Today my wife turns 60. Later this year will mark our 35th wedding anniversary! This means that “she” has been a “we” for the greater portion of her lifetime thus far – ample time for me to be her “monkey wrench” many times over. I’m sure glad she stuck it out!
O.K., I’d better admit it… sometimes, just a very few sometimes, she has been a “monkey wrench” to me as well (she reads these blogs too, you know!) — but we’ve managed along despite the bruises. There’s no other way. Thorns come with the roses.
Other times the “monkey wrenches” came at us both, from sources outside us. These we braved together. They hurt too, but they drew us closer… to each other, and to God.
So what’s the glue that makes all this stick? C.S. Lewis has good insight on this…
It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by… the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. … this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run… – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Each Christian is also in vital union with God. “Christ in you…” summarized Paul (Col. 1:27). Jesus prayed,
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
The Christian wants this unity, desires it, it too is “a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit.” It too is “reinforced by the grace” of God. Though I might not “like” those times God allows a “monkey wrench” to come at me, I still love God; He still loves me. I am committed; He is committed. I keep the promise; He keeps the promise. It is on this love that the engine of faith is run also.
“For better or for worse” the marriage vows used to say. When monkey wrenches came at Jesus and many left, He asked his disciples “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67, 68) “For better or for worse” this is the only train bound for glory. I wouldn’t complain about the bumps along the track.
So today I celebrate my wife’s 60 (and soon our 35) years. More monkey wrenches may lie ahead, but we will still press through. Roses with thorns. We will press through together despite the monkey wrenches from without us too, for our security, strength and stamina are from Christ, the One Who received our thorns and gives us the roses.
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