Editor’s note: Kobe Campbell is a trauma therapist who also went to seminary, so her counsel is Bible-based and Spirit-filled. In her book Why Am I Like This? she helps us take a look at the trauma that remains even after years and how to go deeper with Jesus to find healing and restoration. Enjoy this excerpt.
If you’ve ever wondered how God responds to your trauma, here is your answer:
- God responds to your neurological, emotional, relational, and spiritual reality of terror with tenderness, compassion, and provision.
He’s not only concerned with your spiritual standing but with your biological existence. He wants you to know peace in your body. He opens us to the biological capacity for it by giving us experiences that refute the fears of our souls. He’s attuned to the anxiety and aware of the depression that keeps coming back. He knows what you feel, because He created the systems that allow you to feel. He lived a life that utilized these systems too.
In Numbers 11, Moses was leading the people of God through the desert. Overwhelmed by the task of leading and tending to the Israelites, Moses shared his frustration and desperation with God, saying,
I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how You are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me. — Numbers 11:14–15
In his utter desperation, Moses, a hero of the faith, expressed what we call suicidal ideation, thinking about dying. Most of us come from faith traditions that would respond to someone, especially a leader, who expresses suicidal ideation with theological perspectives about whether suicidal ideations are sin or not. Whether that person is going to hell or not. Whether that person is fit to lead or not.
But God did something completely different.
He didn’t even address the suicidal ideation. He didn’t rebuke Moses for expressing such candid anger. God’s first response was this:
Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. — Numbers 11:16
God responded to the cause of the stress, not the symptom that arises because of it.
God’s heart toward those who are at the end of their rope and completely overwhelmed is not judgment or punishment. It’s tenderness. It’s provision. It’s an open ear, heart, and hand.
Excerpted with permission from Why Am I Like This? by Kobe Campbell, copyright Kobe Campbell.
Watch the Video from Kobe
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Have you ever wondered what God thinks about your overwhelm, your trauma, your emotional distress, or any other kind of distress? God’s Word tells us that God doesn’t roll His eyes or get angry when we cry and complain. He doesn’t get irritated or think we’re big babies when we’re in over our heads. He responds with compassion and care, love and action. Let that comfort you today! ~ Devotionals Daily