When I first reflect on God’s deliverance, I equate it to the easing of our suffering. After all, God is a big God and He can surely deliver us from our pain, right?
My journey to understanding the falsity in this belief began one night several years ago as I drifted off to sleep. As I curled comfortably under my blanket, my mind was sucked into a flashback of traumatic memories from my past. It was paralyzing and painful, and it was the first of many in a very difficult time in my life.
In the darkness of my room, I called out to God in desperation. “Deliver me from this pain, God. Free my mind as only You can do.” I trusted He could do it. I prayed earnestly for Him to cast out Satan’s grasp, but there I was, gripping my head as the shame and horror of the past overtook me.
God didn’t answer. There was no rescue that night. The next several months continued in the same way. Night after night my mind was assaulted with painful memories, and day after day I questioned God.
Why did He abandon me?
I couldn’t sit through a single church service without breaking down and falling further from my faith. I waded through a thick fog of pain, and I couldn’t find His light anywhere. There were days the pain of betrayal grew so strong that I told God I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t keep hoping for His love to rescue me. I couldn’t keep trying to live as if He would deliver me.
I wouldn’t say I lost my faith completely in this painful time, but I did lose faith in God’s love and provision for me. I felt alone and betrayed.
Then one night, driving home from work with the summer breeze blowing through my window, a small ray of light broke through my fog. It was as if God spoke to me and told me to hold on just a little longer. I didn’t understand it when the pain followed me everywhere. But slowly, God opened my eyes to His love for me.
I began to see it in the little things. The ones around me that had been providing for me. The blessing of friends who never once left my side. The hope that God could use my pain for a bigger purpose.
Each small realization led me to understanding the true message of God’s deliverance- that God rescued me all those years ago on the cross. He rescued me from an eternity separated from His love. And He was working in my life now to rescue me from the brokenness that had taken root in my soul long ago.
I realized that this process of pain is His grand scheme of deliverance from the grip of sin in our lives.
It became clear to me that breaking free from the chains of sin and brokenness in our lives is painful, but that very pain is God’s redemption burning through the darkness of the fog around us to deliver us.
God calls us to face our brokenness so we can find His redemption.
As this message began to permeate my soul, I was able to shed the hardened layers of my heart. I began to trust God’s love for me again, and I gained the courage to face the pain. I learned to trust that in the midst of my suffering God was working in my heart to deliver me from my brokenness. And most of the time that deliverance is more than anything I could ask for or imagine.
I must choose every day to trust Him no matter what my own understanding is and in this I have found the hope to persevere.