Wednesday, February 3, 2016

When We Were Married

Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:7-9, MSG ~

At my tender age of 51 years old, I have become a cranky, tired, curmudgeon who likes getting into loungewear as soon as dinner is consumed, if not before.  I am worn out.  Form rules over fashion.  I desperately crave time to slow down in nature or with a book, alone, quiet filling my soul.

That was not the case 24 years ago as we were preparing to be married.  Back then we were excited at the prospect of spending a lifetime together, discovering life on amazing adventures, taking on the world.  We were anticipating exhilarating encounters, learning and growing together as we fed our natural curiosity.  Our dreams were big and the possibilities seemed endless back when we were married.

Reflecting on those desires decades ago, we can see ever-so-clearly that God answered our longing for adventure, but He certainly didn't do it in the way either of us had planned:

  • We longed for travel.  God took our feet down avenues of medical challenges we never could have imagined, learning full reliance on Him.
  • We wanted to be living "the good life."  God granted us goodness by redeeming our endless trials, using them to grow us and bless others.
  • We hoped for prosperity.  God gave us abundance in compassion and the fellowship of suffering, meeting new, wonderful people along the way.
  • We looked forward to big fun.  God granted us the delight of finding shelter in one another through so many storms.
  • We thought we would be making impressive memories.  God created His own legacy of faithfulness and goodness through the challenges we have faced along with our children.
In these years since we were married, we have so often felt empty-handed.  Yet, as it turns out, the Lord has given us all we need for this great adventure.  He even goes with us, keeping us steady when we are feeling anything but.

It is amazing to look back at how God has not only conformed our behavior to look more like Jesus', but He has also transformed our mindset to align more with His.  Life's difficulties have stripped us of our earthly pride and turned our focus towards bringing Him glory.  It wasn't like that when we were first married.  We have evacuated the center of our own universe (sometimes begrudgingly) and let GOD occupy it, as He should have all along.

Life isn't exactly what we imagined it would be when we were first married.  We are tired and often cranky after years at a different sort of adventure.  Even so, this journey together has taken us to heights that never would have been reached if we had had it our way.  That, as it ends up, is more valuable than anything we could have dreamed for in this life.

PRAY:  Father, thank You for knowing and giving what is best for us.  Thank You for being the glue that holds our family together, drawing us closer to You through every adversity.  May we reflect Your glory more and more each day.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! God grew you a big, beautiful heart through your trials so that you could love and serve the underserved as He would. You are His hands and feet. Thanks for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for giving words to my sentiments exactly. May God bless us as we journey on a road less traveled.

    ReplyDelete