Monday, April 06, 2020

God's Mighty Hand

I pray this day holds joy for you. Many of us are sheltering in our homes, cut off from family and friends so we chat with loved ones on Facebook. We're even joining our church families on line. On occasion I have had reason to complain about social media, but in these difficult days I am grateful we have it.

This morning, my church live-streamed our Palm Sunday service. The church family was able to worship together, even take communion together. It was kind of miraculous for someone like me who doesn't comprehend how the internet works.

Huddled together on the sofa, Greg and I watched the service on my phone and I kind of stepped back and looked at us. There we were together, one in Christ, savoring God's Word. That moment was not by chance or by our own might, but by God's mighty hand. There was a time that such a moment could not have been imagined.

It's been nearly forty-nine years since I walked down the aisle of my family church. It was my wedding day, but I wasn't certain I even wanted to get married. As I walked toward the front of the sanctuary, wearing my white gown, my quaking hands holding a bouquet and my groom waiting for me, I thought, Well, if it doesn't work out, I can always get a divorce. It is a hard thing to imagine that I possessed so little commitment over such a momentous step in life.

Our first four years of marriage were bad, ugly in fact. In our fourth year, we separated and were headed to divorce court. I was devastated. I loved Greg, though at the time I didn't like him very much. And he didn't love me at all. He had stated that clearly. 

During the early weeks of our seven month separation, a friend of mine introduced me to Jesus Christ. I feigned disinterest, but in my heart I felt as if I were drowning in hopelessness and despair, and I saw Christ as my lifeline. I realized He was my only hope and I placed my life in His hands. 

After that I prayed - for Greg and for our marriage. A strange thing happend. Greg started showing up at my door. Later he would tell me that he'd leave his house heading "somewhere" and end up at my place. He had no idea why. 

After several weeks of a new friendship between Greg and I, he asked me if I would come home and give our marriage another try. I could barely believe what I was hearing. He had stated unequivocally that he did not love me and he would never love me. Could I believe his new change of heart? 

I was afraid. Greg was not a believer. What if I returned to him and his new promises were only temporary. I couldn't go through that heartache again. I prayed fervently and God told me that I didn't need to trust Greg, I needed to trust Him. And he held Greg and I and our marriage in His hands. Still fearful, but trusting I returned home. 

We'd been reunited only two months when Greg found the Lord and placed his eternal salvation in Christ. From that time until now, we have served the Lord together. We raised a family, worked hard, loved one another and have loved God. Has it been a perfect reunion? No. Not even close. We're just people, but we love and admire one another. 

We are together only because Jesus Christ is at the center of our marriage. He is the one who reached down with His might hand and rescued us. There is no other way for two stubborn, hard-headed people like us to remain united. 

There was a lot to forgive all those years ago. An impossible task for two people such as us, but not impossible for God. So as I looked at my husband on the sofa beside me this morning, my heart was filled with gratitude and wonder at how God had intervened in our mess of a life, brought us back to each other, and then held us together.

We've seen many miracles through the years, but the one most precious to me is the one that involved God's love, our broken hearts, and God's beautiful gift of mercy.

I pray you will all see the wonder of God in your midst today. He loves us in a way that is incomprehensible. Even though we do not deserve it, His love never wavers.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie


3 comments:

  1. Hi Barb. How nice to see you here.

    My blog seems to be a good place for me to get my thoughts down. And sometimes what shows up on the page is encouraging to others. That blesses me. And hearing from people who read what I have to say and then let me know about it blesses me too. I pray you will have days filled with joy and lots of God.

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