Today I celebrate 40 years of marriage to my best friend. If you had asked me back then to see into the future of what those 40 years would look like, I could not have imagined in my starry-eyed youth. But I couldn't have been given a better man to love. We actually celebrated a few weeks ago in Florida where we spent part of our honeymoon, but today is the actual day. We listened to our pastor this morning talk about Psalm 127, written by Solomon, in which he writes, "Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted." Our pastor said the word "house" could also be interpreted "home." And given what this day means to us, I thought back to those days of my youth and my longing to be married. I had dated several guys (as most of us do) and none were the "right fit".
One day in frustration, I realized, I was tired of dating just to date. I wanted to meet the man God had for me. So I asked Him to please send that man. I met Randy shortly after that prayer.
Some people might say that God isn't interested in those kinds of prayers. Others might suggest that there is no one "right" person for each one of us. I tend to believe otherwise. That is, I think that God does care about those kinds of prayers and I believe He honors our desire to let Him build our home. Maybe that means we don't get the answer to that prayer as quickly as I did, but trust me when I say God has said "wait" on far more prayers than He's given immediate answers as He did that time.
The point is that He wants to be invited into the process. Whatever we are choosing in this life, whether that means our homes, our careers, our ministries...whatever work or whatever relationships God has put before us, if He isn't the one building them, if He isn't invited to be at their core, Solomon said the one building them is wasting their time. The guards on the city wall watch (protect) in vain. It will do no good without the Lord.
I hope we've modeled this idea for our family and friends these 40 years. Sometimes it's easier to just live life without thought to what God wants, isn't it? We get up and do the same things day after day and maybe it takes 40 years to sit back and reflect on what could have been better, what was done right. And what can be done best in the future?
One of my favorite bands, Tenth Avenue North, sings a song called "What You Want". It talks about us wanting what God wants, to follow Him and not keep trying to shoulder the burdens of our own dreams, when we are are "wired to let You lead." To love how He loves. To want what He wants.
And that's the point of letting God build the house, watch over the city, guide our careers, give us children or whatever other dreams we might have. He gave Solomon wisdom in his sleep. He gives to us gifts when we least expect them, but He does ask us to trust Him. To ask Him to be involved in the process. Kind of like I did in my youth when seeking His plans for my future.
The future hasn't always gone the way I expected or sometimes even wanted, and Randy and I have walked some tough roads together these 40 years. But I wouldn't have wanted to walk them with anyone else, and I'm grateful for each new day. Each small blessing because none of us knows what tomorrow might bring. We are a lot different today than we were back then, but then God has a way of working on our character and molding us to be more like Him. I hope we both reflect Him better today than the day the singer sang "God Bless This Marriage," at our wedding.
For however many years we have left together, this is the day we celebrate us!