Thursday, August 4, 2011
I'm reading the book "Sacred Marriage" right now. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is convicting and will challenge the way you think about yourself, your relationship with your spouse and your relationship with God.
In one of the earlier parts of the book it talks about the Muir Woods Forest, aka the redwood trees. Aren't these things beautiful? I really hope that one day we will be able to visit and drive our car through one of the trunks. The author talks about why these trees have been able to live so long- the air surrounding them is so humid that lightning strikes do not cause the kind of damage that they do in other forests. The trees are so saturated that the heat of the lightning does not cause them to catch on fire and thus die. Lightning strikes still happen but their effect is not as great because the trees have a natural defense against them.
This idea of saturation was related to marriage. Lightning strikes happen. Bad things happen, sometimes things that are in our control and sometimes things that are not. In order to have a long, successful and strong marriage we must have a natural defense against these lightning strikes. We must be able to endure them without catching on fire and burning up. We must be so saturated that when we go through times of trials and struggles our relationship is not split. This saturation comes from being filled by our relationship with the Lord.
I'm going to be honest. It's been a very dry summer. I feel like every little thing has caused me to, metaphorically, catch on fire. It has not been good for me and it has not been good for my marriage. Poor Brandon has had to endure this period of my life and he has done so honorably. I have taken everything out on him and he has put up with me and has loved me in spite of my attitude and in spite of my selfishness.
That's not the kind of marriage that I want. I don't want us to put up with each other. I want us to delight in one another. Our pastor had an awesome, honest sermon on Sunday that really made me look at myself and see what needed to change. You know what? My relationship with Brandon is often so reflective of my relationship with the Lord. When things aren't right between us, when we aren't on the same page, it's because one or both of us is not seeking after the Lord.
Our pastor challenged us to seek to KNOW God, to seek to understand Him. When I read the story of the redwoods I thought back to his sermon- to the idea of being saturated in the knowledge and the love of the Father. It is my prayer that Brandon and I are so saturated in our love for each other and our love for the Father that we withstand any lightning strikes that may come our way. It is also my prayer that I am so saturated that I can withstand the personal lightning strikes that I must endure and the struggles that I must go through. Because I can tell you, from experience, that it is during those times of struggle and times of trial that we come to understand God just a little bit more.
I decided to start from the beginning. In all my years as a Christian I have never read the Bible all the way through, from beginning to end. I really struggle with my quiet times, I'm not going to lie. But you know what God pretty much told me? If I can have the physical discipline to get up and run and to train for a marathon, then I can sure have the discipline to read my Bible everyday. So from time to time I'm going to share some of the things that the Lord has been teaching me. I hope that it can be an encouragement to you and you, in turn, will be an encouragement to others.