So Helpless, So Helpless
Read Acts Chapter 26
Ac 26:14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
One theme that we hear repeatedly from SSA men and women is a constant lamenting that they are saddled with same-sex attractions. Here is an example from a recent Facebook posting: “What I want for Christmas is to be free of homosexuality and all the damage that it has done to me. I can’t wait anymore for the day when this is behind me. I want to be someone else for Christmas.” I understand the sentiment. I understand the frustration and resignation of defeat. Unfortunately, that attitude is self-destructive. I can believe that every SSA man and woman has at one time or another felt that kind of agony, but we must get beyond it.
Today’s verse contains something which we all need to ponder. “It is hard for us to kick against the goads.” In life, we face many difficulties which are irreversible. For example, my wife and I have a Downs Syndrome grandchild. When she was born, all the extended family had to come to grips with reality. This situation will remain the same until we are all together in Heaven with our Lord. It would be useless for us to spend the remainder of our lives embroiled in hopelessness over this situation. We have to accept reality, with God’s assistance, and move forward in His strength and grace.
Oh, dear SSA friend, we must do the same with our same-sex attractions. God has allowed us to be burdened with this tremendous trial and test of our faith, and we must allow Him to show us how to deal with it effectively. We can wish it were not so, and we do, but doing so will have no valid effect on our lives. Our SSA has the potential to grow us spiritually if we will allow that to happen. He cannot do that for us as long as we refuse to get beyond the “woe is me” syndrome. Here is another verse along the same lines.
Phil 4:10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
To many of us, this seems like an impossible dream. How in the world can we be “content” with the circumstances of same-sex attractions? Well, it is a long and arduous road that we must travel to arrive at that state of mind. We will not reach that destination if we remain in an attitude of “I can’t wait anymore for the day when this is behind me. I want to be someone else for Christmas.” Somehow, some way, all of us have to get beyond that way of thinking. If you currently are in that state of mind, I can only offer some suggestions as a starting point.
Immerse yourself in God’s word. Put aside all the emotional turmoil which seems to say, “What’s the use,” and just do it. When I say immerse, I mean that one must spend a significant amount of time in reading and meditating on the word of God. I would suggest that a person begin with the book of Psalm. Read and pray, read and pray, and read and pray. Don’t stop until some thought from a passage awakens some small measure of light within your heart. Repeat this process over and over, many times a day if necessary. God’s word is the only solid source of comfort for the troubled heart. 1 John would be another good book to begin studying.
Look for small blessings in life. If we are not aware of and thankful for the small blessings which God has bestowed upon us, He is not obligated to pour out greater blessings. The bible tells us that thanksgiving and praise are a vitally necessary step toward our spiritual growth. We cannot grow if we refuse to show any gratitude for His blessings. The bible also tells us that if we can’t be trusted with little, we won’t be trusted with more.
Each of us will make our own personal decision about how to deal with same-sex attractions. There are really only two choices. We can “curse God and die,” as Job’s wife suggested when calamity overwhelmed him, or we can submit to His will and work toward overcoming our propensity to sin. There is a purpose for all that happens to God’s children. We will not understand it at first, and it may take many years of diligence before we see a bigger picture, but we definitely will understand some day. Let’s continue to take steps in that direction.
Prayer: Lord, help that man who posted his comment on Facebook. It breaks my heart to think of him today, so resigned to hopelessness and despair. It reminds me of the time when I felt that same sentiment. It is a terrible place to be. God have mercy upon him, and everyone else who finds himself or herself in that state.