Today is September 11th. Please take a moment to pray for those whose lives were irrevocably changed this day eight years ago and for all the families affected by the war that came out of the senseless violence of that day. Pray also for the world’s leaders that they might be guided by God’s will and that his peace would be known throughout the earth.
Long before it was 9-11, this was a day of celebration. Forty-seven years ago today, my parents were married. You don’t find too many couple around these days who have been married that long. They worked hard and stayed committed to each other even through the worst of times and believe me – there were enough hard times and disagreements that no one would have blamed them if they had given up and called it quits.
I remember the first time I walked down the aisle. I foolishly ignored the subtle signs and had no clue that I was walking toward a man who had been lying to me and who had no problem with enforcing his self-indulgent, egotistic attitude with verbal and physical abuse. The second time I walked down the aisle was to a kind man whose desperate need to be someone’s knight in shining armor was seamlessly matched to my deep-seeded need to be rescued. Both times, I had made a lifetime commitment and both times, that commitment failed because it was based not on mutual love and adoration, but on lies and human inadequacies.
My relationship with God has a lot in common with a marriage. I’ve made a lifetime commitment to Jesus. With all that I am, I have promised to love and obey him. To be with him through whatever life brings. To willingly share my life with him. However, our relationship is far from fairytale bliss. We have our share of troubled times too. There are times when I’m angry at him. When I take him for granted. Sometimes, I’d rather do it my own way, not his, and when that blows up in my face, I want him to rush in and fix it for me. Frequently, I find myself having to sacrifice my own plans and desires because I love him and he asks me to. My relationship with Jesus takes a lot of effort on my part. I have to make him a priority in my life and spend time with him in prayer and in his Word if we are to have a solid relationship. I’m growing and changing as a person because of my relationship with him.
One huge difference between my marriages and my relationship with God is that this commitment will last beyond a lifetime. God loves me more than I can comprehend and his patience with me and his forgiveness of my sinfulness are as eternal as he is. He won’t ever call it quits. He is with me 24/7 and I always have his attention. This relationship was truly meant to be because he created me to be in relationship with him and nothing has the power to come between us.
About the pictures:
Deer Lake Park (August 2009)