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Growing up fast the hard way


David Robinson

Guilt is a soul destroying joy robbing enemy, but it's even worse when the guilt you carry is not your own, I know for carried this particular stone, no, a monster of a rock from the age of 8 years until the day I finally dropped it at the master builder's feet. Drop it? Perhaps that's not the right word either, for drop it I could not, it had become my reason to feel angry, my crutch when I need to justify my behaviour. Drop it? Oh no, not this fool, I had to have it prised from between my clenched fist where it had been welded deeper every time I remembered that fateful day.

I had worked after school with an elderly man who had one leg; he lived across the street and had a pony and trap that clinched it for me, the chance to harness and to ride a pony. To be like Roy Rodgers was a dream, however that never came true as the first time I sat upon Joey the pony he reared up and raced off with me hanging on for dear life. Roy Rodgers never had this trouble; the 'Lone Ranger' never seemed to be as scared as I was that day and I had never witnessed them hit the ground wounded as I was.

No I hadn't been shot but my pride was severely dented as I walked Joey the pony back to the stable. I did not fall out with Joey and in fact this little Connemara pony and I became inseparable and each day after school I would race home from school to feed him and to bring him water. I might have made a bad 'Pony Express Rider' but I made a great stockman, cowboy films may never have been the same after my hasty fall from the mountain of pride but I still loved 'my' pony.

It wasn't until the following summer when I was 8 years of age that my world of innocence was shattered forever, my childhood fantasies finally destroyed and crushed by my friend's son. Billy the elderly man and I had been out the day before gathering new hay from the road side verges; I had seen myself the master of a wagon train saving the day and enjoyed myself immensely at least until we got back home.

I left Billy back in the house and took Joey out of the harness before rubbing his sweating sides dry with handfuls of hay and getting to the big task of offloading the cart.

I was half way through the work reminiscing about the miles we had covered that day across tarmac deserts fighting off scores of horse flies in the heat of the sun, I was surely getting good at this cowboy work I remember thinking. Just then my silent thoughts were broken by the voice of Billy's son who said 'let me help you' we slaved together as the heat of the hay loft caused rivers of sweat to turn my shirt a deeper shade of blue.

The work done I lay down exhausted but exhilarated by the days work, here I was only 8 years old and in one day I had been a cowboy, the master of a wagon train, and someone who fought with an army of horse flies and won.
Moments later the man who had been my helper pinned me to the floor and assaulted me, ravaging my body for what seemed like hours, my screams went unheard by all but my beloved Joey who kept kicking the floor in anger. I knew paralysis intimately as fists became unable to move as fear gripped me, I knew pain, real pain for the first time in my life and yet I could not even cry. I had met a paedophile before they were ever mentioned in the tabloid newspapers; I had become violated by the son of a man I had come to love as a father.

His ugly lust satisfied now, his victim still in shock he grunted and said 'if you tell anyone I will kill your mother' that stopped my mouth until today as I pen these words. If he had said 'I will kill you' I would have ran home and told all that had happened but no, he saw my weakness and exploited it, he instinctively knew that my mother was the most precious person in my life and used it to control my anger.

The abuse happened again as he used my silence and my age against me, 'no one would believe you' he would taunt me, 'I am a respectable business man' He blackmailed me for weeks by threatening my mum and so guilt grew and I lost my childhood.

It is not necessary for me to go into detail of what happened, anyone who has watched television for any length of time would have a vivid enough imagination to figure it out. Sufficient to say that the abuse left in me a mark, a dirty feeling which no amount of washing could ever remove; it left a pain that could never be healed and a fear which ruled my life. It hung around my neck like a large boulder until the day I met the one who did not try and change my old life rather he gave me a new one. To those who like me have been physically and sexually abused please allow me to show how you can be free forever.

It was in an ordinary meeting that I met two sisters Jane and Joan (not their real names) I had been preaching standing at the front of the congregation when I saw them at the back of the church. In the middle of my sermon God gave me a video picture of both of them being abused by the same man, in both cases the other sister had her backed turned from what was happening unable to see the abuse behind her. I stopped speaking for a moment stunned by what I had seen so vividly and silently prayed that the Lord would allow me to minister to both of them.

The preacher preached, hurrying now wanting to reach into the hurt I had seen and to apply Calvary's healing balm, but as a seemingly unending stream of people came for prayer I was stuck at the front. I kept looking for them hoping, praying that they would wait but suddenly they were gone, perhaps if I had said something, they would have stayed until I was finished.

I felt so bad I prayed that the Lord would bring them back and to his glory when I had laid hands and prayed for everyone else, when the hall was all but empty they came back. Now what? How was I to begin to share what I had seen? We went into a little back room and taking a deep breath I began to reveal the revealed, immediately tears began to flow as years of torment flooded into the open for the first time. The Lord spoke and told me to remind them of the need to forgive (why can't he make things easier for I knew how hard that was to do in my own life) The eldest girl said 'I could forgive him for what he did to me but I will never forgive him for what he did to my little sister'

I saw then that neither had known of the abuse of the other, they huddled together as they sat weeping uncontrollably tears staining the light blue carpet at their feet. I gave them the following words which could only ever have been heaven sent 'This man is still abusing you each day you do not forgive, the guilt you are feeling is not your own, it is his and it's time to send it back to where it belongs' The youngest saw the truth and began to earnestly pray for the man seeking that God would forgive him for what he had done all those years ago (she was only 4 years old at the time) she reached over to her sister and whispered 'its true the guilt is not ours it belongs to the abuser'. The eldest sister said angrily 'I will never forgive him' and stormed out and we that were left prayed, 'Lord set her free too'

I was not back in that church for six months and it was my joy to see not one but two smiling faces at the back of the building. The eldest sister Joan gave me thumbs up, her way of saying I am free too, she had also seen the truth and had forgiven the man who had hurt them both so badly, as they said later they had always wondered why they had felt guilty when they were innocent.

Guilt had bowed out and they were free for the first time all because they forgave the offender his offence. Perhaps you are reading this passage and thinking 'I could never ever forgive anyone who did such a thing to another human being' well have a look at Calvary's lamb and try and live in bitterness, take a look at the one who knew no sin, who never offended anyone and see how we all treated him, then tell me you can't forgive. Hear him who knew no sin plead with the Father to forgive you and me because we don't know what we are doing and then tell me you want to hold onto the guilt that has eaten away at your joy and your peace.

I had to learn this gem too in my own life, 'removing guilt always takes repentance and prayer even though you are the innocent' did I hear you say 'that's not fair' well 2000 years ago the innocent Christ said sorry for all of us didn't he? Christ died the innocent for the guilty, the pure for the impure, and the clean for the filth of the world, you and me.

Those who have come this far down the chapter might be still fighting this truth, well if that's the case you are still being abused by yesterdays events, the guilt that is not yours is still robbing you of the peace you long for and joy still seems an unreachable goal. Before you lies freedom, it's at the cross that you need to die to yesterday and live for tomorrow, it's a place where you can lay the burden of guilt down and be raised up free.

The Apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth chapter 5 verses 17-18, Therefore if any man or woman be in Christ they are a new creature, old things are passed away and behold all things are become new, And all things are of God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation... To those that have been wounded in whatever way let me share yet another revealed truth; If you are in Christ, if you have accepted him and received him as Lord of your life then every old thing has passed away. The person that was abused, the one who was offended, the hurting one, has died, passed away and can no longer be hurt, dead people never get offended.

Here we have the revelation of God's word saying, 'the old you that was abused is dead' don't you think that its time to bury the corpse instead of carrying it around like a comforter?

God never made anything faulty he made all things good and because you are in Christ he has made all things new, isn't it time you asked him to forgive you for keeping the corpse groomed by bitterness and clothed with resentment?

It was a sinner (one just like me) who gave me this truth at first, she revealed it to me in a way I had never seen it before; I was taking a meeting in a local Town Hall one evening when it happened. I had just spoken on the verses in 2nd Corinthians 5 verses 17-18 referring to the need to be born again and had asked people to respond.

A number came forward for salvation the last one being an elderly lady who was obviously in great pain. Thinking that she had come forward for healing I asked her what she wanted Christ to do, her stomach was greatly distended and she held onto my arm as she spoke words of faith I had never heard before or since. She said 'Mr Robinson I don't need healed, I need Christ, I want to become new, I want to be born again, please help me' I had the pleasure of leading her to the throne of God's unmerited favour and minutes later she gave her life to Christ.

I then asked her did she want me to pray for her and her reply literally blew me off my feet, she said, 'David (I had persuaded her to call me by my first name as it made me feel younger) 'David' she said, 'you are only after reading from the bible to me and it said that 'If anyone be in Christ they are a new creation' well the old me that came here dying of cancer is no longer alive because all things are made new' As she spoke I watched her stomach deflate as though someone had stuck a pin in a balloon, she began to jump up and down with excitement as every pain left her body and she was free.

As I write I am reminded of the two people of whom Christ said 'had great faith' one a Syrophenician woman (Mark Ch. 7) and the other the Roman Centurion (Matthew Ch. 8) both of them just simply took Jesus at his word.

One found that crumbs were all that was needed to heal her daughter as long as it was 'the children's bread' and not the Pharisees leaven; the other knew that the very words of authority that Christ would speak would heal his servant. Amazingly neither had ever been inside a church or a synagogue, they were both dogs in the sight of religious men and yet they had enough faith to believe for a miracle, makes you think doesn't it?
The precious lady who became a bible teacher to me that day told me of how she had read of the miracles that God was performing in the ministry and had flown in from the Isle of Man that morning with her husband, just to be healed.

I truly believe as I recount this story that the biggest problem that believers have is that they don't believe. For too long we have listened to men who are seen to be educated in the scriptures taking the reality which is Christ, and planting theory in his place. God help us to be simple in all our dealings with him and to be child like when we come to Christ in our hour of need. Help us to be as stubborn in our faith as we are so often in our unbelief and to not give up in our prayers, help us to acknowledge that when God word speaks it is vastly superior to any theoretical argument that mankind provides in his rush to facilitate man made doctrines and traditions.

I have witnessed the God of Calvary overturn doctor's pronunciations; I have had the privilege of watching those who were given up on by doctors being made brand new. I have seen God's word changing people's lives, healing the sick, delivering the oppressed and setting people free creating a renewed hope in those whom society and religious men have written off.

There is often a contradiction in what the bible says and what is taught in Churches, perhaps that is why the unsaved get healed quicker than those who have found Christ, they have nothing to unlearn. Oh that we would believe, simply believe for all things are possible to them that believe... (Mark Ch. 9) We stumble over doctrinal issues and miss the simple truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; he came to save, deliver, heal, preserve and protect, as well as to make us whole.

Oh how I wish I were able to expound the scriptures to you in a way that would do them justice but in my simple way let me show you a truth that will set you free. The word 'save' envelops the redemptive names of God for he is; The God who saves (Jehovah Yishi) who heals (Jehovah-Raphe, Genesis 15:26) who delivers (Jehovah Palet, Psalm 18:2) who protects (Jehovah-Nissi, Psalm 4:6) who sees the need and provides (Jehovah Jireh Genesis 22:14) and who makes you whole, (Jehovah-M'Kaddesh, (Leviticus 20:8 Remove Salvation from the church and you have a dead church, remove healing from the Gospel and you remove part of Gods name and end up with a crippled gospel and lame church and when you remove deliverance from the Gospel you end up with an imprisoned church.

When we remove protection from the gospel we end up with an overcome church, when we take away God's provision we end up with a church poorer than the mice that dwell in its bare cupboards. Worst of all remove wholeness and miracles from the church and you remove Holiness and end up replacing it with good works.

It's time to roll away the stone that has entombed the body of Christ in darkness and to let God the great physician heal the sick without the 'if and the butt's which destroy every ounce of faith that can ever be mustered. It's time to take the sand out of our eyes and see the real Jesus, the miracle worker, as he really is, the mighty to save, the one who has written his name at the end of the contract that is drawn up between him and every one who believes. It is time to take God at his word like a child takes the word of a loving father; it truly is this simple,

Christ is: Jehovah-Shammah; The Lord is forever with me. He will not leave nor forsake me (Deu.31: 8 Jehovah-Shalom; The Lord is my Peace. My heart is neither troubled nor afraid (John 14:27). Jehovah-Ra-ha; The Lord is my Shepherd. He gave His life for the sheep. He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) the one who protects me.

Jehovah-Jireh; the Lord my Provider. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was provided as a sacrifice for my sins (Gen. 22:1-14). Jehovah-Nissi; the Lord my Victor. I have received victory (life everlasting) through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As the battle rages, I raise my hands to God in praise (Ex. 17:11 & 15) Jehovah-Tsidkenu; The Lord is my Righteousness. I have been redeemed to the Father through Christ Jesus who became sin for me (II Corth.5: 21). Jehovah-Rapha; the Lord my Healer.

By his stripes I am healed. Sickness and disease do not belong to me (Isaiah 53: 4-5) because Christ took them himself, Matthew 8:17 and I am already healed (1st peter 2:24). During my prayer time with God, the redemptive names of Jesus Christ are forever on my heart. As I pray, I think about whatever it is I need His word regarding, and by the Holy Spirit, the name that brings the answer comes to my heart. For whatever I need Him for at that time, there is always a name upon which I can call Him.

Because His redemptive names cover all, it helps me to know comfort, victory, provision, righteousness, peace, protection, and healing, what a wonderful saviour we have in Christ.

Guilt is an enemy, and Jehovah- Nissi is the one who is an enemy to my enemies and an adversary to my adversaries, (Exodus 23 v. 22) and as he brought me out of the bondage and slavery of sin so too has he delivered me from guilt and every hell bred curse. Listen dear reader this same Jesus has himself declared that 'If the Son therefore shall make you free you shall be free indeed'

He did not say 'set' you free; he said 'make' you free, what's the difference? ask the rabbit that has got caught in the same snare again. While the snare is still set you will always run the risk of getting caught again but take the snare away and your free indeed, that's what Christ did by dying on the cross, he not only was caught in the snare of our sin but he rose again took the snare and dumped it.

That's why Paul the apostle could write 'sin has no longer dominion over me' (Romans Ch. 6 v.14) that's why he could say with great authority that 'Christ had set us free from the law of sin and death' (Romans Ch. 8 v.2) He knew that Christ's death and resurrection had removed every snare, that when God sent his Son in the likeness of human flesh and for our sin, sin was condemned in the flesh and the ransom was paid in full.

If you are in Christ then you are free, let this truth become a memorial stone to you on which your weariness can rest, let this truth make you free 'you are no longer a sinner, you are a child of the living God having been given the Spirit of adoption' Romans Ch. 8 v.15) Is that all? Oh no, it's not all, if you're his child then you are an heir of God, a joint heir with Christ of the kingdom of God (V. 17) Guilt? Forget it, it is not your burden to carry, leave it where it belongs at the feet of the saviour who willingly carried it away and nailed it to his cross.

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