So often I find the question arise from women who share their stories of abuse with me. It’s usually very subtle, but still evident in their search for God’s role in their story. The question is always, “why didn’t God stop the abuse?” This has taken me years to resolve in my own mind, but the answer is easily found in God’s story.
Just as we were powerless against our abuser(s), God understands what it means to be powerless. He left His comfort and absolute power to take on the frailty of humanity. He, who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”, chose to be born into severe poverty and to suffer humiliation and die a painful and cruel death on a cross, all so that we could have the “choice” to accept His free gift of salvation. He was not powerless to defend us against our abuser, but to intervene would go against the very freedom He granted to all humans at Creation: the freedom to choose between good or evil.
God loves you and I with an everlasting love. God loved us before we knew Him. He loved us when we were dead in our sin, and continues to love us when we choose to follow him. There is no greater love than the sacrificial love of God. Romans 6:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners (rebelling against God, insisting on our own way, and clearly unworthy) Christ died for us.”
Our enemy wants to keep us separated from this truth, and distracted from taking time to grow in our relationship with God. He knows that God’s love is the key to our soul healing, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep us in the pit of our problems. The challenge for us is to understand God’s role in our stories, and draw closer to him to overcome the pain of our past.