Devotional - Health topics

When Marriage Gets Rocky

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. Isa. 42:6, 7, NIV.

Most thought our marriage was doomed from the start. We were too different. Ron's childhood had led him to crime and prison. Mine was filled with love, overprotection, control, and isolation from worldly influence.

Our introduction, in a courtroom on the day Ron was released from prison, was no coincidence. Our instant attraction was more like a psychological sense of destiny than mere chemistry.

Looking back now, after 30 years of marriage, we can see God's leading in every circumstance, even though marriage was "hell on earth" for 10 years! While our love was strong, our pain was deep. Previous wounds blinded us to the tools we needed for healing.

At one time, desperately hurting, both of us considered suicide. We feared God had rejected us. I was lying awake, crying out to God, angry and needing resolution. Looking for His answer, I fearfully opened the Bible and determined that I'd believe whatever verse my thumb landed on. That text, Isaiah 42:6, 7, has now become the covenant and commission of our Life Skills ministry to help others who are hurting.

First, God declares that He is creator of the universe-He is in charge and can do anything! Then the passage speaks of the covenant He wants to have with us to save others. I latched on to this as God's commission for our lives. I agreed to cancel my planned suicide and begged God to act quickly. He did! Our healing came as we submitted ourselves to Him and began to help others.

While I don't recommend arbitrarily picking Bible passages as a way of problem solving, God knew that in my desperation I needed an answer and chose to reward my feeble faith. When I think about how God gave direction to our lives, I realize we don't have to fear the future if we just remember how God has previously led us.

Now we thank Him for the pain of the past. We've learned that God sometimes allows us to come to the brink of destruction so that we can become submissive and teachable. Our joy is full each time we are able, through God's power, to release others from the chains of their past.

Challenge: do whatever it takes to become teachable and submissive to God's will.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.