I was looking over and deleting some of the many files I had saved on my computer; some that either were old or didn’t need to be saved any longer. When I got to the file where I had saved the many marriages I have officiated over, I paused for a moment. I stopped to look at what I would say at pretty much every wedding I had done as a minister. I came to the part where I would ask the bride and husband to declare their intentions to one another. I would read a part of what they were declaring that day to one another and they would in turn look into their husband and wife to be eyes and repeat what I had just said. I often wondered how many of those bride and grooms actually knew what they were declaring to one another before the many witnesses that day.
You see, they were declaring to remain faithful to one another as long as they both shall live, to love one another; to comfort one another, to honor and stand by one another in times of sickness and in times of health; for richer or poor, till death do they part. At a wedding, no bride or groom is actually thinking that those times of sickness; those times of lean finances, will ever come but for those of us who have been married for a time, we know differently. Most bride and grooms are focused on the celebration that will take place in a short time, a possible honeymoon and all the wonderful gifts they will hopefully receive that day and no one would blame for doing that. But what about those what I call, the what if times come, then what happens.? If their love is only based on everything always being good, they will surely fall.
The prophet Habakkuk ministered during a time when the southern kingdom of Judah was being invaded by Babylon and eventually taken into captivity. This brought great wickedness, sorrow and fear in the land and to the prophet Habakkuk, it seemed that God was doing nothing about it. We read Habakkuk’s frustration in Habakkuk 1:2-4 “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen? Or cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ but You do not save? Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and conflict abounds.” In his frustration, Habakkuk continued to press God for some answers to all this dread he was witnessing but still no answer; the ‘what if’ was taking place right before his eyes.
If you have walked with the Lord for any amount of time, you have surely prayed a prayer like Habakkuk did. “Lord where are You? I have faithfully served You and this is what I get? When is my deliverance coming as I can’t take it much longer?”
Those who are looking to get married, are first of all, hopefully in much love with each other, as they will need to fall back on that love many times in life. We read David’s words, which should be our words as well, in Psalm 62:5-6 “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
When we first got saved, at that time we would not have totally understood someone telling us our faith would come under many times of testing, but it would. No one could have convinced us that day that we would feel times of loneliness and sorrow for our joy at that time was so great, but those times would come. If our joy and love for the Lord is based on anything else but Him, we will surely fall and be discouraged.
The reason I believe we have so many divorces today is because people have forgotten what they once declared before many witnesses and most importantly, God. The slightest storm, the smallest trial takes so many marriages out, even amongst Christians, and that must truly sadden the Lord’s heart.
We must come to the place the prophet Habakkuk came to in Habakkuk 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Our nation; our world is living in ‘what if’ times and I am not sure, or if, it will get any better. Yet there is one thing I do know; the Ancient of Days is still on the throne and it’s in that truth that I find my hope, my strength and my joy. If your love is based on only the good times, when those ‘what if’ times where will you be? Fall in love with Jesus and He will take you and I through whatever ‘what if’ times may come!!!
Categories: A Pastor's Blog