Her deep blue eyes danced and sparkled as she leaned in close to me. I could tell she was going to disclose a rich secret…“This time, fifty years ago, I was putting on my wedding dress to marry him,” she whispered, as she swung her head lightly towards the other side of the room where ‘he’ sat. I saw the love strong in her eyes and the respect for her man was so deep you could almost hear it.
That’s what I want, I thought. “God, do that for me,” I breathed.
As she continued to share her story, I (the introverted turtle) was drawn out of my shell with gladness – not many topics fascinate me more than stories of commitment done well. These two hadn’t just ‘survived’ fifty years, no; they had ‘lived’ fifty years with dreams alive of still more to come. She spoke of the joys of family…children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Life had been opulent but not with worldly treasures; these were treasures of a much grander scale and her heart was full of joy.
Famous author, Stephen Covey, was quoted having said, “Begin with the end in mind.” And what better application could there be for that quote than marriage and family? What greater journey could there be for us to venture out into than the great unknown of the “next fifty years”?
Yet it’s not without its highs and lows…
Joys? Yes, in abundance.
Sorrow? Yes, in measured amounts.
Laughter? So much there are wrinkles.
Trouble? Yes, but not more than God can handle.
Sometimes it can be so easy to stare at the difficulties in front of us and feel like the hard moments will never get easier OR that life is so much easier for the next person than it is for us.
But life, through the eyes of those more experienced should teach us something important; it’s not just hard for us, it’s hard for everyone.
Some more than others, yes; but everyone has some form of burden to carry. If we press on with the load God has given to us to carry, asking Him to help us at each step, we may be amazed at how the journey will look from the other end.
So let’s look at today, not just with the heaviness it may hold, but with the end in mind. Ask the Lord to give you a vision of the future through His eyes and not just the world’s perspective – it’s His wisdom in Proverbs 29 that reminds us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
God knows that vision is the key to going beyond surviving and walking bravely into the next fifty years – let Him supply what we need to begin, and then courageously press forward and keep going, with the end in mind.