“Maybe we’re not meant to be together.”
“He said he never loved me.”
“He told me he wants a divorce.”
“I can’t keep letting him treat me that way.”
“I don’t see how reconciliation is possible.”
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
“I can’t stop crying.”
These are soundbites from some of the conversations I’ve been having lately. It’s a bit agonizing to know that I can’t fix the complex web of other people’s problems, that I can’t solve it and make it better with more talking and little wine.
Some things will simply remain broken.
I love hearing stories of restored marriages, of recovery from addictions and healing from serious illness. What a great time to be on Team Jesus! He’s so awesome to mend our broken lives!
But then sometimes sin and selfishness corrupt a marriage so deeply that we reject the mending; the idols of our desires are so strong we are not open to being rescued; the tragedy of Adam so final that our bodies do not heal.
It’s more difficult to see Jesus working in these situations. Sometimes I don’t want his comfort because I’d rather he fix it. I don’t want to mourn a loss but rejoice in the miracle of restoration!
We sing a song in our church community called We Have Overcome, and recently – the day after I first heard one of these soundbites from a friend – this particular lyric stood out to me, and I burst into tears:
“…a savior who turns tragic endings into love stories, this is the God I know…”
Some of the endings to our stories are tragic. They crash and burn or slowly smolder; they sometimes catch us by surprise. But thankfully we are not in our own story – we are a part of God’s story, and his stories always end lovely even if brought through a tragic climax.
This is the God I know.
Image of invisible God
Stretched across a tree
And all to take my place
Oh, the divine mystery
A savior who turns tragic endings
into love stories
This is the God I know
You have overcome, You have overcome deathʼs sting
Celebrate the rising of a king
You have overcome, You have overcome, letʼs sing
The power of an everlasting king