One point in particular that got me thinking as we were working through the discussion questions from Sacred Marriage was this:
Consider these two views of struggles and challenges in marriage:
View 1 : The struggles and challenges take me by surprise every time they come. They are an inconvenience and something I don’t want or deserve.
View 2 : Struggles and challenges in marriage are a normal part of the journey. I don’t delight in them but I do know that these things will make me stronger and prepare me to be the person that God wants me to be.
I wish I could say that I subscribe to View 2 every time a struggle comes up, but God is faithful and I am learning more and more how God designed marriage to be viewed through option #2 every day. God is continually shaping my view to match that, even when I resist it. Looking through the lens of View 2 can not only apply to marriage, but to every relationship God has given us! What a beautiful thing.
During the message in big church (yep, still call it big church), Pastor McKinley started his Christmas Sermon Series titled "Fear Not." Those two words come up so often in the Christmas story, yet this besetting sin is so often overlooked when teaching from the account of Jesus' birth. And it was certainly one of those sermons that was meant for me.
Near the end of the service, as we were all standing and singing Christmas hymns together (which I loved!) a paralyzing fear came over me and I couldn't shake it. Great, just what I need during a sermon about fearing not. I had this urgent need to go check on our car and make sure it wasn't broken into. So that makes a little more sense, let me rewind a bit: About a month ago, someone broke into my Jeep by busting my window and they stole my purse (at about 11:00 in the morning in the bright daylight), and ever since we've had to deal with the headache of identity theft and fixing my window and changing locks, etc.
Fast forward to church yesterday, while we were singing during the service I suddenly remembered that I left my makeup bag in the floorboard of our backseat, and automatically in my mind that meant we were inviting someone to break into our car because it looked like a little purse. I thought about sneaking out to go check on our car and hiding the makeup bag under one of our seats, giving myself peace of mind, but then the worship leader said something that stopped me in my tracks. "What is it that you are afraid of right now? God is calling you to let go of it, to trust Him and His Sovereignty over the situation." Was that meant for me, or what? I know it seems like a very miniscule thing, worrying about my car, compared to other fears that I might have, but God doesn't call us to obey him in big things only, but in the miniscule things as well. He wants our undivided obedience. And in that moment, God wanted me to let go of the fear of someone breaking into my car again, to let go of the urge to take things into my own hands, wanted me to trust that He was going to take care of me no matter what happened. So I surrendered my irrational fear to Him, and instead chose to focus on the beautiful worship songs we were singing to our deserving Savior. Praise to our Father that He would have missed if I had run out of the building to go check on our car.
With that in mind, I want to offer the same question to y'all. What is it that you fear? God is calling for you to surrender it to Him, because He is much bigger than anything this world throws at us. He is faithful to bring you through any and every difficult circumstance. Hold on to the promise of Psalm 56:9!