|The Biblical Job was the victim of a bet.|
It was between God and the Devil.
God took everything Job loved away from him.
And he still never lost his Faith in God.
And so God won the bet.
Sometimes I think my ex-wife pulled the plug on the marriage to do me a favor. She even admitted once that she was not nice to me. She said, "I know I'm so mean. Why do you ever stay with me?"
Well, I did because I had Faith. I made a commitment. I was not going to back out of my commitment. You know, there's this part of marriage that says, "For better or for worse." Well, here we were in the "for worse" part, and I was not going to give up.
So she did. She filed for divorce. She filed, I think, two months before she even had the nerve to tell me. And she told me. We were in the kitchen. She said, "I think we should get a divorce."
I was blindsided by this. I felt like a puppy dog getting hit by a Mack truck. It was totally unexpected. Here we were in a miserable marriage, and I was broadsided by the word divorce.
I was stuck for words. My face filled with tears. That deep, darkest feeling over came me. And I said, "Is that what you think God would want?"
She said, "God would want me to be happy."
I said, "God would want you to choose your own happiness over your commitments that you promised to uphold?"
And she defended her statement that God would want her to be happy. And I never understood that. Still don't. Perhaps that's the liberal hold inside her brain. This thing that principles don't matter. That you can just make up rules as you go along in life. That there is nothing etched in stone. That, if you're not happy, you can make changes, even if those changes destroy a marriage.
But, that's what she wanted to do. And I could barely function at work the next day. I was so beside myself. My patients talked to me, and I might have talked back. But I never paid them much attention. It was, as though, a part of me had just died.
It was so bad I did not want to go back home. I decided to go to a hotel. I left work that night planning on getting a hotel room. I did not want to ever see her again. I was that disappointed. And, hate never entered my mind. Disappointment is the word that did enter my mind. I was disappointed in her.
And I was mad at God. Instead of going to a hotel, I drove a round a bit. Then I ended up parked at the beach. In fact, it might have been almost a year ago to this day. As I'm writing this, it's November 14. I was beside myself.
I threw a fit in my car. I crinkled up every last piece of paper in my car. I tossed stuff. I threw stuff. I tossed and threw obscenities into the air. I was utterly mad at God.
"Why did you do this to me. Here I have always been faithful to you. I have always worked to be a good Christian. I pray every night. I prayed to find her. You found her for me. We had a perfect marriage. And then you took it all away! Why!"
So mad was I. Then I stopped. I meditated. Sometimes, when you meditate, you hear God's voice. A message is sent to your mind. But, on this day, there was nothing.
"Please, God! Please give me an answer."
Now, I know this now and not then. But, there is this old saying. It goes something like this: "Sometimes your prayer has already been answered."
Okay? I know that now. God gave me this gift of divorce. It was a gift. He helped me get away from that stress. He gave me a chance to start all over. And I would more than succeed at piecing back together my life. But, there was no way I could have possibly known that on that day.
So, the next day I'm sitting at work. My coworker says, "John, what's wrong? I can tell something is wrong with you."
I told her my story. All of it. And I told her of my Job like moment the night before.
And she said, "John, that wasn't God doing that to you. It was some other guy."
It was the Devil.
Ahh, how could I not see that? Her words caused goose flesh to creep up my spine. It brought a feeling of awe and joy. And, of course, "Doh! How could I not have seen?"
"It's because you were so deep. It blinded you to the truth," she said, "But, God would never do that to you."