I know a woman who divorced her husband for biblical reasons but started dating before the divorce was technically a done deal. (If you are a stickler for accuracy: She was still married.) This new couple was so in love, and the man said (practically at the door of the church on their wedding day) that he believed in God and Jesus.
Very soon the marriage ran into choppy waters. Predictable, right? This is the part of the story where we shake our heads and moan that this Christian woman should have known better, and we say that she now must reap what she sowed. This is where we are tempted to close the book and sadly walk away, tucking in a back pocket of the mind the moral tale we have just learned from another case where God’s laws were broken.
A lesser woman in this situation would become embittered toward her husband and embittered toward God (as if it were His fault) and would never fully recover. A better woman in this situation would confess her sin and sleep in the bed she made, spending the rest of her life feeling sad for trifling with God’s laws.
But the thing I did not expect to see—and what has blessed me to no end—is that the woman in question is chose neither of the two options above. Out of the crucible of suffering, even suffering brought on by herself, this woman now seeks the Lord and loves the Lord and praises the Lord constantly. She has seen her sin and confessed it. She prays for her new husband and ministers to him. She knows God loves her and says it out loud to anyone who will listen, and she often ministers to me and reminds me of God’s love.
This woman has opened a new spiritual understanding to me: The key to continuing in the pathways of God’s grace is to stay available to it, even after disaster wrought by a great personal sin. We are tempted, when severely chastened, to curl up into fetal position in a corner of the room for the duration. That is no solution; it is the second trick of the devil. The first trick was the initial disobedience. The second trick is the devil’s counsel that you have totally blown it and cannot expect much from here on out.
A woman who does right the first time is a blessing to me. A woman who picks herself up by God’s grace and does right after blowing it blesses my socks off.