I believe I’m 98% free from the the fear that seized me when I was assaulted at gun point by four armed men in Guatemala. That was six years ago.
All they got was a few thousand dollars — and my checkbook (which made me think they would come back for a kidnapping). No, they stole something else. They stole my confidence.
With one of the students in the Door Bilingual School we founded with the church.
On every subsequent visit to Guatemala, I was weighted by irrational fear. I wouldn’t go anywhere without a member of the church as a “body guard.” (I had planted the church during 16 years, so people we’re quite willing to serve.) I stayed inside. I tried to keep a low profile. I didn’t even want them to make flyers announcing the revivals with my picture on them. In my mind, the same criminals would get a flyer and swoop in for more money.
The thing that strikes about this is how really insignificant was my “trauma.” I wasn’t raped or beaten as a child. I didn’t suffer the scathing burn of emotional abuse from a parent. No. I was simply robbed.
Here’s the junior high and high school after Bible class.
And yet it has taken me six years and God’s help to recover.
So who I am to judge people who have suffered true trauma and spend the rest of their lives floundering? In fact, I have a friend who suffered all three — sexual, physical and emotional abuse. He still struggles to overcome.
If you would have told me to simply shake it off, get over it, I would have been deeply hurt by your insensitivity and cut you out of my friends list. How much more so a person who has really suffered.
A sixth grader in the Door Bilingual School.
It is my observation that people who have never suffered are generally insensitive.
There’s a inscrutable irony in this: God helped me out, but as many sufferers ask: Why did God allow the suffering in the first place?
I have friends who became atheists because as children, they experience a loss of innocence that never should have been perpetrated on a child. My friend has worked his way back to God, and God is helping him.
I hope God can help you too, because He was the major factor helping me. So I recommend Him. Maybe you can work your way back to Him?
The ‘tent of meeting’
The child cries terrified alone at home as the thunderclaps explode. When Daddy comes home, he crawls up into his lap, into his hug, and the sobs subside. His fears erase because Daddy protects him.
Prayer is more than making requests. It is being with God. We are children; He, our Father. Remember that part of the Tabernacle was called the “tent of meeting,” meeting with God. Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp — Ex. 33:7 NIV.
Climb up into the Lord’s lap and your fears will subside. Just be with Him and forget about your troubles here on Earth. Forget about the thunderclaps that strike unknown terrors in your heart. You’re with Daddy; nothing is horrifying anymore. Rest and trust, embraced by His love. This, too, is prayer.
Posted in prayer
Tagged being with God, Christianity, commentary, Ex. 33:7, fear, fears, Moses, Tabernacle, tent of meeting