[God] comforts us in all our affliction. -2 Corinthians 1:4
Divorce is never easy. I don’t care if a spouse is guilty or angry or already moved on into a new relationship…the consequences of divorce can cause suffering. When we suffer, to whom do we go for peace? At one point, I thought the answer was my church.
I have a wonderful, Gospel-preaching, and loving church home. It was there that I met with the ladies at bible study. I mingled with the Christians in my community group. I attended the ladies’ convention, sought advice from my pastor, and hoped and prayed friendships were in the making.
However, nothing was happening. They listened, but no one seemed to care…well, not by my standards. No one reached out without my effort, and I felt rejection.
In fact, what was worse, they patted my husband on the back, as if he had done nothing wrong! They smiled at him, met him for lunch, and seemed to ignore me unless I was standing right in front of them! I couldn’t get a grasp on what was happening.
Hello? Um, I’m suffering here. You all seem so busy with your perfect spouses, children, soccer games, and get-togethers. What about me?
That’s when isolation gripped me. All the best self-help gurus, even the Christian counselors, will tell anyone that isolation is the step after bitterness, which comes from intense pain, heart-ache, and sadness…all of which I was experiencing in abundance. On top of that, isn’t this also when the enemy comes “to steal and kill and destroy”? (John 10:10).
But, I went to the church! I reached out! Where were they when I needed them?
What does God say about going to others rather than to Him?
Sure, the bible says that we should “not [neglect] to meet together, as is the habit of some, but [encourage] one another” (Hebrews 10:25). On the other hand, God also tells us, “Have no other Gods before me” (Exodus 20: 3).
Suddenly, I am reminded I am not going straight to the Boss, the Head Honcho, my Creator and Provider…the One who comforts and gives peace. No. Instead, I was going to man.
It was then that I became convicted. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
I was living in the flesh again. There it was in black and white. Rather than trust, have faith, go straight to the Comforter Himself…I went once again to that which I knew best. Man. And, man (and woman) disappointed me, as what typically happens when I put him or her first.
The people at church were just normal people busy with their own lives. No one was special or unique or magical. Not one of them had the ability to change my situation. They weren’t horrible for not being able to help. As much as I wanted to be in their circles, have lunch, or “chat” about our lives…none of it would fix my marriage or me.
It was wrong of me to put that responsibility on them. I knew in my heart that I had put God second, yet again. Wow. I misjudged all right. Badly.
When I sought comfort from the church, He reminded me that men (and women) will fall short. They will let us down because they are human.
However, God will never disappoint us.
Only God can be God. Only Yahweh can be all things to all people (1 Cor. 9: 22). Let us not put our faith in the flesh. Let us always look to the One who gives peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27).
The world will always fall short. We will suffer in a fallen world. Still, lest He lovingly need remind us, we should look to God first focusing on Him, our one, true Comforter (2 Cor. 1: 4).