Every night I ask Jesus to take me home.

I'm a Christian. I love the Lord and I want to be with Him. I'm so tired. I was sexually abused by my grandfather as early as I can remember. I was physically abused and neglected by my parents. I was raped as a teen, became pregnant, had an abortion. My husband abuses me. I pray every night, Jesus please take me home. I'm just so tired.

My response is in Green:

I can identify with you being tired. I remember when I was thinking of suicide and that was my major reason was that I was just plain tired. I did not want to face the world anymore and death seemed like it would give me rest. I know now that it would not have and I praise God that He helped me get through those times.

I wonder when you became a Christian. From the sounds of your family life I doubt it was while you were a child. The reason I wonder that is because you sound like you are having trouble dealing with the past and putting it behind you. This is a favorite tactic of the devil. He will try to keep you in bondage to the past so that you can't feel the freedom Christ offers you. (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV) So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. {17} Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

We see this in many of the new therapies offered to people. You will hear things like: "The anger and sadness you feel today is due to the lies you believed in your past. You need to go back and deal with those hurts and events so that you can be free from them." "You need to break the bondage that Satan has you under. This is done by taking command of Satan and verbally telling him to leave you alone." There are many more variations on this theme. The problem is that they all take the focus off of Christ. If you notice they all tell the person that there is something that they have to do to be free. That is a lie from the pit of hell and it is part of the very bondage that these people claim to be helping people break.

Our freedom was gained when Christ died on the cross for our sins. Beyond believing and trusting in Him there is nothing we have to do or for that matter that we can do to obtain that freedom.

Your past is behind you and you have freedom from it in Christ. As long as you have come to the point in your life where you realized that you were a sinner in need of a Savior and you accepted and trusted in Christ as your Savior, then you have the key to freedom already. The burdens you are carrying need to be placed at Jesus' feet. He will take them from you, but you have to give them up. He won't force you to drop them, but He will help you if you are willing.

Don't let the devil take your joy and your freedom from you. The moment you accepted Christ as your Savior you entered into a battle. Paul talks about the battle: (Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. {12} For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We also see the struggle explained in Daniel: (Daniel 10:12-13 NIV) Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. {13} But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. My point to all of this is that there is a reason you feel defeated and tired. You are a prisoner of war. But the good news is that you only have to be a POW until you choose to stop and get into the fight.

It is a battle and we already know who wins, but that does not mean that the devil will not try to win some small battles. You need that armor of God and you need it every day. You have to fight, meaning that you have to place your trust in God anew each day. You are a new creation, so don't let Satan tell you otherwise. Don't let him defeat you with your past. You can't change the past. I am sorry that you were abused, but no human can change that. You can live as a victim and be defeated or you can live as a victor through Christ and live in freedom. It is up to you.

You said that your husband abuses you. If it is physical you need to seek help. God never told anyone to stay in a physically abusive relationship and allow yourself to be hurt. If it is emotional or mental, then you need that armor of God even more each day. God will be your husband if you allow Him to be. What I mean by that is He will be the support and comfort and confidant you need. With the Creator of the universe on your side what have you to fear?

The more "abused" you are the more you need to pray. God is not powerless, He has not left His thrown, He has not yielded His authority to anyone. Call on Him. He has promised to be with us and help us and He never goes back on His word. He will walk with you no matter where your path takes you.

I don't think it is wrong to pray that Jesus will call you home, but it is wrong to think of helping Him get you there. As long as you have breath in your lungs God has a plan for your life. I don't know how old you are, but let's just say that you are 50 years old right now. Think of eternity which is ahead of you, then think of those 50 years which are behind you. Which should rule the way you live your life today? The past, which you can't change, or the future which has been promised to you by your Heavenly Father?

One last thing, I don't want you to think you are the first person who felt the way you do. Let me remind you about a couple Bible personalities who also wanted to die: (Jonah 4:5-9 NIV) Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. {6} Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. {7} But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. {8} When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live." {9} But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" "I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die." Jonah was mad at God. First for forgiving the people of Nineveh. Then because after God provided a vine to give him shade while he pouted God then sent a worm to destroy it. Jonah's focus was all wrong and God was trying to show him that.

Paul also felt that he wanted to die: (2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NIV) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. {9} Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. {10} He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, {11} as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. Notice that Paul after the ordeal realized that what he went through was for the glory of God. He also realized that he needed the prayers of other believers. If Paul realized that, then you should realize it too. You need to get Christian friends around you who are willing to pray for you.

You don't need people who will listen to you complain about the past, you need people who have the guts to support you but not allow you to wallow in the past. People who will enter the battle on your behalf, who will fight their way on their knees into the thrown room of God and petition Him on your behalf.

A true friend is one who will climb down into the mud with you to help you out, not who climb down to wallow around with you. I know my words are hard to take, I know that I am often too blunt, I also know that I am right. If you give up you are defeated already. I went through Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island as Vietnam was winding down. Our Drill Instructors wanted us to be combat ready. If we gave up they would beat us until we started to realize that the pain of continuing was less than the pain of giving up. God won't beat you to show you this, but I will guarantee you that the principle remains the same, the pain you are dealing with now is more severe than the pain you will have if you get into the fight.

Don't let the devil defeat you, don't let yourself live in the past or be bound by the past. Put it behind you and get your eyes on Christ. He is your hope. He is your strength. Allow Him to help you.

I hope I have not upset you too much. I believe with all my heart what I have written you. I am not saying that getting into this battle is easy, it isn't. I am just saying that you were part of this battle the moment you accepted Christ as your Savior. Call for reinforcements, He won't let you down.

(Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. {29} He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. {30} Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; {31} but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I will pray for you.

Ralph

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