With so many marriages crumbing around me, it’s makes me wonder if it takes the destruction of a marriage for God to be able to show a couple how fully they need to lean on him for everything. Does every marriage need to go in this direction in order for this to be engrained in the couple? Do we need to fully abandon God in order to see just how much we depend on him?
I look at the bible, the disciples that followed Jesus without question, dropping their lives and livelihood to follow a stranger, and it looks to me that they just did what he asked. He said “Follow me” and they followed. He commanded, they acted. Not like we do now; now we question. We think that if we don’t quite follow his commands, we don’t quite listen to his laws, our lives will still be alright. And then, when our lives get bad enough, when we’ve tested the hot water and have seen that he actually knew what he was talking about, we turn back to him and plead for forgiveness and start to correct our ways.
But is this really how the disciples followed Jesus? Were their lives going smoothly when Jesus came along and they dropped everything, having a gut feeling that he was the Lord? Or, like every other human in history, were they at the end of their ropes, questioning everything, feeling empty, lives going down the tubes, when Jesus came along? That scenario makes more sense to me.
These were real men, not angelic creatures. They were going through real life trials and hardships. And like every other man that is a creation of God, God pieced their story so that when Jesus stepped into their lives, they were at the perfect point to accept him.
There is a point to every hardship we go through. Yes, there are consequences to our actions, but I don’t believe that God is a God that wants you to suffer. He doesn’t want you to struggle, but he does know, because he is sovereign and omniscient, that all of your suffering, when you realize that he will bring you through anything and everything, will also bring you closer to him. So he allows our lives to be rocky, to have ups and downs, because he wants us to grasp that the reason for our existence is to have a relationship with him. He isn’t satisfied with a few minutes of our time every now and then. A morning worship on Sunday or a quick prayer as our car breaks down. He wants our full attention. He wants us to acknowledge that he is in control of everything and to realize that he loves us more than we can ever imagine.
Why can’t we realize this without going through some fire? I wish this were possible. I wish that someone could just tell us the fireplace was hot and we didn’t have to burn ourselves before we realized they were right. But chances are, we’ve all touched something hot after we were told it would burn us. Only to realize that yes, it will scar us. Only to have those thoughts of wishing we had listened. But if it were that easy, the depth of our dependency on God wouldn’t be there. We would all know with our heads but we wouldn’t know it with our hearts.
It really hurts to see people struggling in their marriages. It breaks my heart. I wish there was something I could say that would shake them awake! But there aren’t the right words, just prayers. Whenever I see a couple struggling, the first thoughts that cross my mind are “I wonder what God is trying to do”. There’s a point, there’s a reason. And just like God showed me when I came back to him, it might not make sense right now, but one day, one day they will look back and see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together to make a beautiful story.
Just keep focused on him. Pray against that hardened heart and dedicate time each day to spend with God and he will lead you through the tunnel and into the light at the other side.