You Don’t Know

“You don’t know the situation.”

These were my friend’s words as he broke the news to me that he was leaving his wife after more than 20 years of marriage.

His implication was that their marriage–their “situation”–was simply too horrible for me to understand. Because, surely, my marriage is as smooth-sailing as it appears on the surface, unlike his, which apparently had rip currents underneath that he and his wife had hidden for years.

I do not doubt the existence of those rip currents. If their marriage had been the placid lake it had appeared to be, there would not have been a divorce. More than that, I do not doubt those rip currents because I believe we all have them in varying degrees.

So, after my friend said those words, I just sat there, no response coming quickly enough to my mind or to my lips. I believe I said something lame, like, “No, I suppose I don’t.”

Roughly eight months later, I finally have my response. I cannot give it to my friend directly, because he has since decided that I am no longer, and never really was, his friend, so he turns his head away when we drive by each other on the street (as we did just yesterday afternoon).

But if I had the chance for a do-over, this is what I would say (much of which I’ve paraphrased from Beth Moore’s study of Daniel):

I do not doubt that your situation is difficult. I do not doubt that you have experienced pain that I can never fully comprehend. But do not assume that your situation is hopeless. Do not–please–do not forget the God you serve.

When Daniel was tossed into the lion’s den, the stone was placed over the opening to the den and the king sealed it with his signet ring and those of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation could not be changed.

When Jesus was laid in the tomb, the stone was rolled in front of the doorway and armed guards were stationed on either side, so that Jesus’ situation could not be changed.

All seemed hopeless.  And then morning came.

You, my dear friend, do not have the situation that God cannot change.  Wait for the morning.

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6 thoughts on “You Don’t Know

  1. Beautifully stated. We all have to wait for the morning. The story of creation has been on my mind a lot lately. Mostly, On the 7th day God rested. I accures to me that this is not just a command as in the 3rd commandment to keep holy the sabbath, but also the story of our salvation. If what I am assuming is correct, Heaven is the 7th day and all of our time on earth is to create and work. In the terms of the history of the world we could be only on day 2. There will be a long road to go if that is the case. In my personal existence I hope I am only at about day 3 or 4, I have a lot of work to do myself. Peace be with you.

  2. I agree, beautifully stated.

    No we don’t know the situation but we know the God who is in control and holds this world in his hands! We live in a “microwave society”. If it can’t be fixed immediately, throw it out and get a new one.

    This song has been echoing in my head for the past month and seems to be a response I have given to so many posts. It seems appropriate here too. So again I share:

    Everlasting God

    Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
    We will wait upon the Lord
    We will wait upon the Lord

    Our God, You reign forever
    Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
    You are the everlasting God
    The everlasting God
    You do not faint
    You won’t grow weary
    You’re the defender of the weak
    You comfort those in need
    You lift us up on wings like eagles

    Blessings on you. Wonderful Post!
    Praying your friend’s “morning will come” even now there is still hope!

  3. Nice to have you here, Ken and Lana. And thank you for your kind words.

    Ken, I sincerely hope we’re further along in the “week” than that–I love that perspective, though. I’ve never thought of it that way.

    Lana, who sings that song? I don’t think I’ve heard it. Thank you for sharing the lyrics.

    Mandy

  4. Chris Tomlin’s version is the one stuck in my brain! I heard it at my hair appointment and I am telling you I keep singing the Wait upon the Lord part over and over.

    Lord, are you trying to tell me something?! 😉

    Lana G!

  5. Mandy,
    This is Ken signed in, I hope we are further along in the week also, but I fear we are not. It does not seem that things are all that different than they were 3000 or 4000 years ago, we are still ignoring the covenant that God has given us. Peace be with us all.

  6. Ours is a “morning” faith! The whole rhythm of life, starting with Genesis 1 is God moving us toward morning (1:5). Isn’t it cool that Christ is the Daystar? He is our eternal morning! Thanks, Mandy, for the solid footing in a fluid world…

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