Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Totaled

I was in my first significant accident. My car was totaled.

I saw it coming and knew there was nothing I could do to change the outcome. The impact was frightening but thanks be to God we both walked away. But we both lost something at that moment. I really liked my car. Seeing the condition it was in made me sad but seeing the condition that both of us as drivers were in put it all in perspective.

Accidents happen.

The mystery of life is that "accidents" happen on a daily basis. These collisions can have a great impact on us and not just physically. It doesn't have to be between cars. It happens between people. Bad news about health, job, children, the world...

The daily challenges in our marriages can seem like serious collisions as well. A misunderstanding. A financial crisis. A decision made without consulting our spouse. The impact is painful and frightening. "Why didn't you look where you were going?!" The mess is obvious and the solution is not. The temptation is to declare all too quickly, "It's Totaled."

Not too many people in life, let alone marriage, go around looking to cause accidents. We think our intentions are good but can't always see the impact it is about to have. How do we walk away still together when we have been impacted by something? We have to asses the damage and then move on. We see and feel the pain but we also forgive and strive to pay more attention.

The woman who caused my accident and made my car be totaled was clearly frightened and undone. She kept pleading with tears saying she was sorry. I had to continue to assure her that I did indeed forgive her and that he Lord was truly gracious to us. We both still had our lives and family.

What about you? How do you process those "accidents" in your marriage? Do you harbor bitterness and pain and stay at the accident scene? Jesus calls us to not only seek forgiveness but to forgive. "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." I Peter 4:8 Granted, that attitude isn't always easy but it is always necessary.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Is this real? Can this actually be happening? It looks and feels like a movie instead of reality.

Once again an overwhelming tragedy is happening right before our very eyes. A nation was going about the routine of life and within moments it would be forever changed. What was is no more. The past is gone and there is no future. No hope. Only destruction and despair.

The power of God's creation is beautiful and frightening. The oceans can literally engulf and swallow peoples and nations.

Lord have mercy.

What can I hold on to today that I might loose tomorrow? Even the good blessings God gives can be lost. My home, my job, my wife, my children. What can I cling to in the midst of a tsunami or nuclear meltdown? Honestly... where is my hope in the midst of despair?

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

What holds your life and your marriage together today? If it is anything you can see or hold in your hands - brace yourself - you will loose it. Whether today or tomorrow. The deeper question is who is holding you today and tomorrow? As Christians our hope is in the Lord and specifically in Jesus, our risen King. And because of that hope "nothing can separate us from him."

I want my marriage to be built on what I can never loose. I want my children to grow in that eternal hope in Jesus. I want the world to see that our marriage, our lives can be built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. This world is so filled with tragedy and disappointment. In God's providence it is time once again to examine my own heart and marriage. Who or what am I living for? What can I hold that I cannot loose?

May God sober our hearts today as we pray for the nation of Japan. May our marriages be more about Jesus today than our tomorrows. May His mercy be even more precious.

Lord have mercy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Will You Marry Me?

What was I thinking?!

Who is able to make that kind of a commitment? To vow to give yourself to another - until you die. To promise that noting will ever stop not only my commitment but my love. As a future husband asking that question I am asking my wife to be to entrust her life to me. I am telling her she can trust herself to me body and soul. I will do only that which builds her up. Her fears of the future can be put to rest because, "in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health" I will always be there for her.

What was I thinking?!

I want to believe I can be that kind of husband but in my heart of hearts I also know I'm selfish and insecure. There is this hidden and submerged fear that I might let her down. I might not be able to keep my vows. Good intentions don't always guarantee good results.

As Christians who believe the Bible we know there is only one who can keep that kind of commitment. Jesus has not only made that promise but has kept that promise. And he has kept that promise for people who initially didn't want to me married to him!

What was He thinking?!

His unconditional love was so strong he was able to fully take on our sorrow, our sickness and especially our sin of unbelief in a way no husband or wife ever could. His marriage to us would prove to be the only basis of hope for any earthly marriage. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin..."
2 Corinthians 5:21

I want my wife to know that my promise to love her can only be done in the power and presence of Jesus who first loved me. I want her to know that I care deeply for her but there is a deeper love that I have which is anchored in the love of Christ. The more I know his love the more I will be that love for her.

You know what makes this all so compelling? Not that she said yes (which I'm glad she did!!) but that she feels the same way!