Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life's Journey

This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."  ~Jeremiah 6:16

Rob and I were asked to give our testimony to a group of people at a marriage retreat.  Each time we prepare to speak, we reflect how our 'story' changes with each year, but the message stays the same.  The audience was a large group of people of all ages; some young, engaged couples, some newlyweds and some couples married for fifty or more years.

Rob and I have walked very different paths on our journey to the cross.  When we share our story, we are sharing what the Lord has done and continues to do in our lives.  Let's face it.  Marriage is hard work, and the ground is treacherous.  Often God uses our spouses to bring our sins to the surface.  Because we don't want to deal with our sins, we fight, struggle, whine and pout.  Eighteen years have brought us through hardships, pain, tears, deaths and births.  Because of God's grace, we have had joy, laughter, adventure and so many blessings.

 We are on a journey.  Because we are married, our paths merge.  Sometimes we walk, and other times we run.  There are times when we fall down and times when we venture off the path.  Sometimes we simply sit down, and we have to help each other up and back on course.  The terrain is rough on the path to the cross, but one thing is certain; we want to be there.  God knows exactly what each of us needs to get to the cross.  He knows what will transform our hearts. 

One day, we will stand at the foot of the cross.  I have this vision of standing beneath the cross covered in soot and dirt.  My clothes are torn; I have dirt under my nails and bloody wounds.  When I look up at the cross, I know that I have clawed and fought my way to it.  When I look at the Man standing before me, I am keenly aware that I did nothing to deserve to be in His presence.  There is nothing I can do to repay Him for what He has done for me.

Rob is covered in dirt, too.  But the funny thing is, when I turn to look at him, he is not filthy from the journey.  When I look at him, he is dressed in garments as white as snow.  He is whole.  I am able to see him as God has always seen him.  When I look back at myself, I am dressed in white, too.  The dirt is washed away, and it all becomes clear.  God was pursuing us all along.  He was there...on the path as we endured the hardships.  He was there during the sweet moments, too.  He was always there encouraging us to press on.

With all its bumps and bruises, marriage is a journey to the cross.  Seek the Lord along the way, and you will find joy.  In the end, you will find a Father waiting to pour 'joy' on you.  It will come down like rain, when we see His face!  Cling to that hope.  Open your heart to see the changes needed in you; not your spouse.  God will take care of him (or her.)  God is right there beside you.  He cannot wait for you to reach your destination; clean and pure...and whole.  

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."  Then he said to Joshua, "See I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you."  Zechariah 3:3-4


P.S.  Thank you to all of you with your heartfelt responses either here or via e-mail concerning my last post!  I found such humor and truth in writing it, and I enjoyed reading about your own paths.  God's mighty hand is always at work!

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Allyson McGuire said...

Thank you so much for this sweet post. Being newly engaged, I've really found that reading about marriage and the "real" stuff has become just as fun for me as the fun planning stuff. I love the verses that you shared.


Lois' Laughlines said...

I am new to your blog, it is so lovely. Your words are so true. Marriage is a journey that can only be traveled with the Lord along side. Thanks you for sharing your heart and the sweet scripture. Blessings to you.

grace said...

A beautiful post, almost seventeen year into our marriage I totally agree x

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post. Mister and I am looking forward to attending a Weekend to Remember in a few weeks.

Debra@CommonGround said...

loved reading this! xoxo

Lesslie said...

This is beautiful. I love how you point to Christ as the "Healer" of all broken people and marriages. It's interesting to note, our own parent's marriage was based on the "wisdom of man" with no relationship to Christ and how it continued to fail miserably. However, a marriage based on "the wisdoms of Christ" via the Word has the hope of redemption and healing. I love you Chris, XOXOX, Lesslie

Heaven's Walk said...

Christie - your posts are always so inspiring and thought-provoking. Thank you for being such a great role model to us all! :)

xoxo laurie

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