Wednesday, June 27, 2007

five years!!!!!

June has been overwhelmingly busy. It began pretty rough but as is always the case, trials are certainly necessary (at least in my feeble walk with Jesus) to perpetuate my reliance on Him. I keep coming back to the words of my friend Nicole (which are actually the words of Ricky Jones here loosely restated): 80% of our prayers are that we wouldn't need Jesus anymore. I have found that to be so true in my life. I want an easy, comfortable life. Doesn't seem super evil to have such innocuous- seeming pursuits; but really if my life is that easy, how will I minister to others who are hurting, and for what shall I depend upon Christ? I won't delve too deeply into all of that, perhaps due only to lack of time, but I wanted to touch on the goodness of the Father for giving the gift of marriage.

Only five days ago Wade and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. It was truly our sweetest yet. We have endured much suffering in our marriage, at the hands of each other, yet God has faithfully crushed us with His fierce love and called us back to repentance. We are profoundly grateful for the body of Christ, specifically our body here in Norman, and cannot imagine how we could have made it without the love and support and truth-telling of the people who pour into our marriage and family. I have committed horrid crimes against God in my marriage and been at many times completely without grace and compassion for my husband. I know I am not the only perpetrator in our marriage, but I am so joyous that God has softened my heart and helped me to see that He is after all of me, and He will pursue the hidden sins of my heart until they are cast down at His feet. Another good friend has helped me to realize that when we are in situations that make us feel as if Aslan is tearing off our very skin, it is a severe mercy that will open our eyes to our sin and grant us repentance. This is at least one reason why we are told to be thankful in trials; God does use trials to discipline us and to break our legs and carry us back into the fold. Marriage is indeed a mystery. It is always refining and constantly sanctifying us. I find that God also uses these present trials to draw us back to the concept of our marriage not being so much about us as about Him. The love, security, intimacy, friendship, exclusivity and protection provided by marriage are sweet benefits, but the reason is that it is good to serve Christ together. It is good to help and labor and watch your love mature into the ultimate earthly shadow of Christ and His bride. I asked a good friend tonite what she loved most about her "boyfriend" (if you will) and she said "the way he loves people". What a great start. It has taken me five years to realize that the thing I most love about Wade is the way he loves people and wants to point them to Christ. So, all this to say thanks be to God for five hard and good years. I have to end with my favorite quote these days, it is so full of wisdom and I have been contemplating it and recalling it these past couple of weeks.

"But a christian finds satisfaction in every circumstance by getting strength from another, by going outside himself to Jesus Christ, by his faith acting upon Christ, and bringing the strength of Jesus Christ into his own soul, he is thereby enabled to bear whatever God lays on him, by the strength that he finds from Jesus Christ. of his fullness do we receive grace for grace; there is strength in Christ not only to sanctify and save us, but strength to support us under all our burdens and afflictions, and Christ expects that when we are under any burden, we should act our faith upon him to draw virtue and strength from him. " -Jeremiah Burroughs (italics mine)