“All Torn Up Inside” Trauma, Injustice and God

“All Torn Up Inside”  Trauma, Injustice and God
Psalm 73:21–26 (NLT)
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

There is no shortage of feeling bitter and “all torn up inside” following traumatic experiences. This Psalm of Asaph acknowledges how things can seem unfair—the bad guys seem to be doing ok, and I am all torn up inside.

It was when he went into God’s “sanctuary” (verse 17) that he understood the justice of God. This lead to bitterness in his own heart.

We do well to remember that we still belong to God even when we are wrapped up in our ignorance, foolishness or bitterness; even when we are all torn up inside. He is there. He is with us, holding our right hand, ready to guide us to a glorious destiny.  He loves us even when we may act in a way that in hindsight seems foolish. He is the strength of our heart.

Do we, as Asaph proclaimed, desire God more then anything on earth? Is there anything keeping us from drawing close to God, from entering into his sanctuary, from learning the truths that God reveled to Asaph?

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About padredavidfell

Priest in the ICCEC. Retired Army Chaplain
This entry was posted in Adversity, Grief, Healing, Hope, Life, Overcoming, Theology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “All Torn Up Inside” Trauma, Injustice and God

  1. John Erickson says:

    It is sometimes hard to remember God’s love when your personal world is crashing down around you. It can be very easy to lose sight, and hope, in those hardest of times. I have found, though, in my own life that often God finds a way to remind you He is still there. (In my case, he dropped a Methodist pastor with an interesting background and a welcoming nature into my little corner of nowhere.) You just need to be willing to look.

    • padredavidfell says:

      John,
      You are so right. He is there for us; but sometimes it is difficult for us to see Him or the work He is doing. That is one of the reasons we need each other. We need to patiently and compassionately stand with those who are struggling and have lost sight of this reality.

      Thanks for sharing you insights.

  2. valerie says:

    i have experienced so many levels of bitterness and comfort these still, different levels in my own children.I’m so interested in the Grace of God and how it flows and covers and redeems and restores. the “give and receive a bountiful harvest”doctrine seems so contrary to my deep need for justification or revenge.why is the insistance of an enemy so great in my humanity? the more of an extreme the church deviates from orthodox religious comforts of a strong, sturdy Father who holds it all together for us,and leans towards a strong temptuous enemy who can rip it all from us if we don’t pray,tithe,or attend church..it grips me with fear how it applies to my own life.lol just knocking around a thought or two.

    • John Erickson says:

      Valerie- I won’t dare to speak for Padre David, but I’ll give you a little insight from my tortured past. I ended up here in SE Ohio when a bout of migraine headaches, which I had on and off through my life, came to stay in GREAT strength about 10 years ago. My wife and I moved here from the suburbs of Chicago, where I left behind a good job, a nice house, family, friends, and much of my savings. (It’s a long story that involves the death of my dog, who I considered a son as my wife could no longer have children.) I found myself stuck in rural Ohio (after some friends we moved in with, abandoned us for Alaska), with an old run-down house, no friends, and no ability to work.
      In this case, at least for me, there was SO much to hate. My headaches, the rednecks in the town, the crummy house, not having a job and hence purpose in life – all these things are VERY easy to see the negative in. When society teaches you that a job and a nice house are important, you hate not having either. It’s just so easy to give into the negative, and end up hateful or depressed (or both).
      It’s at these times you need others. While my wife has always been my strength, she was trying to hold our lives together. It was the impetus of a stranger, a new pastor moving into town, who through her acceptance and welcome of the small-town life (she’s from Detroit), pulled me along as well. And once she showed me that the very things I hated were things she liked, it got me back onto a more positive path.
      I hope this isn’t too much of an aimless ramble, I tried not to bury you in detail. Suffice it to say, whether from nature or society, hate and depression are easy. Love and positivity are harder, but they bring so much greater reward. I hope this helps you along, Valerie.
      And forgive me, Padre. You’ll quickly learn I’m a long-winded so-and-so, and frequently guilty of blog hijacking. I appreciate your patience! 🙂

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