Grief & Despair...

Recently a couple that are really good friends of ours officially got divorced. The wife is left being both mom and dad and spiritual leader while the other turns to the "darkside" and is doing his "duty" by sharing custody of the kids and helping to pay some necessary bills but forgot the most important part of parenting - love the mother!  Some other friends of mine are having a really hard time with work (lack thereof) and yet others are trying with all their might to hold onto their marriages, while the other spouse wants to just give up and quit.  My friends are trying everything that they can to hang on, to hold on and yet to be a servant leader in their marriages. I am not sure of the one's walk, but the other one's walk I feel confident that his heart and mind and soul are in the right place spiritually, yet, how could his wife just turn and quit? The Book of James talks about trials and tribulations and for us to consider it pure joy when we face these in our lives as we build our faith and our walks.  It's one thing if we say that the trials and tribulations are stress at work, or personal attacks from outsiders or insiders at church.  However, it is another thing when we see these trials and tribulations involving our marriages and our loved ones' health.

When Job was going through his testing (of his faith), the devil accused God's servant Job that he would not finish his walk of faith as long as things were great with him.  He dared God by saying if God would take away all that matters to Job (his family, wealth, property, animals, 401K and the entire lot) that his faith would wane and he would stray away from God.  As we read on we see three friends coming to Job and instead of comforting, encouraging and urging Job to continue to live a life worthy of God, they accuse him that his life most have some hidden sin and/or wrongdoing in his life.  They tell him to repent and give him all sorts of expert advice instead of just being there for Job and carrying his burdens with him.  To add insult to injury Job loses his kids, his body goes through painful sores and more bad news continues even to that point that Job's wife says to him, "why don't you just curse God and die..."  As we read on, we realize that Job's faith stays firm and he does have a lot of questions and his heart is grieved and he is in despair, yet he knows that his Redeemer lives and is in heaven as his advocate!  The end of the Book of Job surprises the reader a bit, but when you realize the holiness and awe of God, what other choice do we mortals have?

In 2 Corinthians 13:5, the Apostle Paul tells us to examine ourselves and to test whether we are still in the faith.  This can sometimes be hard but also be very rewarding to our walk and our faith especially if the God is trying to mature and sharpen us.  Maybe you find yourself in the right place, but your situation and/or spouse does not want to hear the truth; instead they choose to walk in the darkness and to surround themselves with foolish company, then what?

Be the light...what did Jesus do....how can you model Jesus in that situation you are in?  Most importantly pray!  Pray continually and lean not on your own understanding but lean on God's truth and wisdom and pray for his wisdom and discernment.

To God be the Glory,

Dante