It’s easy to think that the way we are is just ‘the way we are’. Some people gush and others hold back. The Bible is clear than we need to show emotional self-control. However, if our habits are bad for our health then we should probably take a closer look to see if there is a cause or even a cure.
Tamar was King David’s daughter. She was a tender young woman with a bright future. All too often, horrible things happen to good people. I think that’s because the devil hates them even more than most. Well, something terrible happened to this girl…
Tamar’s half brother Amnon had an all-consuming crush on her and took the advice of his crooked cousin. Amnon tricked Tamar into his bedroom and then forced himself on his sister. No amount of pleading would deter him.
Probably disgusted at himself and now at her, Amnon sent his sister away. She felt defiled, ashamed, rejected and heart-broken. Tamar turned to Absalom, the only brother she trusted, for help. When she arrived she was broken.
God gave us a powerful pain release mechanism called crying. When we weep, we offload sorrow and sadness. Lamentations 2:19b says, “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.” This speaks of a mix of tears and words. When we say how we feel, it helps unlock the pain which is released with tears.
Tamar was doing the only thing that she could do at that time. And weeping was the right thing to do. If she had only continued, telling the Lord about every agony, I believe God would have healed her heart.
However, Absalom didn’t know how to help her. Instead of sitting down with her and listening to her pain, he told Tamar to stop. He said: “Do not take this thing to heart.” Her heart was already broken so this was a ridiculous statement. But neither of them knew better. So she stopped. The very next phrase is so sad. 2 Samuel 13:20b says: “So Tamar remained desolate.”
Tamar shut down on the inside, she she shut the world out and she shut her mouth. Then she remained desolate for the rest of her life. When sorrow comes out, we can be healed. When pain gets buried, it can cause our souls to stagnate.
All too often society tells us to hide our emotions. Culture teaches us that silence is strength and that emotional detachment from our distress is a sign of maturity. It can be difficult to talk about our pain to God but the rewards are relief and freedom.
Better out than in
When we express our distresses and disappointments to God, we give Him access to our hearts and our hurts. He can then reach into the depths of our souls, release His healing love and take any pain away.
Tamar’s story shows the dangers of shutting down. It could be abuse or it could be a put down at work. It does not matter how big or small the issue. God wants us to be free from all inner angst.
Ecclesiastes 11:10 says: “Remove sorrow from your heart.” The only way I know is by sharing our distresses and our disappointments with God in prayer. You’ll be amazed at how close you will feel to your Heavenly Father as you pour out your heart before Him. So you’ll not only get healed but you will also get closer to God at the same time.
If you want to be free to fulfil your God-given destiny, I encourage you to come along to Healed for Life. It will take you on an incredible journey to security and peace. You will leave refreshed, restored and more ready than ever to fulfil your God-given destiny.