Friday, September 1, 2023

Happy September!

Happy September! September will always have a special meaning for me. Becky and I would have been married for 47 years this Sept. 11. September is the month when I think most about the mystery of marriage. During our 4 year cancer journey, God answered our prayers mysteriously and "exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or imagine." I think of old Joshua's farewell address to the people of God. "You know in your hearts and souls, all of you," he said, "that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed." I do not weep any more for Becky. I am thankful for such a gift of grace. I am sure she was "assigned" to me, just as I am sure that you feel your own spouse is assigned to you. Her beautiful, freckled face is always before me. She never pitied herself. She expected no special treatment from God or from others. She took for granted the fact that she would continue on this earth as long as God had a work for her to do. She delighted to do his will. A husband cannot protect a dying spouse. But he can bring her to the cross, where a married couple's longings, hopes, and fears are gathered up in everlasting love. 

I had no power to control the circumstances surrounding Becky's illness. What I could do was choose how I would respond to them. Becky had that same faith. After 37 years of marriage, she died with dignity and in hope. When memories of our marriage flood my mind, as they will do this month, I will offer them to God the best I can. The sense of loss that I feel today is sweet as well as bitter. My heartache reminds me that heaven is man's true destiny, however good life on this earth may be. Until then, may those who grieve find their peace in the God who sustains meaning and purpose for broken people like me.