Friday, July 23, 2010

Musings on Life, Marriage and Dancing in the Minefields

Musings on Life, Marriage and Dancing in the Minefields

Recently, Bill and I celebrated 30 years of marriage. I am blessed with a wonderful, Godly husband and I am so grateful that he is in my life. On that hot day in July, 30 years ago, we never imagined the blessings that the Lord had for us.
But to say that our life and marriage has been a wonderful waltz would be a denial of the strength the Lord could bring through trials. “Endure hardship with me” is a phrase that is written in my Bible. There is no phrase in the Bible that says, “Be a Christian, marry a Christian and live happily ever after.”
One time Bill sent me a card, and it had a picture of a Construction Zone. It was an encouraging message of our lives being a “work in progress.” If you think about it, that is what we all are, there are none that have arrived yet. We are all in construction, hopefully becoming more like the Lord.
J. Lee Grady in his article ( recently said, “We aren't used to hearing sermons about God's construction zone. Some preachers believe the journey of faith is like skipping effortlessly through LaLa Land. We don't expect people to conform to the image of Christ; we don't warn people that Christ-likeness requires brokenness; and we don't teach that brokenness comes when we embrace trials and suffering.

Yet the Bible says: "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation" (1 Peter 4:12-13, NASB).”
I love Mr. Grady’s take on this and I wonder why there isn’t more teaching like “brokenness comes when we embrace trials and suffering.”?

Any growth at all in my life from early childhood onward has been through pain. If the Lord had not allowed the pain of abuse I would have been a truly spoiled brat as a young girl; I was surely on my way to that early on. But I was spared by being broken by the pain of life, which helped me to become a more compassionate person. Had I not been broken, had I had every need in my life met, I would hate to see the type of woman I may have become.
Many (but not all) of the minefields of our marriage have been related to pain of my first marriage and Bill trying to help me help my oldest daughter overcome an addiction her biological father started her on. When we truly let go and let God, Jesus was the one to bring victory to her hurting heart. She is now celebrating her 2 year anniversary of living sober and giving her testimony to that.

But there were some painful minefields along the way. We give the Lord Jesus all the glory for He does all things well. And there will probably always be a minefield of some sort in our lives, in fact, it seems as if as soon as we get past one, we see another one. That’s just the way life is, it rains on the just and the unjust. There are many hurting people in our extended family and world. We can’t dance around their pain; it is legitimate to them, even if a little extra looking to the Lord would give them a source of relief. Although it is true the old saying that “We may be the only Bible someone reads” we can’t force a relationship with the Lord on anyone. But we can make them thirsty for living water and then point them to our source.
Jesus has never allowed the pain of life to strip me of the deep song of longing within my heart for His will in my life. He has never taken away the desire to dance from me, sometimes alone in my kitchen with a song of praise to Him, sometimes at a wedding or party. Bill doesn’t believe he can dance and so he has missed a lot of joy that the rest of us have when we just get out there on the dance-floor and move around.

One day we will both dance before our Lord and King and He will tell us of all the things He protected us from, all the calamities we were spared and show us the treasure he had waiting when he brought two hurting people together that sunny day in 1980.

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