With Burris in his chair, and me in mine, Sunday morning was a familiar sight. Three children running around in diapers, coffee in hand, and a messy yet profound sense of gratitude in the room.
But it sure isn’t easy.
What has the True Physician been up to in our lives since our dead body of a marriage began miraculously breathing?
I looked at my husband sitting there and wondered where he thought our marriage was today in medical terms; Are we in the ER? Surgery? ICU? Physical therapy? Out patient care? Dare I say, hospice?
“the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together…
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.”
Isaiah 40: 5&11
“Les, if I were to gauge, we are in the waiting room, and our marriage is having open heart surgery.” He looked at me deeply. “This is a very risky procedure and we are not out of the woods, but thankfully this procedure has been done thousands of time before. God knows what he is doing, and His skilled hand is having his way on our heart. The center of our marriage.”
Feeling disappointed, my assessment had us sitting up in bed, looking forward to physical therapy!
“We are doing well, but we are not out of the woods.” He replied.
“How will we know when the surgery is complete and successful?” I ask.
“When we stop checking out from one another, and engage. We have been trying these tools out, but are not convinced yet. When we jump in fully, that will be a sign that the surgery is complete. The rest of our lives are spent in recovery. Of course, we will be finally healed when we are in eternity with the Lord, but there is a process on this side of heaven.” He grinned.
How freeing is that? We don’t have to arrive to this sort of marital bliss destination that is somewhere down the road in a few years. Instead, we get to share in these tangible redemptive moments together, where we know that God, the Perfect Surgeon, is opening up the blockages of our heart in order to see to it our earthly marriage thrives on what it was created to; rely on Christ alone.
Call it sanctification, if you dare, a holy recognition that this life, spent together as husband and wife, is but a mere dress rehearsal for a perfect marriage to come. Sure, it is painful recovery, but after this year, I cannot imagine missing out on the milestones that derives from healing wounds.
“He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
So we sit, hand in hand in the waiting room, with strengthening knees, getting a taste of the hope to come. Knowing that our time in the ICU is coming, a beautiful gift this side of heaven.