Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blessings in Obedience

I made the trip one more time.  How many times I had walked down this aisle to the altar I don't know, but I knew that I had to do something different this time or all would be for nothing, again.  So many times I asked Him for help.  And I just didn't see any results.

Things at home were in shambles.  I was in a terrible marriage with a man who was determined to make my life and the lives of my children miserable.  I woke up every morning wondering what he would do that day, and what could I do to protect my children and myself.  Why didn't I leave him?  Why couldn't I get out of this marriage?  Every time I asked those questions God would say, "I want you to stay."  

So, I would go to the altar again to ask God to take this burden from me.  And each time I would get up from the altar to return home and try to manipulate my husband to make things easier, better. 

But his time it was different.  As I walked I was discretely clutching my fists, as if holding something firmly in my palms.  And I knelt.  "Father, help me!"  I prayed.  "I am completely worn out with all this fighting and misery.  Yet I know how I am.  I know that I will ask you to take this burden from me, and then I will go back to living in the same way, trying to change things by myself.  Lord, I am completely useless without You!  With all my heart I ask you to take it!  And don't let me keep it!"

As I spoke I turned my fists over and opened my hands as if to drop something on the altar.

"Take this from me, Lord, because I don't want to leave from this place with it.  I don't want to deal with this anymore.  Father, take it, and I will know that it is in Your hands, and I will let You handle everything.  Only You can change him, I can do nothing.  Thank You, I trust You with this."

That morning I put my problems in God's able hands, and I left them there.  Life was still hard, but little by little I began to see little improvements, small changes in his behavior.  Moment by moment my God was working to create a marriage that I had never dreamed it could be.

Today my husband is a godly man who serves Christ and loves Him.  I think of myself as the happiest woman on earth married to a loving man who treats me like I'm a queen.  It took us years of work, years of prayer and forgiveness, years of me changing as well as my husband, but when God instructed me to stay I obeyed, and He has blessed me for my obedience.  I shudder to think where I would be today if I had not obeyed.  God knew best in this situation as He does in all our lives, and it is a wise person who listens and obeys Him.

Life Is A Rose

Edith Piaf ~ La Vie en Rose / La Vida en Rosa 1955 (Original)

Garrison Keillor, creator of "The Prairie Home Companion", has quoted his imaginary mother from Lake Wobegon as saying, "Life is what you make it". Life can dish out all kinds of blessings and plights, and it's up to us to "Make the best of it."

Has life dealt you a hand of jokers and dueces? Then consider the jokers to be wild, and use them to create a winning hand. Is your life a series of happy days and calm, lovely nights? Be thankful, and share your blessed life with someone who needs a lift.

There are thorns and brambles in every life. I have a garden full of thorny weeds and unwanted creepers. Pulling them out requires a fine pair of leather gloves for my protection, and then it's a lot of hard, back-breaking work. Sometimes I get scratched up pretty badly. When I sit back and do nothing they take over the garden. Even my roses have prickly thorns that attack me when I am careless.

But if I work hard at a steady pace I can overpower the ugliness that tries to hide my pretty flowers. I have the same opportunity in life. I have the Power of a living God, Jesus Christ, to work the miracles in my life that weed out the unwanted. What I cannot weed out, I can endure because I have His love and wisdom and strength that empowers me.

Life is definitely a rose, or as the song says "Life is Pink", when I allow Christ in it. Some may see it as looking at life through rose-colored glasses, but I see the thorns, and I choose not to touch them. I can endure the presence of the thorns when I am guided through them with the Holy Spirit Who protects me.