Because I'm still knee deep in recovery mode, I thought I'd pull a post from my journals. So...
from March 2008
"Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other..." Deuteronomy 4: 39
Just prior to this verse is a list of all that God did to uniquely reveal Himself to His people as He freed them from Egypt, led them to and at the Holy mountain, through the wilderness for forty years (Psalm 105 is a succinct recital of this as well). It's a pretty amazing list--speaking in fire, displaying His power through many signs and miraculous events, parting the sea, being light in darkness (literally!), giving them daily food. Yet they continually complained, whined and turned away the moment He stopped showing Himself. Sometimes even as He was in the actual process of showing Himself (in the case of manna!). Never before had God been so engaged with His people, creating a people from another people for Himself and they couldn't keep their eyes focused.
And the only time Heaven touched earth so profoundly again was when He came down Himself. Signs wonders, light, feedings, dealing with the waves on the sea. There He is again in our midst. Creating a people from another people. Calling us forth from where we've been enslaved. This time it's all about heart. The first circumcision was physical, the next was spiritual. We're set apart, just as the Israelites were, a people for His name. Christ-ones. It's the same story, thought. We're still hard-hearted whiners and complainers, looking for signs and wonders. Personal miracles. "What have you done for me lately?" could be humanity's refrain, sadly.
We're like this with God, and we carry it into our human relationships. Marriages fail at a remarkable rate...(or maybe it's even more terrible because the failure rate is no longer remarkable) because the other doesn't do the wonders for us we expected of them. They aren't who we imagined. He isn't who I want--He's just a man, and too needy, self-involved, too busy, too non-communicative, too unemotional, too...she's SO needy, selfish, demanding, emotional, wants to talk all the time--she isn't who I want. There must be something better out there. But how will that better remain better? How do we learn to stay and be faithful except by being faithful and staying?
Beve isn't always what I want. I could list those "He's too.." myself. I have, in my angry moments. These journals have pages of such words. But if he kept a journal, he'd have a long list, too. A longer list than mine, I am well aware. I know that. The trick is--and it's no simple trick--is not to pay attention to that list at all. That is, to let each thing go each time: that's the battle in marriage.
AND, having a different list kept close, that's important too. As the people of God have always had a list of God's faithfulness right at hand, so I should keep near a list of what I value about Beve. Why I thank God for Him. This list is the antidote for whining and complaining. In our relationships with God, and our relationships with others.
So today, here's my list about Beve:
He has a heart for the hurting
He loves to serve others
He's a great dad, loves his kids and takes time with them
He's an intentional friend
He makes people feel important--in his office, our home, in every conversation
He goes out of his way to help those in need
He's a great counselor--for staff, students, parents, whoever walks through the door
He sees his job as a calling
He's very hardworking
He loves his dad, loves doing and being with him in this season
He likes to bake for others
He likes meaningful conversations
He loves to laugh
He loves dogs
He's a beautiful pray-er
This is the list I need to recite when I itch to pull out my whines and complaints...What Beve has done for me lately is plenty. This list tips me into the thankfulness I need in my marriage. Every time.
Just like we need to recite out list of God's faithfulness when we're in danger of feeling like He hasn't done much for us lately. What He's done for me lately is BE God. Amen.