“But as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2.9, 10)
Catching a well-respected adult in a lie rattled my twelve year-old body.
Coupled with the sexual abuse I had experienced from both my father and my uncle, I held most people at arm’s length, scrutinized their well-wishes for harm, and guffawed at any suggestion that good things were headed my way.
You might imagine that once I started reading scripture and began the healing process, I nearly choked on phrases like “what God has prepared for those who love him.“ It suggested too much contradiction. I loved God, but how in the world could God have prepared for me sexual abuse and failed protection as a little girl; and yet, still call himself good?
So I wrestled.
I researched what God’s Word said about himself. Who is he, really? Is he really safe?
Through that process, I discovered attributes about him that made him a bit more approachable and trustworthy than any other adult I had ever met.
Unmistakably, God mirrored none of the flawed attributes of my abusive father.
Yet, it wasn’t until I pulled back from my initial exploration of questioning what God had prepared for me that I realized I was looking at his plan completely wrong! God’s plan doesn’t allow for sinful acts against his children. God’s plan doesn’t warrant human-to-human degradation or shame or annihilation or rape or incest or brutal beatings.
Nope. Not at all.
God’s ultimate plan was a rescue plan from all that.
See, this was shocking to me. All along, I thought that Jesus died to save me from the fires of hell with Satan, the ultimate bad guy. Although that is one part of it, it isn’t the whole story.
The word indicates God’s plan of redemption is a new, radical, earth-rumbling-knees-weakening-heart-stoppingly fresh, exciting, and mind-blowing invitation for more of Him. A God who expresses himself in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and divine restraint.
The apostle Paul reminds us through the prophet Isaiah’s words that the divine redemptive plan necessitated revelation because “no eye has seen, no ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined.” On our own, we can not even begin to understand the manner or the means by which God planned to redeem us.
The revelation of the redemptive plan is the person of Jesus.
The God of the universe sent his one and only son to die upon a cross–in our place, for our sins–so that we would never, ever taste of that kind of death where the fullness of God’s wrath is poured out upon our sins.
No, we’ll never taste of it.
Not if, in fact, we have placed everything we are into that once-and-forever moment when Jesus’ perfect life was executed upon the cross, raised from the grave, and reunited with His Father in heaven, where He is seated and waiting for the day when we will sup with him for all eternity; then living the redemptive work is our every day, every moment reality–whether we recognize it or not.
This truth is for me. For you. For anyone who places their trust in that completed work of Jesus.
Even for our abusers, if they choose to believe.
Catching a glimpse of God’s redemptive plan for all mankind rattles my adult body.
Today, I’m accepting the dare to protect my heart’s response to the gospel and my salvation.
O Lord, teach me to speak and handle and give thanks for the gift of salvation that you have given me. May all else pale in comparison to your breathtaking and life-altering, generous gift.
What’s your next step? How will you choose to view yourself, your past, present and future in light God’s loving and provisional redemptive plan? Where are you in the healing process? Have you searched the Bible to explore the nature of God in order to find safety and strength and love and peace and joy in Him? Prayerfully consider how the Lord may be directing your healing and your intimacy with him.