while we do this, the true blessing, the view of our God and His greatness remains veiled - and the life we lead remains largely under our own direction.


It is easier to live with a distant God than with one who binds us in, takes us in, and calls us "his special property." Long ago I read as a comment on a Bible verse meme that highlighted this passage, "But I don't want to be anyone's property. I don't want anyone to be able to dispose of me as they please."


Fear spoke from the response. Pure fear, terror and ...one's own history.


To be property.

To entrust oneself. To impose one's own will. It triggers horror. Authority, to be led; it means: loss of control.

And loss of control, not being able and allowed to protect one's own country - it means suffering, encroachment, pain and lack for the vast majority of us.


  • If God provides for me, then yes, he does it the way he wants. But what if he does not see me? Must I then always be poor?

  • If God uses me for His purposes, does that mean I can no longer care about my friends? Does that then mean that everything else must take a back seat, that I must stand in the pedestrian zone in a pious manner with booklets of tracts, even though nothing annoyed me more myself than that before I became a Christian?

  • When I entrust my life to God, where does He take me? And what price do I pay for it? What if I don't want that at all?


We are afraid when we have not yet fully recognized God's love. And out of this fear, we do not entrust ourselves.


There is an inkling that God wants to lead us into a better place. One that gives us freedom to flourish in our gifts. But instead of trusting Him- we try to get there ourselves. And if it takes too long, we take the job we've been looking for ourselves- or give up.

We are afraid that God will overlook us, ignore us, (ab)use us. We're afraid that the clothes he gives us won't suit us, won't fit us. We are afraid that his blessings have a catch- and rather provide like the poor guy who filled his granaries for himself instead of sharing the abundance with those who had nothing- and rejoicing in their gratitude and joy.

Poor, rich, lonely man.


When it comes to our story, it is about the reasons why this trust in God is so weakened.


We have all been dealt a jarred, shaken measure of hurt. We have all been broken, disappointed, robbed of illusions and daydreams. We have all been bruised, hurt, devalued. We all carry a backpack packed with disappointment, failure, with lack and with sadness. Sadness for the broken relationship with our father who never loved us. Sadness over the broken marriage. Disappointment when we look back and do not achieve what we announced so full of hope and freshness at 19 after graduating from high school. The company went bankrupt, our studies were interrupted - the cancer that put an end to our education. Premature pregnancy, failed marriage, wrong ways.


And if we already belonged to Jesus when all these things happened- then an unbearable, inexplicable pain remains in addition.

Why, Lord? Even if it was Satan and not you, why did I have to endure it, bear it, why did I have to bear this pain? Where was your unspeakable love, your closeness, your understanding and miraculous intervention? Couldn't the rapist have broken his leg before he reached me? Couldn't you have prevented the traffic accident that killed my best friend?


And why, why, why???

We meet with silence- or at least we assume that.


No, that doesn't make it any easier with trust in an invisible God who we perceive as real, but who sometimes you'd just like to drum against your rib cage. Real. Like chopping wood. To let the pain out. To shout out the anger.


But God, He is perfect, we hear. And it's not for us to judge with him. After all, it's self-righteous to think that way. So: better to lash out at ourselves and hide that pain from others.


And THERE, right there, dear ones, lies the error that traps so many within themselves.


It is not true that we must not yell at God. It is not true that we must not be angry with Him. It is not true that we must carry this package around silently, with soft-faced pious expression and mute sorrow.


Women in particular, according to Christian trauma therapist and counselor Dr.Dan Allender, do not face their anger. They swerve into: Sadness. They choose sadness and depression instead of anger and rage and the expression of the same. And when women get angry, they usually do it in a sneaky way: They sit on the toilet and sulk. They slam doors. They tease. They bitch. They use the sharpest weapon they have: They go for love withdrawal and ignorance: "I'm not talking to you anymore."


But facing that inner pressure, that conflict, women in particular are terribly, terribly afraid to do that. Why?


Because it's not appropriate. Because it's considered unfeminine and naughty. Because defiance and resistance is equated with rebellion even when it is a result of one's own limitations, one's own inner values - a violation of the heart.


Anger and rage are not unbiblical and something that was unknown to Jesus last.

Whether the tables flew through the temple, whether he answered Pharisees with cold sharpness or asked himself unnervingly how long he would have to "endure" this unteachable, little-believing people of his closest friends and disciples - there are many scenes that contradict the unspeakably soft-spoken, pious, all-suffering image of the medieval icon Christ.


One does not entrust oneself to such a person. No. The one to whom one entrusts oneself must be someone whom one can follow through battles, to whom one can throw oneself against the strong breast, to whom one really trusts omnipotence.


The smaller and more pious our image of Christ is, the less we trust him.

And the less we have understood how great his gift to us really is, the less we will dare to grow in him. We will try to remain small, unobtrusive, ducking away from him and hoping that he can somehow accept us. But is that what he promised us? Is that how he has behaved? Has he ever been unfair or pushed away anyone who came to him? Sincerely, seeking help? No, he didn't.


Jesus is the same, and his power to heal you is the same.

We don't see him for a little while, but for that, exactly for that, we were sealed in the Holy Spirit, who is our support and our direct line to him - because he is also God. Through him, with him, in him we are provided with everything we need. He wants to teach us, explain us, guide us, lead us, provide for us, comfort us, heal us. But: do we ask him for it? Do we invite him to fill us? Do we surrender ourselves to him?


And what does Jesus actually want from us? It may be a frightening realization: Everything.

He wants us, our story, our heart, our life, our career choice, our finances, our marriage, our heart attitude, our pain, our hurt, our weaknesses, our sins, our- life.


Jesus wants you with all that you are. With all that you bring. He does not pick the raisins out of the cake and throw away the dough.

He wants you, but ...for that you have to open yourself to Him. If you think you better hide who you are from him- then you forget that he sees you for who you are. You forget that he sees anger, your anger at him. You forget that he sees your bitterness - and your tears at night. You forget that he was there when you were abused, when you suffered lack and were bullied, you forget that he knows it all, all of it. He already knows.


He is waiting for you to ask him to explain to you why he allowed this to happen.

He's waiting for you to ask him like a child: "Fix it, Dad. It's broken. I can't." He wants you to throw your anger and rage before him and demand answers, wisdom, healing. He wants you to trust him. He wants you to understand that no lightning bolt will strike you for your insolence, but unexpected love and grace.


You cannot be free if you hide.

You know, he says to you, "Hey, I found you. You can come out now. Show yourself to me. I know you're naked. It doesn't matter. I created you that way. And you're hurt and bleeding. Let me bandage you up."


Run to your father. He doesn't beat you. He doesn't tell you you're worthless. He loves you. But you two... have things to work out. And you know- he wants to hold you. But he can't do that if you sit in the corner and turn away from his love.


So rage, punch him, yell at him until you're shaking and he can finally, finally hold you in his arms. And then....start talking.



Yes. it wasn't fair. No, it wasn't perfect. Yes, others treated you badly. And no, it didn't please God. Your pain matters. And he wants to heal and give what you didn't have. Will you let him?


I hope so.

Because its not about surrender to fate here- its about relationship.


Be blessed,

Sibyl/Daughter of Zion.


Sources:

The Bible, rev. Elberfelder translation

Dr. Dan Allender/Dr. Tremper Longman III (eds.): The cry of the soul. How our emotions reveal our deepest questions about God. Navpress, 2015.

* Wildatheart podcast:"No divided allegiances" https://wildatheart.org/rhplay/search#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=no%20divided%20allegiances&gsc.sort=

11 views0 comments