Read Ascent Psalm 129 (preferably in the MESSAGE translation if possible).
“They’ve kicked me around ever since I was young, but they never could keep me down.” (Psalm 129:2).
I have always been attracted to stories, autobiographies, or accounts of young persons having experienced abuse in childhood. Currently I’m reading a book entitled THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeannette Walls. She relates to life in a home where her dad was irresponsible because of alcohol, and her mother, an artist, was too busy to appropriately care for her three children. Remarkably, Jeanette still came through her ordeals with a purpose for living. God works His purpose in all things (Romans 8:28). It’s true!
Sometimes there are hostile, bullying people in our lives. It could even happen that they are in our family. Does it mean, then, that we are doomed to a life of rejection, defeat, or despair? Most certainly not! I am acquainted with people who have had serious hurdles in their relationships with persons treating them badly. Sometimes it was their peers. Sometimes it was siblings. Sometimes it was employers, fellow employees, or a teacher. These occurrences could have spelled the beginning of the end; instead, their troubles became a catalyst for living life differently; yes, with the help of God!
Israel, God’s chosen people, at times in their history felt abused and abandoned. God who had His eye of favour upon them, not approving of their misconduct and waywardness, still showed them mercy, grace and forgiveness. Israel’s enemies were dealt with by God. God’s children were urged never to seek revenge, but to leave things in God’s hands. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Forgiveness has to happen. It helps me as much as my enemy.
To be sure, there is a time for speaking up about abuse, or not allowing anyone to continue evil things against us. But, there is also a time for believing that justice, in God’s perspective, will ultimately happen. God does not favour someone “kicking us around” oppressively. God hates oppression and overcomes it. Our Heavenly Father loves us, His children.
Dear Jesus, You are a friend to people getting “kicked around.” Your story of the Good Samaritan reminds us that You do stop on our roadsides to care for the beaten and abused. Thanks, Jesus!