I was married once. We are divorced now for a multiplicity of reasons. It was my fault and it was her fault. It was both our faults. I did a lot of stuff wrong. I was actually sort of a prick on several, actually a lot of occasions. But, as I said, we both made mistakes and we paid for those mistakes. We paid in the sense that we lost our marriage and we paid individually because something was lost. Something vital, something precious.
I remember praying about it all the time and begging God to help me, show me how to save what I saw dying before my very eyes. Then she would say something that would piss me off or I’d just have a bad day and out would come “the real me”. Things that should never be said to someone you love were said and I’d feel like an ass, a failure. I was a failure at it. I prayed and prayed. Nothing. I heard nothing. Our marriage fell apart around us and a part of both of us died.
I was really angry at God for a long time about that. I ranted at Him, cried out to Him, blamed Him and said some pretty nasty things to Him. I didn’t get it. Over time, there has been healing from all this. Jesus and I had some pretty in-depth conversations and He had plenty to say. I mostly just sat there and took it cause it was all true and terribly humbling.
He reminded me that all the crap that had happened was because of choice. My choice. I could have chosen to respond differently, I could have chosen to love, I could have chosen to be kind…and a hundred other stupid, selfish decisions I made. But, He didn’t condemn me for my bad choices, He merely pointed them out to me so I could learn from them.
There are times when God will swoop in and rescue us. I really believe that. There are times when He parts the “Red Sea” that stands in our way, times when He allows us to walk on water. Then, there are times when He gives us over to our choices, to the consequences. There are times He won’t part the sea cause we decided we’d swim across cause we’re smarter than Him, times He lets us sink under the waves cause we take our eyes off Him just like Peter did. He’s a gentleman and we have free will after all. I think there are times when we’re flailing face down in two feet of water, screaming that we can’t swim. I picture Jesus as the lifeguard saying, “Hey dude, put your feet down and just stand up.” He might just let us learn the hard way. He does that. Tough love some call it. It wasn’t a fun lesson for me either. It’s still not.
So when we make dumb decisions, don’t be surprised when He doesn’t stop us or interfere. He’s not our butler and He doesn’t owe me or you anything. Sometimes He wants to teach us something in the midst of the storm. Sometimes love isn’t fun but true love, His love is always faithful.