Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Enduring Love - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles

For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 
Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 106:1 NLT
For forty-two years, I watched them hold on through thick and thin.
Prior to my leaving for college, we celebrated my paternal grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. Fifteen years later, I stood in the nursing home—where they both had been placed—and watched as my grandfather eagerly anticipated his final journey. Not many people celebrate sixty-five years of marriage. They now marry later in life and often give up on each other for frivolous reasons. But my grandparents held on through lean and abundant times.
As God’s love is faithful and enduring, so ours should be toward our mates.
Enduring love accepts and is unconditional. My grandparents were quite different. My grandfather was an outdoorsman and in his younger years had farmed. Most of his time was spent delivering ice cream, working in the yard, and tending his garden. My grandmother, however, was content to stay indoors.
My grandfather was also a meek man. It took a lot to rile him. Very few times did I ever witness him angry. But my grandmother had a “Rast” temper (her maiden name) and would fly off the handle at a moment’s notice if something didn’t suit her. Only unconditional love and acceptance saw them through their many years of marriage.
I take comfort in knowing God’s love is even more unconditional and accepting than my grandparent's ever was. While God has expectations for me, He’ll never divorce me regardless of how many times I stumble or fail to reciprocate with unconditional love. My behavior and attitudes may disappoint Him, but I never will for I’m made complete in Christ Jesus. And so are you.
Celebrate God’s enduring love, and show your spouse the same.
Join the conversation: Tell us a story about someone you know with enduring love. 
Prayer: Omnipotent Father, we celebrate Your enduring love for us.

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1 comment:

  1. That was an inspiring story about your grandparents. Thank you for posting.

    I have only the story about my own marriage to encourage anyone who reads this.

    My darling bride and I will have have been married 31 years this December. Although this may seem like an achievement in and of itself, it pales in comparison to what has happened to our family over these past years. My bride and I met in Bible College long ago and quickly fell into deep, passionate friendship, a friendship that has lasted to this day. We did get married soon after. At our wedding my pastor prayed this line, "Lord make them an unusual couple." Little did we know where that prophetic prayer would lead.

    Although christians we were not as faithful to the Lord as we ought to have been. The Father changed all that in 1997 when we both had a renewal. With that spark God set us on a collision course with the wilderness. In 2007, after much healing and counselling, the dam burst. An addiction that I had since I was a teenager caught up with me and devastated us all. Thankfully, the Lord was able to salvage our marriage and our lives.

    We sold our home and business, said goodbye to friends and family, and then moved east. We thought we would start a new life. God had other plans. After 4 years all of our money was gone and we were trapped in destitution. Finally, on a cold October day, our little family of four along with our two dogs, were thrust into homelessness.

    This journey of faith and trust in God suddenly leapt out of the pages of theory into gritty reality. Through 40 months our family wandered, homeless and destitute, through freezing cold and baking heat, over three provinces. Each day was a struggle for survival. Every hour we were tested as we had to learn how to lean our entire being on God for our daily bread. 82 moves later we finally found a place to rest for a time.

    One might be forgiven into thinking that this existence would rip our family apart. It didn't but not for lack of trying on satan's part. We had learned the secrets early on of what makes a good marriage. Love, respect, friendship but most of all, humility. As we laid our lives before God and were stripped of everything we owned we saw what we really were. In that place of stripping we became closer as a family than one could think possible. In many ways we became a fighting force, a band of brothers, linked by a common struggle.

    Through this blessed time God never left us but walked with us through the dark night. Together my wife and I became one, not through shared strength but by absolute weakness. We have come to know each other intimately as our souls were exposed by the harsh reality of the wilderness.

    I am forever grateful to God for our homeless journey and how He took our marriage, and us, and turned us into an unusual couple.

    Thank you for allowing me to share.

    Homer Les