Thanks to all who stopped by and entered
Stay tuned for the February giveaway. It
will be a good one!!!
Thanks to all who stopped by and entered
Stay tuned for the February giveaway. It
will be a good one!!!
One of the most difficult lessons I have learned in 9 short years of marriage is this-
One of the greatest gifts I can give my husband is to not “need” him.
I learned this the hard way. Six years into our marriage, life seemed perfect.We had a cozy home, three beautiful children, and an uncanny absence of turmoil or strife in our lives. Secretly I reveled in this. Hearing about the marital/relationship struggles of others feed the monster of pride steadily growing in my heart. Didn’t I deserve a perfect marriage and a perfect husband? I had done it all right, hadn’t I? I had waited 28 years for the right one. I had endured years of loneliness, disappointment, discouragement, and unfulfilled desires. David meant everything to me, but the image of a perfect life meant even more. I was willing to do or not do whatever it took to maintain the image of a perfect marriage. I buried hurts, swallowed back disappointment, and turned my head away from the things my heart screamed were off.
In one fleeting second, God humbled my proud heart with His heavy but loving hand of correction. My heart was shattered and the facade of a perfect marriage ripped apart. I was not the perfect wife I thought myself to be. My husband was not the perfect man my pride had fashioned and placed as god in my life. I was insecure and in my insecurity I had looked to my marriage and my husband for purpose, fulfillment, and meaning. Success was measured by the absence of conflict, and strife in our lives. My husbands happiness had been my goal because this was a measurable standard I could wear with pride. I needed my husband to be happy and content and I could accomplish this while denying the failures and spiritual needs in my own life. It was much easier to make him happy and keep the peace than to address and conquer the spiritual darkness in our lives and in our home.
I needed David to be the perfect husband and father not because this was what was best for him but because this was what was best for me. If he was perfect I would not hurt. If he was perfect I would not have needs unmet. If he was perfect, I could look perfect too. If I was perfect I could acquire the esteem of others. If I was perfect I could dress up the outside of Jody and neglect the more painful and ugly Jody inside.
For two years I was bound in a prison of fear and hurt. I didn’t know how to repair the pieces of my shattered heart but I was desperate for peace and healing. Like the stubborn child who insist on having things their own way, I did what I had always done, I placed the responsibility squarely on my husband shoulders. I decided I needed him to do a, b, and c to repair the broken pieces and bring healing to my life. I needed him to be strong, perfect, and daily reassure me I would never hurt again. This did not work because I was asking my husband to do something he would never be capable of, perfection.
There is but one person who can accomplish what I demanded of my husband. Somewhere between single life and marriage, I placed my husband and marriage on the throne of my heart. I put a human with a sinful heart in a position only Christ could fill, demanding he play a role only God was capable of.
Sin can not produce holiness, peace can not rise from the ashes of chaos. Disease can not spawn healing. Only the God of Peace can bring peace. Only God the Righteous Judge can be, demand, and make one righteous. Only the Eternal, All Powerful, All Loving God can fill the abyss of a broken and needy heart.
My husband’s greatest need was for me to “not need him”, but instead be possessed, driven, and overcome by my need for God. Our poor husbands are doomed for failure when we insist on placing them in a position they can’t measure up to. My liberation day came when I realized my peace and joy was not dependent upon my husband’s godly integrity, moral victories and spiritual growth. My healing and confidence came when I realized I could experience disappointment, failure, and pain in my marriage and life and still be okay. With my focus off my husband and on my own heart, sin, and needs, I found freedom, healing, and peace. A perfect marriage and husband would never bring peace and happiness, but a Jody with an upright and perfect heart toward God could experience and revel in a peace and joy unspeakable. When I could say “whom have I in heaven but Thee and there is none I desire beside thee”, then peace, contentment, and joy would rain down.
Perhaps you are hurting, looking at the shattered pieces of your heart and wondering how or if it is even possible to repair what has been so painfully broken. Has something been taken or withheld? Has your love been betrayed or cast aside? Please believe me when I say “beauty can rise among the ashes”, and “joy can follow the cries of great sorrow.” Do not look at what or who has brought such pain or grief. Do not place the role of healer in their hands, this is a job they can not shoulder or fulfill. This is the curse and product of sinful man and why he stands in such contrast with our Savior. Instead look to the only one capable of healing the broken, giving rest to the weary, bringing peace to the troubled. You need a Savior, a Redeemer, a Comforter. Yes God can transform the lives of those who have wounded us but healing will never be found solely in another’s transformation but through our own. You need Christ, not a husband. Your need the Righteous Judge, not a perfect husband, life, marriage or family.
Jesus cry was “Come unto me and I will give rest”, “Know the truth and it will set you free….I am the truth”, “drink of the water I give..and never thirst” Let your gaze fall upon Him, let your heart rest upon Him. Set your hope and expectation upon He who never sleeps, never falters, who sees all, hears every cry, who is sufficient.
Visit The Practice of Love for many uplifting and godly perspectives of marriage and life.
Joining the community at Getting Down With Jesus
It was a simple post, typed in response to a verse she had stumbled upon. It was just 5 words long yet it seemed to utter a yearning and torment that troubled my heart immensely.
The verse was Psalm 9:10
And those who know your name
put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord,
have not forsaken those who seek you.
Her question wasn’t unusual or off the wall. My Wednesday evening class of 4th-6thgraders asked the same thing the evening I challenged them to “Know Him.” When our life is in a flux it is natural for the desperate and yearning heart to raise its broken body and weary head to the heavens in response to the voice that says “Know me” to cry out “but how?”
The week following my challenge to “know Him”, I purchased a dessert that looked something like this. I carried it into class and placed it in the center of a table surrounded by drooling 4th, 5th, & 6thgraders. None of them had ever seen anything like it, and it took a few threats and promises to stop a free-for-all from breaking out in the middle of the table. I asked the class to take turns answering a simple question, “What does this taste like?”
Not one of them replied “I don’t know, I have never eaten one.” Instead, I was bombarded by a barrage of very descriptive and comical suggestions. After everyone had been given a chance to voice their opinion I asked them what they thought of the dessert if I told them the red thing in the middle was a dog’s ball dipped in lacquer? “What if, the black fingers were shoe strings dipped in tar, the yello leaf was a painted bug wing, the red stuff congealed blood, and the inside actually mud mixed with an entire box of laxatives?” There was a momentary lull of silence and then chaos erupted. Some exclaimed they would still gobble the dessert down but most made grotesque faces and sounds demonstrating just how disgusted they were by my suggestion.
Sadly the faith, knowledge, and experience many “Christians” confess mirror the faith, knowledge and experience my class possessed of the dessert I had placed before them. Opinions and hopes, some right and others wrong, but no substantial experience to back up their desire laden opinions. I told my class they would never “know” how the dessert tasted or what it’s various parts were made of until they actually tasted it. It might taste just as they had described or quite possibly even better than they could have imagined. Then again it could have been all tar, mud, and yuckiness.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
The die hard fan on the sideline, with body painted the colors of their favorite team, who brave six degree temps wearing nothing but a barrel and gaudy mask, will never receive a championship ring. Only the athletes who have made the sacrafices, and devoted their life and passion to the game have a chance to win the prize.
To truly “Know” Christ, you have to savor him, taste Him, and experience first hand that He is who he has proclaimed himself to be. If I could find that women who asked “How do I know him?” the first thing I would tell her is you “know him” by experiencing Him and witnessing firsthand the liberating Truth of His word in your life. And here is how……….
To be continued Friday..
**Please stop by the “Overcoming Lies” page and enter my current giveaway. The guidelines for the drawing and the goodies being offered are at the end of the post.***
I am excited to share that over the next few weeks I will be introducing some new pages to my Blog. I currently have- Just Water the Camels, which is about the struggle I faced as a single woman waiting and praying for marriage. I have just added Overcoming Lies and Overcoming Fear. The Lord has laid a few other topics on my heart which will appear soon : )
You will find an exciting giveaway on my new page Overcoming Lies. Stop by and enter and at the same time be a blessing to others!
****Drawing will take place on or round Friday, January 27th 2012.
Live Simply Love is running a neat book giveaway. This site has some great content. All books posted in the giveaway deal with relationships. I can vouch for all the Gary Thomas books, especially Sacred Marriage. I have given away over 10 copies and try to read it once a year!
Here is a link
John 6:8 “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”
This verse intrigues me. The setting presents Jesus surrounded by a throng of people, most are not true believers, but those seeking entertainment in the form of miracles, and perhaps some even looking for a handout of their own. This crowd came needy and left needy. An opportunity of a lifetime stood in front of them yet their physical needs and selfish desires blinded them to this moment. They wanted miracles and they received one, but their response clearly showed their shallow thinking and spiritual blindness.
The Son of God stood in their midst, but instead of asking for eternity, they vainly grappled to secure a king to rid them of the tyranny of Rome, a momentary and temporal predicament. It would be akin to a billionaire offering a blank check only to have the recipient spend it on a pack of gum. So very needy yet so very blind to their true needs and the power and ability of the one who stood before them.
So Jesus performs a miracle, a shadow of what He had come to do, he fed their bodies. With bread and fish he met their basic physical need, but He yearned to give them water so that they would never thirst again. They wanted freedom from occupiers who threateded to take their physical bodies and earthly lives, while he offered salvation from that which would take their eternal souls and spirit.
Jesus knew their hearts and he knew within moments of feeding the crowd sadly he would be forced to flee from their midst. He had come, not to reign on a mortal throne of man, in a mortal and fading kingdom, but to reign over all the universe in heaven above and in the earth below for all of eternity. Before they made their attempt to crown an earthly king, he made a decree in their midst, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”
Why did he command his disciples to do this? Twelve basket were collected, one for each disciple perhaps? Or was there a deeper meaning?
Jesus Christ had performed a great miracle and its meaning and purpose had fallen on deaf ears, blind eyes, and dead hearts. “That nothing may be lost.” Did he want to keep the leftovers of his blessing and purpose ladden miracle from being discarded like worthless trash and trampled under their unworthy feet when they departed after realizing they were to receive nothing more from His hand?
We may never know what if any meaning laid hidden in these words, yet a lesson can be taken from it. How often do we come to Christ with a need but also a predetermined solution in mind, our spiritual hearts have been darkened by selfish needs and proud hearts? How often do we come to him with a request, yet blind to the true needs our trial has exposed. He stands able and ready to provide an answer propelling us into the midst of His eternal and glorious purpose yet all we seek are bread crumbs.
All trials, needs, blessings, and opportunities are for a purpose far greater and more glorious than ourselves. Our neediness is the doorway to God’s glory and power revealed. The means with which He reveals our true nature, condition, and need is also the means with which He accomplishes the purpose of our existence, the revelation and proclimation of His power and His glory.
He pursued you when you were dying, desperate and needy. In your sin, brokenness and need, His Glorious love, grace, righteousness, and power broke forth. In Him you found a Savior, an Advocate, a Brother, a new life. Would you now come to him asking for bread? Empty your hands of all expectation. Cry out to Him for spiritual eyes to be opened, that you might see past the flesh and gaze instead into the glories of eternity. You can trust the Lord of the Universe with the when, where, how, and whys. He can provide bread, but do not settle for just crumbs when He has promised to hold back nothing of lesser value than His Son!
Your life is no mistake, neither are your present need, trials, and desires. Do not settle for bread crumbs. Do not settle for good. God’s best has been promised. Labor for it, strain for is, press forward, let nothing distract you, or turn you aside. If you can not see it, if your resolution falters, cry out to Him for strength, faith, and power to press on. There is a purpose, there is an end, there is an answer, there is a wealthy plaCe!
Psalm 66:12 Thou hast caused me to ride over our heads, we went through fire and throu water but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.