“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:12-14).
“I don’t wonder anymore what I’ll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city……..I’ll tell these things to God, and he’ll laugh, I think and he’ll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorite. We’ll sit and remember my story together, and then he’ll stand and put his arms around me and say, “well done,” and that he liked my story. And my soul won’t be thirsty anymore. Finally he’ll turn and we’ll walk toward the city, a city he will have spoken into existence a city built in a place where once there’d been nothing. ” ― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
There is much to thank Jesus for!
Life in general and marriage in particular have many heartaches and burdens to bear. When I consider these burdens my flesh easily turns to worry and the mental frenzy of trying to prevent or minimize the next distress.
He has emboldened me with a strength not my own. Into my ailing and broken heart Jesus transfuses me with His power which enables me to live out the demands of love in my life and marriage – which are costly. This truth causes me to picture a patient submissively receiving a transfusion of needed blood. There is nothing he can do to make that blood produce healing. No amount of effort or fret will increase its effectiveness. He must be still and allow the “life” of the blood to do its work. I am humbled when I think of the implications – Jesus Himself has infused me with Himself, giving me the prospect of love at its highest. It is His strength which rouses me to love Robyn beyond my limitations; to speak words foreign to me; to touch what I thought untouchable; to see what had not been seen.
Thank you Jesus!
There’s more. As one in authority He pours out His strength in order to make me trustworthy and competent as a servant and “minister of a new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:6). As a king may honor a hero in battle, so Jesus heralds me as a good and faithful servant as I take His strength and love and apply it wisely. Think of this – the God of the universe considers me faithful and trustworthy; He is proud to call me one of His own. He has positioned me in relationship with Robyn and empowers us both with His strength and then entrusts us with the proclamation of His story as we live out our story “til death do us part”.
Thank you Jesus!
Now here is the grace in all of this…. Jesus buoys me in relation to Robyn and entrusts me as His servant to her even though I have fallen short of this trust a thousand times! Even though my reputation is one of unfaithfulness and unbelief Jesus still says, “I have more for you”. What? Huh?
Paul was an “idiot” who thought he was pleasing God even though he was a blasphemous abuser and oppressor of the bride of Christ. But Jesus said, “I am not done with you yet. I am going to mercy you with my favor and blessing and from there will come to you an unrestrained abundance of faith and love.”
It is this same mercy that allows me to begin again when I place myself before the needs of Robyn. If it were not available to me I would be crushed under the weight of my woeful inability to love her as Christ loved the church. Yet with it comes new vision, expectation and devotion. Love is new every morning.
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for your strength in me. I feel it. Thank you for your trust in me. I don’t deserve it. Thank you for new life that floods me every morning. I need it. May I live at the heights of this election you have afforded me. I want it. May my love for Robyn be a full reflection of worship for this great tenderness you have marinated in me. You are worthy of it. Amen.