Greetings, Dear Friends!
And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way.
Drop me a note and post your thoughts. At the end of this month, one of you will win a $10.00 gift card to Caribou.
And now on to my topic...
The other day I was talking to my oldest son about marriage. He and I love to dialogue about all sorts of things. This particular time we were talking about the tough seasons in marriage. I said to him, "Jake, there comes a valley season in every marriage where the husband and wife don't 'feel' the love anymore; in fact they don't even like each other all that much. It's in that place where big decisions are made. In this place, the quesion becomes, 'Will I die to my flesh (my rights, my expectations, my demands) or will I set my jaw, clench my fists, demand my way, and let my marriage die instead?' Many marriages die in this valley. But those who, for the sake of their commitment before God and man, die to their flesh, will find on the other side of that valley season, life and marriage abundantly."
Now I don't want to get into a debate about circumstances that surround divorce. I know that some are abused and victims of great injustices within marriage. I'm referring to the majority of marriages that die simply because life within marriage stopped being fun or interesting or fulfilling.
What I've noticed about myself and the countless of other people I've spoken to on this topic, is that those who persevere through the valley, find on the other side, a promised land.
This got me thinking...I believe the same applies to other areas of life. God puts dreams in our hearts and writes a destiny over our lives. And if we trust Him enough to take Him at His word, we will find ourselves on a journey toward the fulfillment of that dream.
Unfortunately, the path that takes us to the promise is always wrought with thickets and thorns. Nothing worth having ever comes easy or without opposition. Storms will come, lions will roar, and our fears will be confronted. God allows the path to be difficult because He intends on refining us and preparing us for our place of promise. He is intent on extracting from us, that which our enemy would love to leverage against us.
God loves us too much to promote us before we are ready.
And so, as we follow His lead, we will at different times, find ourselves in a valley - a valley of decision. Marriages aren't the only thing that die there. Dreams die there too. The flesh dies hard and unfortunately for many, they've opted to let their dream die before they'd ever allow their flesh to be confronted.
We all have weak spots and areas of inconsistency in our character. Until we see Jesus face to face, we will need His guidance and correction. He wants to take us from strength to strength; from glory to glory.
Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He wants to do abundantly above and beyond ALL that we could ever ask or think, but there's a clincher in this verse...it's according to His work within us. To the extent that He's allowed to work in us, will be the extent that He does great things through us.
After my conversation with Jake, I pondered this idea a little more. I envisioned a valley of dry bones. Bones from marriages, relationships, and dreams abandoned because many people refused to die to themselves, to humble themselves, and to let God have His way in their lives.
Don't let your dream die in the valley!
If you're in a season of refining, lean in. Trust the loving hand of your precious Savior and know that He will lead you to the other side. Refuse a sense of entitlement and don't demand to be understood.
Instead, humble yourself and seek to understand what the Lord is doing around you.
He will faithfully lead you and you will be strengthened as you go.
On the other side of this refining time is a fresh perspective and new mercies.
Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God; in due time you will be lifted up and honored before a watching world.
Have a blessed week.