Left for dead by a child is a very dramatic experience and can cause trauma in our lives. That’s what happened to Terah, Abraham‘s father. He was left for dead by one of his sons, Haran. Terah seemed very fond of Haran, so he could not accept the death of his son. That event caused pain and deep trauma for Terah, so even though Haran was dead, Terah still remembered him (Genesis 11:27-32).
“And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees“ (v. 28).
“And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran” (vv. 31-32).
Later Terah took his entire family to come out of Ur of the Chaldeans to get to the land of Canaan. Most likely this was the Lord’s command to Terah, because later on, after Terah died, we know that God also told Abram to get out of Ur of the Chaldeans to the land of Canaan (This is a command and promise derived from Terah to Abram, because Terah died and could not go on)
One of the reasons why Terah took this journey, maybe to erase his memory of Haran. But the reality proved, Terah still continued to bring Haran in his life. Evidently, when they arrived at a place called Haran (same name as the name of his son), he decided to settle there, and tragically, he settled until he died there and had not continued the journey to Canaan.
Terah did not succeed in escaping from the shadows of his past trauma, even though God had tried to get him out. So in the end, he could not fulfill his spiritual journey as the Lord had set.
From Terah’s life, we can learn how evil the consequences of past trauma that was not resolved are. These are the consequences of past trauma that was not resolved:
1. Past trauma that is not resolved will attract the same/similar event to happen again in our lives.
Terah was determined to forget his past, he began his spiritual journey with God to the land of Canaan. But still, on the way to Canaan, he came to a place called Haran (exactly the same as the name of his son).
My guess is, it was Terah himself who gave the name of the place in accordance to his son’s name because maybe when he arrived at the place, the sense of his loss came back. He remembered Haran again, regretting the death of Haran, and finally plunged in a feeling of deep sorrow. The death of Haran repeated again in his life.
That what often happens in our lives. We continue to repeat the same or similar events to happen again in our lives without realizing it. We do not want that to happen, but what is in us draws that event to happen again. Therefore we have to say goodbye to the past!
2. Past trauma will hold or pull us back so we can not continue the spiritual journey that God has set for us.
When Terah remembered Haran again, his son that was dead, he decided to settle there. Whereas his destination was Canaan, not Haran. Haran held Terah back to continue the journey. Haran held Terah back to reach Canaan. Past trauma will always hold or pull us back, so we do not have the passion to continue our spiritual journey.
There are many people who are now being stopped from his spiritual journey, whereas God’s call in their lives is great. They should be used by God in an extraordinary way, but unfortunately, they have stopped on their spiritual journey, because they continue to be held and pulled back by the trauma of their past. We have to ‘say goodbye to the past!’ Leave Haran, reach Your Canaaan!
3. The ultimate goal of the Past trauma is to kill us, so we can never finish the spiritual journey that God has set for us.
Finally, Terah died in Haran. Tragic! That’s the ultimate goal from the devil that constantly tries to ensnare us in Past trauma. Make us completely unable to complete our spiritual journey in the Lord. We have to determine to leave Haran in order to reach Canaan!
Next, we know, this trip was derived by God to the family of Abram (Gen. 12:1). Abram continued the spiritual journey that was stopped by his father, but unfortunately, Abram did not learn from his father’s mistakes, as Genesis 12:4 says,
“So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran”
Abram took Lot on the journey. Lot was the son of Haran (Ouch! Haran again!). Abram continued his journey to Canaan, but he also continued to bring Haran’s son. And it happened! On their way, there was a feud between Abram and Lot, but thank God, this time Abram took the right decision, namely: he separated himself from Lot!
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left (Gen. 13:8-9).
And after Abram completely separated from Lot, then he could see clearly what God had in store for him, what he could achieve in his spiritual journey. And then he could continue his true spiritual journey.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee (Genesis 13:14-17).
For those of you whose spiritual journey is held back at this moment because you constantly struggle with your past, take an immediate decision without hesitation: Leave Haran or his descendants! Leave your past! For surely there is a glorious future that God has prepared for you, which has always been closed by your past.
Leave your past and the consequences of past trauma that was not resolved will be eliminated. God will begin to reveal what He has already provided for you and you can begin your spiritual journey again. Carry on!
Also read: The Corruption of the Earth and the Church.