Friday, October 5, 2012

1/2 Marathon Challenge, Day 6

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that anything good can come out of a miserable situation you are in. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to believe that God can work all things for good if you just believe. A very wise man once told me though, that you can’t see God’s fingerprints when you are in a bad spot in your life but only afterwards, looking back, can you see the way He held you, strengthened you and steered you through the troubled times.

Likewise, Satan loves to try and make us believe that if we have screwed up, then our worth is gone. Clearly God won’t love us any more if we’ve done *that* - whatever it is. God’s vision is bigger than Satan’s lies though, and his power knows no bounds. As Jesus said in Matthew 19:26:

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible

I have seen this in my own marriage. Our relationship started out, well, completely wrong. I had grown up Catholic, but after my confirmation I had no use for organized religion. too much hypocrisy in the church I was raised in, too little teaching how any of the dogma related to actual life. My wife was raised Methodist, but drifted away from the church after high school. When we met in college, we were both living according  to the worldly view of sex, and relationships in general. Our first “date” was a one-night stand. We essentially lived together for the last half of our senior year and then moved to Arizona together, living together for 5 years before we finally made it “official.” We are both first borns, and even most astrology charts say we are incompatible. By all accounts, we shouldn’t have lasted. 

It was well into our marriage when the lies started, Satan whispering in my ear about things that happened decades ago, some things before my wife and I had even met. Surely, the whispers said, you can’t love this woman. Surely there is nothing redeemable in this relationship. Wouldn’t it be easier, less painful to move on, start over somewhere new? Thank God though, we had a strong church family, a tight group of Christian friends to lean on, and Godly counselors.

While in that situation, I could not see the way out. I ‘felt’ that there was no hope. I would not let go though. I kept on reading books and blogs on Christian marriage - and the Bible. the verses I mentioned yesterday, from Phillipians 4 and Romans 8 became my touchstones, my mantras that I’d tell myself every night, asking God for forgiveness and healing and peace. Of course he answered.

Obstacles that felt insurmountable suddenly seemed inconsequential. Differences that could have been irreconcilable now felt trivial, at best. The experiences I gained during this time, the knowledge I came across through all my reading and searching became the foundation for the articles I started writing for our church newsletter, which became this blog. After the heartache and the pain, looking back, it was easy to see God’s hand in my situation, working things for good, redeeming what had started off so wrong in so many ways.

There was a time early in our relationship where we could have ended it; friends at the time say we should have. I felt though, that I did not want to live my life without her, despite what had happened. I loved her. Another verse I leaned heavily on during the my rough stretch was the exposition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. When standing on the promises of God...

Love never fails

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