It was so innocent. She had been sent for to care for her brother who was not feeling well. Nothing indicates it was anything other than an act of love by a sister. She arrived there to serve and help but instead found life changing violence. Regardless of how she fought, her half brother raped her and she was then discarded and even hated by him. In her day to be raped was a shame and often victims were ostracized from society. No man would want her, she was now worthless and an offense to her family. Here this young virgin had been violated and was secluded away in her other brother’s house to live desolate and hurt. Tamar was one of the walking wounded. Her pain was immense and there was nothing anyone could do to satisfy her wounded soul. Absalom’s interference in the matter prevented the right lawful response. His advice was to not let it eat her heart out. He promised that he would avenge the rape but regardless of what he did, nothing would ease her troubled soul. I do know the message today that people give rape victims today will not bring them to a place that will heal them. Telling someone that it’s not their fault is not going to take away their hurt and shame. The world is not kind to rape victims, the first thing the world looks for is how you could have deserved or brought it on. God is always kind and loving and knows the truth. The world doesn’t have answers for such a deep disturbing wounding. Only GOD was and is the answer.
Tons of well intentioned advice comes your way in situations like this, but here’s the crux of the matter. God is our healer. Only God is able to renew the mind, heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. Anything apart from God based advice is counterfeit and can do more harm and keep you longer in pain than you need to be. Whether it’s rape, divorce, brokenness of any kind, strongholds, wounds that come from others, I don’t care what the problem is the answer is God’s Word and a right relationship with Him. There is no magic wand, no catch phrase or clichés just plain old understanding God’s intention and purpose for us through intimacy with Christ and by leading of the Holy Spirit though His Word.
Well I am sure that sounds high and mighty and you might at this point feel turned off a little. I know I was there too once. I heard the words I just typed and thought, yeah right what do you know? I do know because I have been wounded and have felt my heart rip from my body, torn to shreds and handed back to me to put back together when the person I trusted abused me. Hang on with me and see if you find anything that might help you focus.
From all indications Tamar was never restored or renewed. This could be due to her attitude or her inability to be led by the Spirit I don’t know because I am not Tamar. She was violated and hurt beyond words with many questions that repeated in her mind daily. Sometimes life has more questions than answers. Sometimes consequences of another’s actions are part of our pain.
I can encourage you in many ways and quote tons of verses to do so. I can patch you up with Scripture and even help you feel good for a moment. What I am asking you to do is turn your pain over to Christ. It’s not yours to cling to and will hinder you in everything you want to do. It will wash over to every person who is trying to reach out to you right now. Do not let your pain become an idol and your new normal.
Pain will be like the distraction that hindered Peter when walking on the water. Get out of the boat of your own pain, keep focused on Jesus, and walk. Peter had great faith to get out and walk on the water. His faith was even greater faith when sinking not to try to swim to shore but to look at the one holding HIM up. Are you getting that? Peter didn’t flail and slash around in the water when he began to sink he called on the Master of the Sea who can speak to the waves and say peace be still. He didn’t fight not to drown he reached to GOD to continue walking. Dear Ones, reach to GOD continue walking on the water.
What words are you hanging on to get this far into this post? When Jesus died on the cross He took, and was willing to take, not only your sin but the sins of others committed against you. If asked He would forgive those who violated you. That was so hard for me to understand, but when I did grasp it, I realized the overwhelming, powerful, great love HE has for us. His love is a love that does not violate and is safe and secure. Love that can keep my mind and heart sound when things around me are falling apart or chaotic can only come from one who can truly avenge the sin of this world.
Jesus repeated these words from Isaiah in Luke 4 of the New Testament. I want you to read them and take in what GOD is saying here. Imagine if you will GOD who created the universe taking the mess, turmoil, things destroyed and ravaged by the world, your ashes and working in your life to do what is promised here. Only the Creator can plant you as a tree of righteousness. That is what happened to my life. I traded my sorrows for the joy of the LORD as I let HIM bind my wounds and set me free.
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified
Your life is GOD’s beauty as HE is glorified in who you become in HIM.