The word "trauma" lit up in my mind as I watched protests and riots in Minneapolis and all over the world in response to the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd.
A few weeks ago, I heard this word from a very dear friend, Dr. Michael McGee. He was concerned about me, as I had gone through the trauma of pneumonia, flu, asthma and COVID-19.
Knowing that my wife became infected with COVID-19 from being near me, though I wasn't aware of my diagnosis at the time, is like the straw that broke the camel's back. He suggested that I consider sitting down with a counselor to talk through the thoughts and emotions that arose due to this life-threatening trauma.
Overwhelming trauma can trigger deep repression or overreaction in the wake of catastrophic or even small events. Trauma creates drama and destroys dreams of the heart.
Consider the current worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 has caused global trauma. Cases and deaths continue to increase along with sickness, unemployment, suicides, situations of domestic violence, lines for food, churches buildings remaining closed and product shortages.
Now, look at our present situation in response to the death of George Floyd. Protests and riots, along with physical and emotional distress, are breaking out in our cities and all over the world.
There is a demonic heaviness in the atmosphere.
We have experienced winter, spring and now summer that will be marked by trauma, violence and constant drama. No soap opera or reality program can compare to what each of us is watching and living every day.
2020 has felt like a boulder picking up speed as it rolls down a hill. What is at the bottom?
We must have deliverance from this life-threatening situation. The deliverance we need can only come from the Lamb of God. He who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, who rises with healing in His wings, is our answer.
Our nation is hurting and crying out for answers. The wounds are deep. Has the church become so much a part of the world that we have lost the power of His, and our, testimony? God always starts deliverance in His house with His people.
Consider the words of the introduction to Psalm 51 in the KJV:
"To the leader. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone into Bathsheba."
Here, we see that this is a psalm of repentance that is addressed "to the leader." David is asking God to forgive him. Read the rest of the psalm and take note of David's actions:
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin" (Ps. 51:1-2).
—David, in humility as the leader, asks for mercy. The first thing one can note is that David asks God for mercy, humbly acknowledging his sin.
"For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in my sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom" (Ps. 51:3-6).
—David openly examines his sin as a leader. He does not hide what he has done but examines his heart honestly before the Lord.
"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities" (Ps. 51:7-9).
—David repents honestly of His sin. As he has openly confessed, so now David asks God to wash him clean.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me" (Ps. 51:11).
—David asks for restoration. He prays for a new heart and a renewed spirit.
"Restore unto me the joy of my salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar" (Ps. 51:12-19).
—David wants his joy restored so the world will know the grace of God.
As the body of Christ, we must understand the importance of what David does in this psalm and follow his example. Through God's grace and an open heart, He will pave a way forward, even in the most difficult of situations.
—We must, in humility, ask God to have mercy on us.
—We must openly examine our hearts as individuals, as the Church, as a nation and as the world.
—We must repent honestly for our sins and the sins of those in our society.
—We must ask God to restore us—to restore our hearts, our spirits and our joy. For it is with this joy that the world will know the grace of our God.
He is the only one who can deliver us from the trauma we are facing; let us turn our hearts back to Him, just as David did.
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you. Have a great week.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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