Can Good Come Out of Divorce?
There is little question about whether divorce is painful or not. Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is seldom pretty and one party or the other is often left hurt so how can good possibly come from divorce?
Sunday’s first reading was from the Old Testament and the book of Deuteronomy.
Moses said to the people:
“Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
has directed all your journeying in the desert,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments.
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.
I’ve read the story of Moses before plenty of times, but every time that concept gets me. Moses led his people out of slavery only to wander aimlessly for 40 years – FORTY YEARS!!!
Forty years must have seemed like a lifetime. To some, it was a lifetime. How sad to have lived thinking they had been abandoned by God, living with such confusion, exhaustion, and constant stress on the body, mind, and soul. To top it off, the people were met with affliction after affliction. Hungry and weary, they were anxious to reach the Promised Land.
It is no wonder the people complained. I am fairly certain I would have been no better than they.
Is Navigating Your Way Through Divorce Like Wandering Aimlessly in the Desert?
It can be. Divorce is isolating in many ways. Time constraints and financial burdens can cut you off from family and friends. Sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion can make concentration difficult. Job performance can suffer but friendships and supportive relationships can suffer when you need them most too.
When concentration falters it can be hard to find a clear direction in life. Where is your life going? What path does God want you to travel on now? Is there even a path out there for you?
God hates divorce, but He doesn’t hate you or your spouse. Afflictions placed before you may be similar to the afflictions Moses and his people faced in the desert. Day after day, perhaps no great more tragedies, but just a never-ending drudgery that weighs on the soul leaving one hungering for something real.
Sharing Experiences Can Lighten the Load
Divorced Christians can take heart in looking at the experience of Moses and his people as they wandered in the desert. They had lessons to learn, and one of those was that man does not live by bread alone. The people were hungry and yet food was nowhere in sight. How would they feed themselves? Had they been led to such a barren place only to perish?
It was when things appeared bleakest that God sent manna from Heaven – nourishment from a source the people hadn’t known. If you are lost, wandering and unsure of which direction you were meant to travel, if you are hungering for something real, do not despair. God has a plan for you, and it may lead you to nourishment you had never considered. His plan, though often more slowly revealed than we would like, leads to manna from Heaven, but that means we must keep walking through the desert.
Whether you see the path through your personal desert or not, your responsibility is to faithfully and intentionally follow the Lord’s commandments, and when you stumble and fall, as most of us will from time to time, you have a responsibility to get back up and continue the journey. By doing so, we learn that it is not by bread alone that man lives, but by the word of God. It is when we understand this that God will gives us what we hunger for – Not always the things of this world, but eternal Grace in His word.
Have you been locked in a desert made by yourself of by someone else? How long have you been there? What is keeping you there? What signs could God be giving you that you miss because they are not in the form you expected? How can you be fed by God’s manna from Heaven?