Perturbed 

​per·turbed

pərˈtərbd/

adjective

anxious or unsettled; upset.

perturb. v. late 14c., from Old French perturber “disturb, confuse” (14c.) and directly from Latin perturbare “to confuse, disorder, disturb,” especially of states of the mind, from per- “through” (see per) + turbare “disturb, confuse,” from turba “turmoil, crowd” (see turbid). Related: Perturbed; perturbing.

I am perturbed. You don’t hear this word very often anymore, but I like it. The definition, especially the “disturb” part, is very apt right now. I have a love-hate relationship with electronics and technology. I love the capabilities and opportunities they present. I hate it when they don’t work the way I think they should…

“Perturbed” is a good word to describe the way many of us feel about God. We have that same love-hate relationship with the LORD as we (okay, me!) have with electronics. He disturbs us, and we are confused about Him. We get anxious and upset with God. He unsettles us! I have a friend who has been struggling with this for years. She is definitely perturbed with God and I get it. I know there are thousands of people in the same state of anxiousness who are upset with God. There are multiple reasons for the way they feel, from past hurts to present hurts and worries about future hurts, and they don’t understand how or why an All-powerful, Omnipotent God allows the hurt and the pain to continue. I get it, because I’ve been there. Every situation is different, but ultimately they are all the same. Hurt is hurt. Physical and emotional scarring is so difficult to deal with. We are never going to be free of the hurt until we let go of it. I can’t punish the perpetrators in my life, and the people whom I hurt can’t punish me, either. Oh, we can provide physical, earthly punishment, but that is nothing – nothing – compared to the judgment God will pass down. He will pass judgment, make no mistake! This scripture is a section that I have highlighted and copied many times, because I need to see it and remind myself of the words. 

  “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” “ – Romans 12:9‭-‬20 NIV (http://bible.com/111/rom.12.9-20.NIV)

Take a look again at verse 19: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Paul is quoting from Deuteronomy 32: 35-36:

  “ “It is MINE to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”  The LORD will vindicate His people and relent concerning His servants when He sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.” (http://bible.com/111/deu.32.35-36.NIV

Does reading all of this make me feel better? Not really, because my human nature wants to taste that revenge. I want to see my perpetrators hurt like I was hurt. Those verses finally soaked into my head and my heart a few years ago. I realized that by holding on to the hurt and the desire for revenge I was only hurting myself. Years ago, on one of my many trips driving from Albuquerque back to our home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after visiting my {late} husband in the hospital there, a song by Steve and Annie Chapman (www.steveandanniechapman.com) came on the radio. It was called “The Secret Place,” and as I drove the realization of what they were saying hit me. The thing we do as humans is to take our secrets and cram them into places where we can’t see them. Given time, they will bust down the door they are locked behind and cause more pain in the remembering. We have a choice to make when it happens – give the “key” to Jesus and let Him clean up the mess, or stuff it back in and lock the door again. In New Mexico, I wasn’t ready to surrender all of my stuff. I got emotional in the car that night, and I did let go of the current baggage… but not the past. Before it all came tumbling out I slammed and locked that door, tight. Too much pain that I didn’t want to feel. 

I remained a prisoner to my hurts, hang ups, and habits for a long time.

God is patient. He doesn’t cause us to be hurt. That responsibility falls on Adam and Eve and their fall from Grace. They exercised their free will and chose to disobey God and eat of the forbidden tree. It also rests on Satan, the enemy, who gained temporary control over the earth through their disobedience. (Just until Jesus returns, and then our enemy Satan will be vanquished and thrown into the lake of fire; Amen!!)  There is so much wrong with the earth and everything and everyone in it because of the evil of the enemy. Satan makes temptation into a beautiful thing until you are deep in it; then you get to see the ugliness. He perpetrates evil. Even innocent children are drawn into the ugliness of sin. We get to deal with the consequences of this throughout our lives. Sometimes we see glimpses of the beauty God created in nature and in humans, and that’s a wonderful thing. For someone who is stuck in the cycle of sin, it’s so incredibly difficult to see past the darkness that threatens to overcome them. It can perturb you when you are trying to fight your way out of the darkness. 

Here’s the thing. We don’t have to fight it. Does that sound moronic to you? I can see why if it does, because I’ve been where you are. More importantly, JESUS has been where you are. The hurt you feel, the temptation you face, being unsettled and anxious about the Father… Jesus has been there. Look at the battle He faced in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying and pleading for His Father, the All-knowing, All-powerful, Almighty GOD to take away the pain He was facing. He ended His prayer with “THY will be done, not Mine.” Here is this man Jesus, a part of God, Who has the power to call in a thousand angels to deliver Him from what He knew was going to happen, and He prayed “Not My will, but The Father’s.”

That’s a bitter pill, a harsh reality, to swallow. He could have skipped the torture and the cross, but He didn’t. He willingly went in order to offer us eternal salvation from this hell on earth. Nothing we suffer here even comes close to what He suffered at His “trial” and the punishment He received before He was hung on a cross, which by itself is perhaps the cruelest, most devastating way ever to be devised by man to cause the most suffering before death. Belief in Jesus doesn’t take away the evil we deal with on a daily basis. If you believe and let go of the baggage – He will take it and give you freedom in your soul. When I FINALLY released my baggage, that bag full of grief and frustration and guilt, hurt and anger and desire for revenge, I was free. FREE. Free from the prison bars I had created to keep others in but in reality had me trapped while they were out there roaming free. I don’t have to carry all of that garbage anymore. That doesn’t mean that my perpetrators have been punished, but it their judgment and their punishment isn’t up to me. They might be prosperous by the world’s standards, but it doesn’t matter to me anymore. God will judge them. GOD will judge them I had to forgive them, and even today, when a thought crosses my mind to remind me of the evil, I have to forgive them again. It’s a lifelong process. Let me make something clear. Just because I forgive the person, it does not excuse them and it doesn’t mean I have to forget it. I have to follow what God says, though. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12)

That is NOT what I want to do! It takes a strength I can only receive from Christ Jesus, my Savior, to forgive and to pray for those people. My preference would be to curse them to a horrible death – and then I remember, God’s got this. I can let it go. Once we give Him the baggage, does it make ANY sense to take it back? Not sure about you, but when I am physically struggling with something, I welcome the help if someone offers, especially if they can take it over! Why, when it comes to God and His willingness to take the weight for us, are we so stubborn that we continue to shout at Him, “I CAN DO IT” when we KNOW we can’t? (NOT that I would know anything about that …. Hahahaa!)

I will continue to be perturbed by electronic devices, but I don’t need to be perturbed with God any longer. He has my baggage, and I have His assurance of a  lifetime together with Him. Bad stuff still happens. I don’t like it, but I don’t have to carry it alone. I now have an army of angels to help me! And sometimes out of stubbornness and pride I still cry out “I can do it!” – until I feel the weight and remember I’m not doing it alone anymore, hallelujah! We have to learn to trust God. He’s totally unlike any other being, and He is certainly not like any man on earth. He will never hurt us or lie to us or betray us. Man will ALWAYS do those things. No matter how good or honorable we try to be, sin always sneaks in and causes us to fall. Thankfully, once we accept God’s forgiveness for ourselves, and we begin to forgive others, keeping in mind it is a lifelong process, we can finally be at peace. By the way, the peace that God gives us, that “peace that passes all understanding” is 

indescribable. It allows joy into our lives, and when it happens, even our physical bodies can reflect it in fewer ailments and complaints. Kind of a bonus. Life is so good when we give up all of the baggage. We become free to enjoy life. It’s easier to let things go that used to just tie me up in knots. The person who cuts me off in traffic gets a wave (not the one finger wave, either) or I might call them an idiot, but I am not compelled to yell or cuss or chase them down. The person who cuts in line, I try to just smile and say go ahead. It’s much easier on me than getting upset. It also confuses people when I smile instead of frowning. This is only possible for me through the Grace of God, and it is possible for you, too. Listen to the song by Stephen Curtis Chapman “Jesus.” He tells us all we need to know.

Jesus. The sweetest Name I know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s