The scene takes place in a tree house. Unattractive, nerdy-type girl climbs up tree house. Her big brother is sitting in the tree house reading a book leisurely. Upon seeing bruises on his sister’s face, he asks her what happened. She halfheartedly mumbles something about someone hitting her at school. Instantly her brother throws the book on the floor, gets up like an angry grizzly bear and demands to know who it was that hit her and swears that he will make whoever it is sorry. I don’t remember the name of the movie I saw this scene in, but I remember the scene vividly. I love scenes like that, especially because I wish I had experienced one.
This is probably going to be the hardest blog post I’ve ever written because I’m going to be discussing an extremely personal matter, the sexual abuse I endured as a child. Although the case has laid dormant for over a decade, it has recently been causing a huge tidal wave of pain and confusion. Last night the key issue at question was, “Where was God?” The only reason I decided to blog about this was because I have a suspicion that I may not be the only one who has ever asked that question, whether it pertains to sexual abuse or some other trauma.
My pastor recently shared in a Bible study how he would not act very kindly towards someone if that person hurt any of his loved ones. Last night, as I remembered my pastor’s comment, I thought about the abuse I suffered and wondered why God was so silent through all those years. I thought how if I was a parent and someone tried to hurt my daughter, my wrath would be quite terrifying. Just imagine my famous temper multiplied by a million and you’d probably get an idea of the storm of fury that would be unleashed against the offender. My question was, “God didn’t even seem mad, so how could I believe that God is a loving father when he wouldn’t be even the teeniest bit angry at someone who sexually abused his child?” My pastor assured me that God is indeed angry and that justice will be done, but I wasn’t convinced. I still wanted to know why God didn’t immediately rescue me from the situation. Wouldn’t any loving parent storm into a room where his child was being abused and at least pull the child out if he knew the abuse was happening? I felt like God was a parent who just sat there in the room watching the whole thing happen like it was some kind of movie.
When God finally spoke his answer to my question, I was first of all surprised that he didn’t seem mad at me for doubting him at all. I had expected God’s answers to my questions to sound like, “How dare you question my goodness! I’m always good. I’m God and you’re not, and I don’t owe you any explanation and don’t you dare question my love for you after I sent my son to die for you!” Instead with a tenderness that quieted my fears, he whispered, “Make no mistake Emely, anyone who messes with my daughter will have to deal with me, and it will not be pretty. I was burning with fury on those nights, just as any parent would be if someone was hurting his child. With human parents however, their scope of knowledge is limited to what is happening now. They cannot see the future. They only know that right now, their child is being harmed, and they respond accordingly with wrath. Although My wrath will definitely be exerted, I also am able to see into the future all the way to eternity. Just like it was in the case of Joseph, I see that the result of you enduring those years of pain will be that you will be exalted and brought closer to me, and that I will be glorified and lives will be saved. Knowing that the result of staying my hand of deliverance would be much better than if I had plucked you out immediately was the only reason I did not rescue you the first night and let it continue for years.”
I am slowly learning that I cannot judge God’s heart by what I see in a human heart. Even when I see good in a human heart that I don’t see in God, I need to remember that it’s like comparing dolls to a person. I am so grateful that God is so infinitely patient and tender towards us even when we are screaming accusations at him. Maybe he is a loving father after all, or maybe he is the lovingest father there ever was!