A coworker of mine reminded me the other day of Days of Our Lives. We talked about how much we loved Hope and Bo and how evil Samantha was. You see, back in the day, when I didn't do much but nanny for part of the day in the summer, I used to get done just in time to race home and watch Days of Our Lives. It was this mindless, mind-numbing escape. Everyone was glamorous and rich and had horrible family and relationship problems. There was also plenty of bad acting, which helped my teenage brain think that I could so easily be a movie star. (Maybe I'll tell the story of my one and only college drama class another time). I remember thinking how messed up things were in their lives and how their relationships were so screwed up.
Fast forward through life a little, and I have learned about and seen some pretty screwed up things happen in real people's lives and homes. I think I would rather be kidnapped by Stefano than deal with some of the stuff that friends of mine or the clients we see have to deal with.
And I think that all that people want sometimes is to know that someone understands. That someone else's life is more screwed up than theirs. That there is something better. That there is someone who will love them, regardless. How many people sacrifice everything good in their lives thinking that they are doing it for love? Thinking that it will be better on the other side of the fence?
Currently, I am working through the David bible study by Beth Moore. And I love it. It's definitely hitting the hidden areas of my life pretty hard. Today, I read through 2 Samuel 13 and 14, the story of Amnon and Tamar and how Absalom, her brother, avenged Tamar's rape by having Amnon, the other brother who raped her, killed. And David's response (or lack of response) to the twisted lives of his children had me so mad! Now the week before, we just finished reading through David's own scandal with Bathsheba and how he had her husband, Uriah, killed after David had slept with her and gotten her pregnant. Doesn't this sound like something out of a soap? These stories would be considered scandals, even in today's society.
If you haven't read the Bible, or if you haven't read anything from the Old Testament in quite awhile, I encourage you to find a study, like Beth Moore's, that walks you through the customs and the meaning behind the stories. It just comes alive. I have heard people say that the Bible is antiquated and doesn't apply in today's world. Really?
Does anyone reading this know someone who has had an affair? Someone who has been raped or victimized by a relative? Someone who has murdered? Does prostitution still happen? Are there men with more than one wife (I say yes... 'Sister Wives'...)? Do people still struggle to have children? Do parents still struggle to raise their children? In the words of Beth, "God's Word speaks to virtually every issue plaguing our society." I'm not trying to downplay any of the awful things I just mentioned, and I most definitely am not trying to put the pain and suffering of any one person into a little box and try to heal it with a verse from the Bible.
But, during this study I have constantly been reminded that God wrote the Bible for each one of us. There isn't a life that He doesn't care about, and there isn't a wound or scar He can't heal. There are many great verses in the Bible about the love that God has for us, but because I am focusing on 2 Samuel this week, here is the one I just read today.
"Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him." 2 Samuel 14:14
Sometimes, through our actions or the actions of others, we feel banished, or we banish ourselves from God. We deem ourselves unworthy of His love. Often, we want to banish God from our life because we are angry. At Him, at the person who hurt us, at whatever messed up situation we are in...for whatever reason. But when we are separated from God, there will always be a void, an ache, a hurt we can't explain. That is multiplied when hurt has been done to us.
But God has devised a way for us to reunite with Him. He knew it all along, even when David was living his own screwed up life. I am so thankful that I live under the New Testament covenant! And I am thankful, that whenever I feel the urge for a good old soap, that I can open up the Old Testament!