When reading posts on Facebook (mine included), I find at times a thread of victimhood that raises its hoary head. It knocks on my door of awareness, and breaks my heart for those ensnared, captured in ways perhaps they do not yet recognize. That has certainly been my life’s experience. As the windows of my soul have been washed, over and over, again and again, my view and understanding have been made more clear. It has been, and is, an ongoing process.
When contemplating our human endeavors to find comfort, peace, happiness, or whatever it is we think will fill our cup to satisfy that longing deep inside, I wonder at the offerings for fulfillment being dangled before our eyes. Education, social justice, business acumen, popularity, religious endeavors, personal achievement, travel, volunteering . . . the list goes on and on. None of these in themselves wrong, for we are called in various directions to serve, to explore, to make our communities better. Yet, in all our endeavors there is that real need to think clearly about what into we are immersing ourselves. To what or whom are we becoming enslaved. Like it or not we are influenced by the milieu in which we choose to dwell. Of course, some are forced into situations beyond their control. And, yet, deep inside each of us, somewhere, we do still have a choice. Certainly the bullies we face might overpower us, perhaps forever. But my fervent prayer is that those who are victims will realize it and begin to ask, to seek, to knock, to allow themselves to wonder and dream beyond the walls of their situation, and endeavor to grow on.
Sin is a pervasive force that, like a cancer, endeavors to swallow bit by bit until one’s whole self is consumed. It starts small, like brainwashing, a little idea here or there, reinforced and grown insidiously over time. It takes hold of us til we find ourselves bound with no seeming way out. No matter one’s cultural background, race, beliefs, or country’s history, this thing about sin remains a universal problem for all mankind. The war we battle goes beyond this temporal plane. It has to do with our very creation and to whom we would be enslaved. In that we will always have a choice, if we choose to exercise it.
I can attest only to the path to victory I have found. Victory to finding my voice again. Victory over “not being good enough.” Victory over all kinds of internal things and mental health issues that I have leaned into to try to understand, to grow through, to overcome. Guiding me through it all have been various human helpers along the way, but always, never leaving my side has been the truth of God’s Word, and the presence of His Holy Spirit, growing me beyond myself.
Becoming enslaved to God, rather than to sin, has been my doorway to freedom. In my case the longer I dwell coming to know God as a Person, the more peace and freedom I find. Love is His name, who He is. With tender care and mercy He has stood with me, or held me, as I have faced those ugly, fearful, shameful things, within and outside of me, that I have wrongly done myself, or have been made victim. No matter the cause, or where lies the blame, facing everything in truth and honesty has been my path to victory. Yes, I would choose to be enslaved to the God of Love, for only here do I find real freedom, forgiveness, healing, hope, and joy to live life in a world full of pain. My prayer is that God’s presence and comfort will be chosen by others who long to overcome those mountains and valleys of pain in their lives. I am here to testify. God is real, Jesus is life, and He is here reaching His scarred hands of Love towards each of us, and to you, too.
Blessings to all!