Grace in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

This morning after getting up I did what I often do…looked at my Facebook feed. As I did, I saw an article and quickly prayed that it was fake. I soon found out that it wasn’t. The article was titled, “Billy Graham’s grandson steps down from Florida megachurch after admitting an affair.

My first thought was, “Oh, God, not Tullian too…” But it was true. It was announced this weekend that Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, had resigned due to having had an affair. Tullian’s statement indicated that he and his wife Kim had been having ongoing marital problems, and that she herself had had an affair. His statement indicated that during a time of sabbatical and separation from Kim, he had himself run to an inappropriate relationship that apparently became an extramarital affair.

I’m not going to weigh in, giving my two cents’ worth on the causes or the impact of either Tchividjian’s affair. Here are the types of things I would want to say, though, to both Kim and Tullian Tchividjian…

“The grace of God shines brightest through the cracks of desperation and need.”

“Your worth is determined by how God feels about you, not by how you feel about yourself or how others feel about you.”

“God uses people who sin and are sinned against because that’s all he has to work with.”

“God doesn’t have a perverse desire to exact a price from you greater than the price that was paid on the cross.”

“It’s amazing how much God gives you when you have nothing left to give.”

“God loves the broken you. The real you. The you that can honestly say you don’t know things. The you that hides.”

“You and I are persistent promise breakers. God alone is a perpetual promise keeper.”

All these quotes are recent tweets I pulled from Tullian Tchividjian’s Twitter feed. I pray that right now in the crater, in the storm, in the period of time that feels like a never-ending punch to the gut, that Tullian and Kim will both remember that the Gospel is still true. That all the things that Tullian preached about grace still apply. That their failure beautifully serves to make the point.

Tullian’s single Twitter post since the news came out reads, “Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death…thank God grace reigns here.” Amen.

tulliantweet

I wish this point could have been made without their affairs, and the fallout that will follow. But I have to remember that God could have stopped it and He didn’t. Just like He could have (but didn’t) stopped my addictive sin and its accompanying behavior before I did everything I did. There is a bigger story here that God is writing. The story is not over for Tullian and Kim Tchividjian. I pray that the beautiful, redemptive part of the story will unfold with them staying together. I pray that we’ll get to hear about their healing and not just their pain.

But whether we do or not, I know today that there is a loving God who is walking with the Tchividjians as they limp. And He knows what He’s doing.