Whatever hath befallen you, hath been for the sake of God. This is the truth, and in this there is no doubt. You should, therefore, leave all your affairs in His Hands, place your trust in Him, and rely upon Him. He will assuredly not forsake you. In this, likewise, there is no doubt. No father will surrender his sons to devouring beasts; no shepherd will leave his flock to ravening wolves. He will most certainly do his utmost to protect his own. If, however, for a few days, in compliance with God’s all-encompassing wisdom, outward affairs should run their course contrary to one’s cherished desire, this is of no consequence and should not matter. (Bahá’u’lláh, Crisis & Victory, p. 171)
A friend of mine once asked me how this quote addressed the issues of childhood abuse. How can the abuse that has befallen me, be for the sake of God? I think there are two issues at stake here: one is the purpose of tests and difficulties and the other is the purpose of justice for the perpetrator.
There are many quotes which suggest that God will send “severe mental tests to the peoples of the West, to purge, purify and prepare them for their noble mission in life.” (Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 50). The severe mental tests that came out of the abuse and violence I experienced as a child include all the negative chatter which can easily dominate my thinking:
- Did it happen or didn’t it?
- Some things are unforgiveable, and childhood sexual abuse is one of them
- I was justified in estranging myself from my perpetrators
- It’s ruined me for life
- I’m obviously unloved and unloveable . . .
I can maximize the list, but it only abases me so I hope you get the idea! God doesn’t want me to abase myself, but to recognize and reclaim my nobility so I can arise to serve His Cause.
God has promised to never forgive another man’s injustice, so I can leave the need for punishment and justice and revenge and karma in God’s hands and focus on my own spiritual growth by leaving all my affairs in His Hands and placing my whole trust in Him.
God wants us to give Him our full attention. We can’t draw closer to God when we “busy ourselves with another” by focusing on our perpetrators and giving them more attention than we give to our “Creator, Friend and Best Lover”, any more than we can get to Chicago by looking in our rear-view mirrors.
Knowing that things going against my wishes are of no consequence and shouldn’t matter, I can relax and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others