It was a beautifully sunny yet cool autumn morning in Southeastern Michigan. The leaves were glorious! Vibrant colors of orange, red, yellow, brown and some green covered the landscape next to the Huron River. The chapel tower pierced the blue sky. Anticipation for something new and wonderful was in the air! My bride was preparing in her quarters. And I was waiting, nervous but so excited to begin this new journey of marriage. Prior to the service (breaking tradition) we took our photos out on the grounds of Concordia Ann Arbor. My bride was dazzling and elegant all dressed in white and exuding purity as was her heart and soul. I had waited 30 years for this moment. Both of us had sought to honor God and each other, though we did not know each other until a year prior to this wonderful day, by saving ourselves and passions until marriage.
As it says in Song of Solomon 8:4,
"Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires."
Of course this goes for the sons as well. But alas our waiting was over and this moment that we dreamed about and waited for had arrived: The wedding Day! I'm a future thinker, a visionary and so I had been praying for my future wife since at least forth or fifth grade. Praying for her protection, health, safety and most importantly that her faith in Christ would grow and mature. It is such a blessing to marry an equally yoked spouse. God has been so faithful through our seasons of singleness and now to the point of our wedding day. I look back and remember this day with fondness and joy.
Today I look around and wonder about the vision that most people have about marriage. It doesn't seem to be cherished or dreamed about; at least in the way that God intended. My hope and prayer is that children, adolescents and young adults can reclaim that holy vision of marriage and singleness. I pray they see and understand that God loves us and wants the best for us. Do most of us believe that? Do we believe God's character is good? Or do we simply fall to our fleshly desire and passions of the flesh thinking we know better than God?
The problem is that people sell their birthright and inheritance from God for a measly bowl of soup! Remember the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25. Esau, though he was the first born and rightly deserved his fathers inheritance, gave it all up for a bowl of soup. He let his immediate desires override his long term gain of an inheritance for him and his posterity. His choice not only affected him but all of the generations of his family. Therefore Jacob received the father's inheritance not only in monetary form but also the promises that God had given his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham. Jacob's children now would be blessed too!
God has been faithful to Laina and me as well. We sought to be faithful to Him and each other before and during our marriage. And though the last several years have been difficult as Laina battled cancer and as we faced her death, God is still faithful! This last year the Lord reminded us of his faithfulness through His word.
1 Samuel 7:12
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.
He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
Thus far the Lord has helped us too. He has been faithful even through cancer and facing death. Laina lives in eternal joy now! God is good! I remember and will dwell upon His faithfulness as I remember Laina and my marriage. He is our Ebenezer!
I'm looking back on so many memories, photos and videos. Even items around the house bring to mind various thoughts about Laina. It is difficult to let go of people we love and other items of significance. Life is packed with meaning and memories. Below is a patch from the quilt that she made me. She gave it to me just over a month before she passed. Read what she wrote...
It is good to "Remember" wonderful memories and especially the Lord's faithfulness. Lauren Daigle sings a song called Remember on her latest album. Take a listen and "Remember" even up until this very moment God has been faithful!
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...