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PTSD Biblical Perspective
the following is written by Dr. Oscar Ramirez. It is an examination of how the body deals with stress and looks at it from what the Bible says.
The human body has been designed with protective means to automatically cope with severe, overwhelming pain. When a person experiences overwhelming physical pain, the body automatically goes into a state of "shock," and in life threatening situations, may ultimately go into a "comatose" condition. All non-essential physical functions shut down in order for the body to focus on dealing with the physical trauma it has experienced. The body does this automatically without being told to. If the body were not to react automatically In this way, the pain would be so intense that the body would succumb to it and die. Inter¬estingly enough, the mind usually continues to function, even when the body is in a coma.
God has also instilled in the human mind a way to cope with severe, intense mental stress. When a person experiences overwhelming mental trauma or distress, he suffers a "nervous breakdown;' which may even lead to a "catatonic state. The body is awake, the eyes are open; but the mind shuts down as it tries to deal with the extreme mental trauma it has experienced. This natural way off insulating the mind from overwhelming mental an¬guish protects it from the mental strain which would otherwise reach unbearable levels. It is not unusual for people to die from overwhelming emotional trauma.
The spirit of man, his emotions (soul) and his conscience also have a way of dealing with the horror of
moral pain or spiritual trauma. The
body continues to function,, and the mind also is able to function, but man's spirit is "deadened; his con¬e science becomes "callused," and his heart becomes "hardened." In the absence of the key aspects of hu¬manity, behavior is typified by a lack
of any evidence that these important human elements are functioning.
This is one view of what might be happening to someone experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
When did traumatic stress first begin?
One of the first known cases of traumatic stress is recorded in the Bible in Genesis chapter four. Cain killed his brother Abel, and tried to discount the severity of his crime. He experienced denial of this guilt, "Am I my brother's keeper" which also indicated that his true identity was now in question. The result of all this was immediate alienation from God. Cain became unable to
do productive work (Gen. 4:12). He became restless, felt overwhelmed with fear, and helpless in the fact of potential attackers. He wandered about aimlessly. His symptoms were no different than what this generation's vets experience with PTSD.
The most traumatic experience a human being can encounter is to have incurred the displeasure of God, "feeling separated and alienated from Him. The bad news is that everyone is considered equally guilty before God and thus alienated from Him. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23).
In God's eyes, the murderer is no more guilty than the liar;
"Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in just one point, he is guilty of all-"(James 2:10)
The good news is that there IS a solution to this crisis of the spirit, soul, and conscience) The prophet Isaiah tells us that God is a reasonable God;
"Come, let us, reason together with the Lord..."
More over, He tells us that He has a solution for our feelings of guilt as well as for our actual guilt. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool". (Isaiah 1:18
How is this done? The Bible says that the wages (payment) for sin (guilt) is death (Romans 6:23). Isaiah 53 says "all we like sheep have gone astray ... but the Lord had laid upon Him (Jesus) the iniq¬uity of us all." The debt for all the acts committed in war, all your guilt, shame, and sin was laid upon Jesus and His death paid for it all. Why did God do this? "For God so loved the world (me and you) that He gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him (in what He did by dying on the cross) should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn' the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth in Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not, is condemned already.”
." (John 3:16-18)
If Jesus paid for all ALL your sins on the cross (including the wrongs done in the war and even after the war), how many sins do YOU have to pay for? This is salvation, and it is a free gift.
Why carry your guilt any longer if God has already made provision to get rid of it? Simply ask God for forgiveness based on the provision that His Son made on the cross in dying to pay for your sins.
There are many other issues in life to deal with, but guilt no longer has to be one of them. It is no longer time to deny, it is time to accept.
It's time to come out of the darkness... time to come home!
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