…a very present help in time of trouble? Isn’t that absolutely blasphemous?! Yet I had a lightbulb moment at the conference. This is functionally how I live my life at times. Warren Boettcher was teaching the ladies about having a gentle, quiet spirit. One of the illustrations he gave was about his wife. He shared, with her permission, about a time when she went to a youth retreat ahead of him. The whole time while he was gone she was ministering and had so much faith. As soon as he arrived she began to fill him in on her concerns and troubles. This wasn’t helpful to him. She realized at that moment that she had shifted her trust in God which enabled her to minister before her husband arrived, to looking to her husband to solve her problems. “ding”! A light bulb.
I see patterns of the same thing in my life. I can go all day long serving in the home without Jason being here. I do it by God’s grace either consciously or unconsciously. But, when Jason comes home I at times functionally turn to him to be my refuge. I want him to protect me from the “heat” children can bring. I want him to be my “help” when it comes to dealing with the kids. I want him to be my strength in weakness.
I am married to a unique man. Brace yourself. He wouldn’t wade through a mess to get to the next room. He would pick it up. He would not hurdle folded clothes, he would put them away. I can’t fathom him not putting the trash out, or leaving the yard unmowed. He serves our family heroically. He doesn’t go to the “cave” so to speak, after a long day of work, but generally spends time with the children so I can finish dinner. He sometimes sends me upstairs to take a bath after dinner if it has been a particularly hard day. All of these things are such a blessing, yet I can twist them into expectations, and then be disappointed if he gets home late, or has more nights out than usual, or simply chooses to walk me through the heat rather than shield me from it (his lightbulb moment from the last marriage retreat).
Last year, Jason went to Uganda for 12 days. I missed him horribly, but felt amazing grace to do what needed to be done, alone. I know these were unique circumstances, but it proves to me just how great is the strength, help, and grace of God. If it was sufficient for those twelve days, it is certainly sufficient for the rest of this day.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying, I believe Jason is glorifying God when he seeks to love me as Christ loved the church. I am the one who can get confused and begin expecting him to do what no man is able to: be my functional Savior.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.