There was a lumberjack. He got a job in a forest fire tower for five or six months. He was alone and low on provisions. At the end of the first month he was talking to himself. At the end of the second month He was ‘done with this job’. During the third month he was talking to trees and they were talking back.
He started to feel guilty and didn’t know why. He was on edge and insecure. If the guys were here he could touch and swear. He would know their strength and stability. He thought about his friends and he wished they were here. Some guys are not cut out for this job he thought but it just made him more fearful because he had so much time left. No cell phone service either.
He started thinking about God to get rid of the guilt. This is just like solitary, must be. Six months in solitary is common. Something has got to tame an angry man & silence can do it. A healthy man has people around him, interaction and relationship; but silence is cheap and available.
Then approached an electric storm, striking the tower and grounding out. It scared the daylights out of him. I’m not myself, scared, lonely, troubled, but about what? Silence works on a man, no present or future here just the past. I’ve been dwelling on the past for six weeks. Old pains coming back, old humiliation, like it was yesterday. But nobody to strike at or beat up or bully! Can’t make them go away. Why it won’t heal, being childish, angry still at the wife at dad and at my bosses. It’s all bottled up; still no way to drain the pus- the hate and the revenge and fear. This place is reducing me to a pile of feces. It’s all part of it, small comfort, when does it end.
Then headaches, and ran out of aspirin. Day looks hazy, night is so dark, lightning storms, silence, seeing things. Tried to take a walk back, got lost, and looked up, the tower glooming over me. Radio dead. How am I going to make contact in case of a fire? Sweats, nightmares, listen! Mom’s talking, “Remember son your father loved you; it was self-defense. He shouldn’t have done that to you. Guilt and anguish came and tears. But still mom was there laughing and crying and hating on her husband. Foul words began emanating about him too, and ‘You should have killed me too. Now I’m going to make you suffer. With a rill of laughter and a strange tone she raised the top of his head and shouted ‘the devil get ya son’ and like a witch she laughed until he cried.
Laughter is painful abuse when you can’t get a grip, when you are looking for belonging. You find only wretched hatred banging on your hands and you begin to fall. Can’t catch, don’t catch- into the abyss of terror. More laughter, strange figures, evil presence, ‘lost your mind’? ‘An ounce of good from Sunday school, will it save you?’ It said in a very scary twisted voice. He began to pray: ‘God help me, God save me, like before.’ Are you sure you have had enough’ came the sordid reply. Mom. More of the same for days- two weeks. Not a cloud in the sky, hot.
Guilt can hit for any reason at anytime to anybody. Some of us have irrational guilt for things not our fault. But I can assure you that Jesus is the God of guilt. That he is greater than it and is in control, and He can make it go away, but will He? God uses a certain amount of guilt to show us when we have sinned. It is good to know so we can keep anything from coming between us and God in our relationship with Him. Almost all guilt is not of the Lord. Some is healthy as an indicator we are outside the law of love as I said. But doing God’s will is not only obeying laws but finding our way back to Him after sinning or living a life of sin. He has made a way by repentance and reaffirming our faith in Jesus. By repentance I mean having remorse for our sin and turning our backs to it and turning our fronts to face God and keep our eyes on Him. So Jesus forgives us, and His death on the cross can cover all sin. But we don’t continue in sin that this grace of forgiveness may be constantly flowing to us. Heaven forbid we keep on sinning. We want to be holy as God is holy and God may take sin away from us. But mostly He wants us to be humbled by it.
We often have autonomic guilt triggered by things we think we have done wrong. But I think it’s useless to fight it. It will just come back another day. It is one of the many ways we let ourselves know, and God lets us know we need God. He gives us a kind of foreboding in our depraved minds. Guilt over sin, fear of punishment.
We can be free of it definitely. When it becomes unmanageable, God can free you from it. But listen to it, we feel bad for things we’ve done, and how we acted. Guilt is human. We need to be very sorry for these things if we are to be saved, if God is going to act to save us from our guilt. That’s the first step- to know you are a sinner. God is the forgiver of sins. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But be sorry, don’t just seek an escape from guilt. It’s all about getting saved and the chance to live a normal life and be free of the confusing trouble of guilt.