I didn’t know my heart could hurt so much. First it was my parents and now it was me.
DIVORCE, it may not be a literal four-letter word, but it speaks of heartbreak and devastation and I was in the middle of it, a Lifestorm. For months I begged God for help to reconcile, yet it seemed fruitless. “Where are You, God?” I screamed. “Why are You not answering? I KNOW You have the power to change this!”
It’s been about 35 years since I watched my marriage implode. It wasn’t the first time or the last time that I haven’t understood why God lets some things happen. But graciously I can now see the situation from another side.
Paul knew about Lifestorms, and I think he developed another viewpoint as well. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul admits,
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul pleaded with God for relief several times; know the feeling? But Paul was also wise and knew that he had a tendency toward pride. He understood that having seen special visions from the Lord, he could become arrogant and didn’t want to be known as anything but an Ambassador for the Lord. So when this mysterious thorn remained in Paul’s life, he knew that God was keeping him from experiencing pride that could render him useless to the Lord. This thing that wouldn’t go away was a constant reminder of Paul’s need for humility. And Paul delighted in his weakness, because it was a chance for the power of Christ to be made visible in his life!
Was the breakup of my marriage God’s fault? No. So where was He in all of this? He was with me. And being a child of God meant there could be a purpose to my pain. The pain taught me much. I learned how important it is to have honest conversations with God in prayer. I learned to tell God about my pain, and my fear, and my anger. I learned the necessity of asking God for wisdom. I learned how everything else can be taken away, but God still remains. And perhaps the lesson that sticks out the most from that time in my life, is that we don’t always know what the people around us are experiencing. We need to give grace in the same measure it has been given to us.
Are you In the middle of a Lifestorm? Stand firm on the Word of God. His grace is sufficient for you and me; His power is made perfect in (our) weaknesses. We can weather the storm together with Him.