“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
That verse is repeating itself over and over in my heart today. I love it when that happens.
It’s a good verse, for any day, in any situation. It’s kind of an Awana’s verses, one of those fundamental truths you memorize right away in life. Today I’m glad it’s on repeat in my mind and heart – today I need it. My life is so good, and we’re so blessed. But today, my sweet hubby found out he is facing some strong challenges at work. And now, for the first time in our (brief) married life, I’m getting a taste of what it’s like to love someone so much that your heart breaks for them, and you grieve with their grief. I am powerless, as I watch this man I love go through a challenging situation, and that in itself is hard, so therefore, the verse.
I love my husband. So, so, so much more than I ever imagined I would love any man. I’m surprised by how much God has transformed my heart from a curmudgeony old crankster (think Carl in Up), to a soft, pliable and caring thing of beauty. I credit Him, for giving me him, the one who I love enough to change and grow for. I guess in this kind of love, I’m discovering so much about the true depths and nuances of God’s own love for us. That is the kind of gift that really glorifies the Giver, and so happily all the credit goes to Him. The complexities of a love so grand, well, I guess that’s part of its beauty really.
Really though, I’m just glad, that as two people now married to each other, we really like one another as well. We’re best friends - picture two little kids, holding hands, skipping down the middle of a suburban street, the girl in a little red gingham dress, and the boy in overalls. That’s us. And we’re really just fond of one another, and enjoy the other person’s company, and get along tremendously. I hear the horror stories, of fights over mundane things, of separate bedrooms, and sarcastic, cutting comments, and I cringe, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think I know, somewhere deep inside, though, that that will never be us. We’ve both endured the broken marriages of parent’s we love, and have learned so much from. Waiting till later in life to get married has enabled us to know all the things we don’t want to do, and to be able to commit to fulfilling those promises. There’s the chance that the shoe might drop, but I really don’t think it ever will, and I look forward to a life spent with someone I just really like, and love.
So to see him hurting today, truly hurts me deeply too. I know God is good, and I trust in Him and His faithfulness. I cling to this verse, from Isaiah, a promise He sweetly gave me to years ago, which I claim now for my marriage, a most sacred thing:
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever." Isaiah 55:-13
I know that through any challenges, we will be able to face it, in the light of God’s unfailing goodness and His sacred promises for our wellbeing.
Yet, till now, I have lived a life believing in His promises, and trusting them only for myself. Now there is someone other than myself, who I love more than myself now. And trusting in God’s promises not just for me, but for that person too, is a harder lesson to learn. I’ve always known I can go through any fire, and be strong; any trial, and come out a better woman, tough, fierce and emboldened. But to believe, and cling to, God’s promises for someone I love as much as him, well that’s a tougher leap to take. I cried when we got the news about this challenge he’s facing at work, and I can’t imagine how I’ll ever hold up as he faces other challenges in life. I just want everything to be perfect for him, and to work out flawlessly to his advantage. Yet, someone reminded me today that maybe this challenge will be a catalyst for growth in him, and THAT will be good. I want my husband to grow, and to be raised up as a sterling man of God. I guess that kind of growth comes through trial by fire, the refiners fire more like it.
So, thinking of the other challenges that face him now, and of the tough times he may face ahead, I’m mildly comforted (let’s be honest here, it’s still all sinking in), in thinking of God’s promises in view of another person. My faith has now grown in a new way. I claim to promises not just for me anymore, but for us, the new family unit.
That thought alone – wow, we’re a family unit – makes me remember that His ways are not our ways, and who can know the Lord? Bah!! He is GOOD!
And that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.