Why Did God Let My Marriage Fall Apart?
I buried my face in my hands and sobbed. “Why, God?” My husband was gone and I didn’t know if he’d be back. My son was asking questions I didn’t know how to answer.
Just like the Israelites, I’d found my wilderness. Each day I struggled just to get out of bed. I put on a happy face, but I felt numb inside. Had God abandoned me? I wondered.
I dug into my prayer time and Bible reading. I memorized Scripture. I even quoted Scripture back to God, especially promises like he’d always be with me, or that His word never returns to Him void. I confessed sins. Still, I wondered why God had allowed my marriage to fall apart.
A wilderness experience is a trial by its nature, I reminded myself. As I walked through my wilderness, I found four sustaining truths.
He is Always There
God is always there. Even the Israelites in their wilderness experience had God in a pillar of fire or cloud leading them on the way to the Promised Land (Ex. 13:22). After the death of Moses, God told Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (my emphasis) (Joshua 1:5-6).
Even in my wilderness, God was with me. I had to believe it, even though at times I couldn’t feel it. I quoted the Scripture to God many times. “Lord, you said you’d always be with me. Be with me now.” And He was. He was there through His people, like when I needed food and someone provided it. Or when I needed to talk and someone called. He is always with me.
God Wastes No Suffering
My suffering is not in vain. My time in the wilderness was an opportunity for God to refine me just as gold is refined. I had to believe there was purpose in my suffering, that it wasn’t in vain. In 1 Peter 1:7, Peter told exiled Christians that they would soon suffer many trials. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
The end result of my refining is Christ revealed, to me and to others. I’ve become stronger in my faith. I’ve learned that God is trustworthy. These are lessons that I now share with others.
And It Came to Pass
The wilderness doesn’t last forever. Someone once said that “it came to pass” was their favorite Bible saying, because it reminded them that everything comes to an end. I knew my time of wilderness would come to an end. Where or how was up to God; but it would come to pass.
I held onto Jeremiah 30:18-19: “This is what the Lord says: ‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.’”
I held onto God in belief that He would restore my joy. My wilderness wasn’t permanent. And it came to pass.
Joy Comes in the Morning
I will find joy again. Each day I reminded myself of His promises that after the wilderness I would find joy. Indeed, He promises, “[W]eeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5). Just like David, I could say “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11).
I knew that didn’t mean that my husband would return. It didn’t mean that my life would be exactly as it was before the wilderness. But joy would return through Christ and my determination to hold onto His truths.
And it has. My life isn’t perfect. I haven’t learned all that I need to know. But these basic truths have sustained me, even in my wilderness.