Spiritual StrugglesWhen you struggle spiritually, how do you react?
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In the 1930s, Spain endured a civil war when General Francisco Franco joined a coup to unseat Spain's leftist Popular Front. While 500,000 died in the conflict, another 114,000 simply "disappeared" in the first years of Franco's rule. When Franco died in 1975, no one was initially willing to investigate this dark history. After years of the victims' families pressing for answers, however, Judge Baltasar Garzon ordered a criminal investigation to begin in 2008, including opening 19 unmarked mass graves. The process, though gruesome and unsettling, will be necessary for Spain's healing.
In the first of many gruesome accounts recorded in Scripture, Cain murdered his brother Abel because of his jealousy over God's positive response to Abel's sacrifice (Genesis 4). Cain lured his brother out of their house and into one of their family's fields. Once he had his brother alone, his seething anger erupted and "Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him" (v.8).
He knew he was guilty, but when God confronted him about the whereabouts of Abel, Cain played dumb. "I don't know . . . . Am I my brother's guardian?" (v.9). God, however, would not leave him alone, pressing further: "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground!" (v.10).
In the end, Cain had no choice. God forced him to own up to his evil actions. And once Cain faced his sin, he lamented that he would be removed from God's presence.
Though many of us expend a great deal of effort attempting to cover our sin and hide our guilty secrets, it only exacerbates our shame. Our hope depends on a deep healing, and healing can only happen if we open ourselves to this deep work. We must come clean, acknowledging our failures and desperation to God. For to be healed for our future, we must be honest about our past. , Winn Collier, Our Daily Journey
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