The Place


     I recently read the testimony of a young lady named Amanda Crabb.  She told how as a young girl she had been sexually abused by several different men, and then been frightened by them into silence.  She grew up with a deep sense of shame and worthlessness.  That changed when a complete stranger came to her and spoke His words of life to her, telling her that Jesus wanted the torment of that past abuse to be gone from her life.  Since she had never told anyone of it, she knew that this had to be Him that was speaking to her through this man.  This person then led her into a saving relationship with Christ.  New life had come, and yet, so much of the old life remained.  She still struggled with the shame, as well as so many questions of "why?"  Why had it had happened to her?  Why had a loving God allowed it?  Why hadn't He protected her?  Why was she still not free of it?
   She didn't receive answers to these questions, but received something so much greater.  Healing.  Wholeness.  The fullness of His Life.  This happened as in response to these questions, the Holy Spirit led her to John 11, and the recording of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead more than 3 days, when Jesus, who had been aware of Lazarus' serious illness, arrived upon the scene.  All, especially his sisters, Mary and Martha, were beside themselves in grief.  All had the same question upon their hearts and lips; "Why?"  Both sisters exclaimed, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."  Jesus' only reply was "Where have you laid him?"  Crabb points out that one translation reads, "Take me to the place where you have laid him."  John 11 relates that at that place, Christ called the dead Lazarus back to life, healed, and whole.  Crabb says that the Spirit showed her that He wished for her to "take Him" to the place and places where she had laid her shame, pain, anger, and all the accompanying feelings, so that at that place, Christ, as He had Lazarus, might call her forth from that grave that she'd been lying in, into the fullness of the life, healing and wholeness only He could give.  At that place where she had taken Him, He did just that.  For her, Isaiah 61:7 became reality, "Instead of your shame, you will have a double portion."  Double portion of what?  Of His Spirit, His Life, His healing, His wholeness.  Having taken Him to the place of her greatest wounding, she received from Him the greatest portion of Himself.
     How many more "Amanda's" are out there right now?  Might you be one of them?  Whether man or woman, are there places where you have laid, buried, wounds, abuses, betrayals, failures, sins, and though you did so long ago, they live to haunt you today?  Tormenting, accusing, mocking.  In the midst of your "why's," your questions, could you, would you hear His voice speaking the words, "Take Me to the place where you have laid it, laid them?"  At that place of brokenness, woundedness, would you allow Him to call you forth to Himself, His wholeness, His life? Where is the place where you have laid it?  Have you taken Him there?  Will you take Him now?

Pastor O  
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   July 2019   
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