Breaking up or Uniting

When we face an enemy, it is better to unite with your partner instead of breaking up to win the battle. Yet in reality it is not easy. If a child causes a problem at school, a family member becomes seriously ill, or financial crisis attacks, we tend to blame each other.

When I was involved in the international organ transplant ministry (1998-2009), I met about 60 Japanese families. Living in the different culture and language as foreigners, if their loved ones, who were already in serious condition, deteriorated, the relationship between a husband and a wife was stressed out, and though most of couples overcame the crisis, in some cases they even started talking about divorce.

The relationship with God is the same. When we are hit by a life storm, some cling to God tighter and some get angry at and throw away God. Perhaps it depends on what kind of God we believe or expect.

If we expect that God would grant every single prayer, we are probably often disappointed.

In the international organ transplant ministry, I saw some parents or spouses cry saying, “ I am so overwhelmed with the kindness I have received during this toughest time that I can’t find a word to express my gratitude,” even after they lost their loved ones. When I saw their tears, I thought I witnessed God, who was called Immanuel (God is with us) promising never to forsaken us: God, who may not stop the current storm but is willing to be with us in the storm: God, who eventually will stop all storms and give us the happiest eternal life. Since I found such a God, even though storms have hit one after another, I have been able to find enough reasons to be thankful for God just like the organ transplant families.

Storms or trials are for strengthening the tie of a husband and a wife, family, and ultimately with God. That’s why we make a wedding vow to love each other in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, in good times and bad till death shall apart. Storms and trials are the spiritual tests to see how much we can be humble, patient, love God, and be faithful to Him. I have learned that being close to Him instead of breaking up, is the key for the victory, and a better relationship with Him is the reward of the tests.

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