It is always amazing to me how God works. He allows us to experience dark trials, often in our marriages to test our hearts, but also that we can come to the end of ourselves. That’s just how He works because He does not look at the temporal inconveniences that we experience in the same way we do. Don’t get me wrong, He definitely cares about our pain, but He allows it for a higher purpose, because it’s often, only at the end of ourselves, in the depth of our pain that we turn to Him. You know it. How often do we spend time basking in His presence when things are great? It’s often only at the end of ourselves, in our pain and desperation that we take the time to look within to Him and it is there we find Him, and when we find Him in this way, it is then that He is most real to us. It is then that He will show Himself strong. It is in that place that we need to always remain.
Bradley (not his real name) called me a year ago. His marriage was falling apart and his wife was about to leave him and take the kids. When they came in together for the consultation, the tension in the room was palpable. They sat at opposite ends of the couch and did not make eye contact with each other for the entire hour. At our first session alone, Bradley described himself as being at the lowest point of his life, on the verge of losing everything dear to him. I congratulated him on getting to that place, saying that God wanted him at the end of himself. In fact, God wanted him dead, dead to self, because in our weakness He is strong. I told him to put on his seatbelt (and I tell you the same thing) because if he dug in deep, God would use this trial for amazing transformation. And He has. God allowed Bradley to bottom out in His relationship with his wife to find Him, and experience Him in a way he’d never experienced Him before. Bradley’s life is not perfect, he still has struggles, but he is learning to genuinely allow Jesus’ Spirit to live His life through him. His fruit-filled, wife- honoring communication is now just a natural outpouring of his relationship with his God, and it’s a beautiful transformation to see.