A guy in his late thirties went to visit his grandmother who was in an assisted living facility. The grandmother was in her nineties but still pretty “with it”. During the visit Mitch couldn’t help but start talking about the divorce that he was going through. It was already starting to get very messy. His wife had moved out with the two kids and was living with her new boyfriend—-who happened to be an old friend of Mitch’s. This was really hard to see happen. He really didn’t want this divorce, but he knew now that there was no turning back.
Mitch said to his grandmother, “I really have been depressed lately and I feel so alone. It seems that God has abandoned me. I haven’t been going to Church since things started getting nasty between Susan and I. I figure, what’s the use.” And his grandmother responded, “Don’t give in to feelings of despair. And, whatever you do, don’t stop going to Church. It may not seem that God is listening or doing anything, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. God might be doing something that will be a benefit to you, you just don’t see it now. Later you will understand what it is.
You say you don’t feel like going to Church—-go anyway. If you stop, I really believe that you will cut the lifeline between you and Jesus. I don’t think you want to do that, especially now. Let’s face it, it takes two to tango, and you have to consider that you are partly responsible for what’s been happening with your family. So, stop deluding yourself. God will come through for you. But in the meantime ask God for the grace to take the higher road and not give in to all the meanness and nastiness. Even though you are angry and want to get even…you have to think of more than just yourself. So try not to feed those feelings of resentment and bitterness. Take God’s word seriously. Avoid doing the things that you know are wrong, and ask for God’s help each day.
We all have been in situations where we have been hurt or have had circumstances forced upon us that we wish we didn’t have to deal with. And we can get angry at the persons who cause these problems, and maybe we even get angry with ourselves. But we need to take seriously what Christ says and not allow our hearts to be far from the Lord.
What does St James write? “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” It’s easy to follow Christ when our lives are in order, but when we are in turmoil, it’s not so easy.
Take the higher road, even though it can be difficult. Ask for Jesus’ help to avoid temptations, especially the temptations that lead to despair and seeking revenge. Remember the passage from Roman 8: all things will eventually work for Good.