Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Promise

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22, ESV)

Today I was listening to the radio, and a song I’ve noticed more and more frequently came on.  The song is “Dancing in the Minefields” by Andrew Peterson ( The very first time I remember hearing it, it was the first stanza that immediately caught my attention. It starts off, “I was nineteen, you were twenty-one the year we got engaged.”  Robin and I got engaged shortly after our first date which was on her nineteenth birthday, and of course, I was twenty-one. While we didn’t really hear the next line much that I can remember (“Everyone said we were much too young, but we did it anyway.”), there definitely was a sense that so much was going to change and we didn’t have a clue how it would all work out. Both of us were college students, with part-time jobs but knowing that this also was going to change.

“We bought our rings for forty each from a pawn shop down the road. We made our vows and took the leap now fifteen years ago.”

Our rings cost a bit more than forty dollars and we have definitely been married more than fifteen years, and in fact, more than twice that nearing the end of our thirty-fourth year. But it was the next stanzas that really pricked my heart.

“We went dancing in the minefields. We went sailing in the storm, and it was harder than we dreamed. But I believe that's what the promise is for.”

“”I do” are the two most famous last words; the beginning of the end. But to lose your life for another I've heard is a good place to begin.”

“Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down, and I believe it's an easy price for the life that we have found.”

“And we're dancing in the minefields. We're sailing in the storm. This is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for.”

“So when I lose my way, find me. When I loose love's chains, bind me. At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days, when I forget my name, remind me.

“Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man, so there's nothing left to fear. So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands till the shadows disappear.”

“Cause he promised not to leave us, and his promises are true. So in the face of all this chaos, baby, I can dance with you.”

In our thirty-three plus years of marriage we have been through a lot. While we haven’t run through actual minefields, we’ve each had those days when we put relational ones before the other. We’ve had those times when it seems that everything around us is so far out of our control, but we’ve had each other, and we’ve together had our God. On the days when I was (and am) weak, I’ve had a dear and loving wife to remind me of our God and His faithfulness and to pray with me and for me. The storms of life have been very strong at times, but our God has given us something special in each other to make it so that we truly can dance in the storms, well at least after I take my eyes off of the storm and get them back on God.

This song has touched me because it reminds me of the power of the promise, both the promise of the marriage vow which united us together and the promises of our God who never fails. In both my wife and in my God I have a friend who knows when I lose my ball in the weeds and helps me find my way. They know when my faith is weak, and encourage me to persevere. And when I even lose sight of my identity as a loved husband and a child of God, they remind me of their constancy.

This song spoke about this as a journey in marriage with God at the center, and I am so thankful that in our years of marriage, through the good and the difficult, we have been strengthened to hold on to these truths. Before we married we each had a special place in our hearts for Proverbs 3:5-6, and as a married couple it has grown in having a special place in guiding our lives before our loving and faithful God. Even now as we await His leading for our lives for a place of ministry, we continue to hold on to our God who will direct our steps.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5–6, NASB95) 

1 comment:

Cheryl G said...

Very meaningful...
Months ago I gave a very good friend a copy of Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, and as we talked today, she told me that that book has had such a profound effect on her life. It has even more significance as I shared some of your story with her.
Thank you for sharing that book with me so I could share with her.
Blessings to you and yours.
Cheryl G.