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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

They breathe as one. She a fiery, red-headed gentile. He a tall, laughter-filled Jew. Together a love story. Together a picture of what it is to be loved by the Lord. Together. I cannot picture one without the other.

Neither will have volumes written about their many exploits. Nor will you find their names in a history book. They are common people. Everyday folks. Of the nameless mass that toils in the mundane. Common vessels that are known by the Father. Known by name and loved by the Almighty Creator of the Universe. His Plan. His delight. His instruments.

They play a unique duet. The melody haunting, beautiful, divine. It permeates this dark and dreary world with a supernatural tune that draws the heart beyond what is seen, and fans the yearning for something more. Light. Beauty. Profound simplicity. This duet sings of promise. They make beautiful music together. Together.

Oh how their music fills our hearts!

 

David & Cynthia, ambassadors for Christ

 

But God. Sovereignty. Providence.

For many years I watched them move through the world quietly, passionately. Each day they accepted what came from His hand as a means to bless, to serve, to love. Giving, ever giving until it hurt. Scars branded into their hearts. Yet each day they met the demands with assurance that their Father loved them, that they were walking ever closer to the prize. Each day I saw them yearn for others to join them in the race. The race that everyone wins, if they race to Christ. The Author. The Finisher. The Redeemer. Our Lover.

Yesterday was the first day living with the thought of one being without the other. One. One of them will finish the race and be at the Saviour’s feet. One of them will “fly to Jesus and live.” One will be left to play on. A solo.

Oh sweet sorrow.

They have run together for so very long. Each complimenting the other. Together a whole. When two common vessels love so deeply, each living for the joy of the other, we see the Father’s love for us. We know it is real. Sweet assurance.

But God. Oh Sovereign Father. Providence.

The song will change. The sound, still divine, will play a slightly different tune as it echos through the hole left in the heart. Still hauntingly beautiful. Still hearts will be drawn to the Father. One common vessel loved and loving. Singing a song of hope for the world in desperate need.

Hope.

And in the divine throne room one more common vessel, made uncommonly beautiful, will wait to welcome us home.

Update: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at the age of 52, our dear and precious brother entered glory. Heaven and earth rejoice through tears of great sorrow.

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They saw. They looked around and saw their desperate, hopeless, impossible circumstances, and they were gripped with fear.

Saul waited. He waited for Samuel to appear on the 7th day. To make it all better. At some point on the 7th day Saul’s source of hope, his deliverer did not come. In desperation Saul decided to take things into his own hands.

Action.

A plan. Saul needed a plan of action. A show of might and bravado lest all his men desert him. Saul, Saul. Where does your hope and confidence lie? In man? In your religious leaders? In human action? In what is seen?

Certainly not in his true Deliverer. Not in his Lord Most High Who had already given him victories. Always been faithful. Ultimately his hope was in himself, in what was seen, in human plans. For Saul, and so often for us in the midst of temptation or trial, there is no hope in Who the Lord is, what He promises, nor in obedience to this One.

We forget.

We seek solace in our own plans without consulting our Deliverer.

“I’ve got to DO SOMETHING!”

We do not do the next thing- that which we already know to do- for our hope is not in the One Who laid out the next thing for us.

Unbelief.

Obstinate even?

Pride?!

He has called us to His throne. To His love. To His heart. But He has also called us to obedience. Even when it makes no sense. For its not about the action but about trusting the One behind the plan. His process.

Believe and be free.

Soooo simple. Soooo impossible… without the Spirit.

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Circumstances. They looked mighty bleak for king Saul and his people. Hopeless. Many of his troops were paralyzed with fear, hiding, and even running away. If there really was help available… it was going to be too little and too late. The time for action was now!

I have spoken with many wives (and some women not married) who look around and see only hopelessness, fear, even anger grown out of bitterness. Its never enough. Too little and too late. I have been there myself in the past. I understand their pain and uncertainty, their weariness. In the midst of it all is guilt and shame because we know we should trust the Lord. Trust and wait.

How does one get to this hopeless state?

To the bottom of the pit?

I see a destructive path in this passage, one that we quickly and easily tread. The only way, so it seems. At first. Until it lands us at the bottom of the pit. Again.

Context. Saul had not been king very long, yet he had already enjoyed a tremendous victory clearly provided by God as he sought to purge the land the Lord had given him. Let’s assume the war with the Philistines was justified in God’s sight. That aside, here we find the first misstep.

1 Samuel 13.6. Read it. Do you see it? Quite simply… they “saw” and were afraid. Deeply disturbed. They looked around at their circumstances and grew increasingly terrified. Their eyes were on their temporary earthly circumstances. Their hearts forgot Who and What their God is all about.

And they grew faint.

That is the first step on the path to destruction. It is a very subtle shift. Subtle but potentially deadly.

So… Ladies… Focus.

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Often we go to the Lord and we request, even demand, a husband (or fill in the blank with something else). We request, and then we choose. In this process the Lord places this man over us in the roles of marriage (despite the fact that we are equal in God’s sight). The very thing for which we begged.

And the Lord tells us to fear Him, worship Him, and obey Him. He tells us to guard our hearts from rebelling against Him.

In the midst of this marriage with this man whom we have chosen.

Yet we grow discontent and dissatisfied. He warns us, and He tells us to watch the great things He is going to do in our lives giving us tangible evidence of His might, sovereignty, and His love.

In the midst of this marriage with this man whom we have chosen.

He yearns to reveal the gunk in our hearts that tears us away from Him. He puts us in trial and allows temptation to reveal to us that which is holding us back from Him. Choking us.

In the midst of this marriage with this man whom we have chosen.

Basic. Foretold. Promised.

Then the foolishness begins: Expectations. Circumstances. Fears. The Mundane. We take things into our own hands. Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself as that is in chapter 13.

The Lord, He is faithful. We are not. He tells us to just do that which we know to do. “Do the next thing.” Yet we want to add to His Word. Or take away. Even then He is faithful to forgive us. Even then. Always.

He tells us over and over again… Fear Me, but do not be Afraid. Despite your selfish foolish heart you can Return. Worship. Be Forgiven. For when you turn away to the ideology of the world, you walk toward your own destruction.

No profit. No deliverance. Just lies.

Oh that we would understand His heart for us. Oh that we would not seek after that which distracts us from Him and from His plan for us.

In the midst of this marriage with this man whom we have chosen.

Still the Lord will not abandon you. Return to Him. He will show you how if you but ask Him.

Return to Him and soar.

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As I read through 1 Samuel 13-15 it struck me that some things apply well to marriage, but chapter 12 sets the tone for the drama.

Of a people yearning for the next great thing.

The people continuously forget from Whom they received deliverance, provision, purpose and identity. They looked around at their neighbors, the other nations, and lost sight of their Lord. Once again their wandering hearts sought confidence in what is seen.

“Give us a king,” they cried.

Oh, dear one, be careful for what you ask. For what you demand.

  • You have a mighty and just King, His government rules over everything.
  • You have a perfect Husband Who cherishes you, and takes care of you.
  • You have a faithful Friend Who is loyal, and offers life-giving counsel.
  • You have a powerful Boss that desires your success and promotion (even if the path He gives is rough)
  • You have a kind and compassionate Father Who is proud of you, and longs to welcome you home.

Yet our wandering heart points to what we see around us and says, “That, I want that one. Gimme.”

So where are your eyes? To where do you look for hope and purpose? For help?

We must pray for one another, teach the good and right way, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully.

How? How do we do all that in a world that distracts us and leaves us angry or sad or weary?

Consider the great things He has done.

For you.

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