While abuse is not a comfortable topic to talk about, we need to. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics are correct, 59,000 people who watch Time of Grace on TV each week have suffered some type of abuse in their lives. By “abuse” I mean a pattern of behavior that uses fear or force to maintain power and control.
Maybe that description hits home. Your dad was aggressive in his physical discipline. Your mom degraded you with her words. Your boyfriend isolated you from your friends, pushed until he got his way, or gave you an allowance as a grown woman. Your wife twisted Scripture (“You have to forgive me!”) and swore she would hurt herself if you talked to the pastor. Your husband abused the Word (“You have to submit to me!”) and threatened to take the kids if you didn’t do exactly what he wanted.
There are many things that God says in response to the tragedy of abuse, but here is the place we must start: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). When fear or force breaks our hearts and crushes our spirits, God is near. He is close to us, grieving the sins committed against us and promising to heal our wounds.
Given the statistics and our experiences, we pray that Jesus would come and save us soon. But until that day arrives, may you always remember that the Lord is close. God is here.