“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2
If honest, all marriages can testify that every day is not a script from a fairy tale storybook. Ed and I have bumped into a few places during our 29 years that have proven to be a little more than interesting. My “follow the rules and stay on the path” personality often collides with his adventurous “break the rules and make a new path” personality. It is like the “Do Not Enter” sign is a personal invitation wooing him to explore what is waiting to be discovered. I shake and tremble that anyone would even consider going past the sign.
It happened on our last trip at the beach. I think he was a bit irritated with my opposition to using the “Do Not Enter” passage to what appeared to be a beauty to behold. But he honored my request and thrust the vehicle into reverse. We drove forward in silence until he asked if I wanted to go see the sand dunes we were driving past. Of course the answer was “Yes!”
And then it happened. He drove toward the opening and clearly there was a huge sign, and I emphasize HUGE, announcing, “Unauthorized Vehicles Prohibited.” I bit my lip and held my tongue since we had encountered something similar just 15 minutes earlier. He never intended to cross the line but he drove a little too close and now the vehicle was stuck. All he could say was, “Wow, the sand is deeper than I expected.” I groaned and winced.
The already struggling transmission, growled in rebellion that sounded far too familiar to me. Ed jumped out of the car and found a thin board to place under the tire. And then the attempt commenced. Forward-Reverse-Turn. Nothing but spinning wheels and an extremely scared and irritated wife.
Suddenly we looked up and there behind us was a huge white truck. The young guy jumped out saying he knew when he saw us drive in that we would need a tow. He hooked the chain to our tow bar and the pull began. It was still a struggle because we were now bogged down into a deep rut.
I really don’t know what happened next because I had escaped the vehicle and was pounding my feet down the beach telling God everything. As if He didn’t know! After I dumped all of my stuff, I realized the enemy had set our God-given personalities against each other. Irritations rose and attitudes shifted and the atmosphere within was less than desirable. Something must happen!
Forgiveness must happen.
Remembering all that Bruce and Toni Hebel, with Forgiving Forward, had taught me, I began to walk through the protocols of forgiveness. (You can find a free download here.) Before I could forgive Ed, I had to deal with the pile of ugly in my heart. Forgiveness washed over me from the Father and of course I would also forgive Ed.
“Lord, I choose from my heart, to forgive Ed for__________________.”
I got very specific and will just keep that private. I kept walking away from where he was and let forgiveness wash over me and flow through me. And then I turned…and walked in a new direction. That’s what forgiveness is.
My heart turns as I forgive.
Then I am able to able to walk in a new direction.
The chariot waited on solid ground and we headed back to the house. As we drove, apologies were expressed and forgiveness given and received. And then the great truth came.
Before we had a need, the provision was already on the way. Before we were stuck, the young man headed our way to get us unstuck.
Before I ever knew that I needed a Savior, God sent Jesus.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Before I know what to ask, He has already answered.
“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
Before I know I am stuck, He comes to rescue.
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I
will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Feeling stuck today?
Don’t just spin your wheels digging the rut deeper and deeper. Watch over your heart as you are “stuck” in the house during this “Shelter in Place” order. Our heart can quickly get stuck in rebellion, irritation, dissatisfaction, doubt, unbelief and fear. Jesus waits to rescue.
Look up! He is already there.