Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Difficult (And Inevitable) Place of Disappointment in Marriage

by Danetta Kellar

Disappointment in one another is a difficult place to navigate in marriage.

The pressures of life encroach upon this sacred relationship, changing well-worn paths into treacherous passages. The familiar can become unpredictable, and doubt in each other crouches at the door.

I once hiked a mountain deep in Africa. Along its heights we reached a boggy path along the edge of a cliff, treacherous and slippery. 

The terrain which had at the base been solid and immoveable now transformed to secret pockets of sinking mud and insecure footing. Tufts of moss spotted the way providing the only possible passageway. 

Step by unstable step we climbed. No one spoke. Every eye was fixed upon the precarious footpath, hearts in our throats as we wondered if we would make it to solid ground once again.

Images of the stories I had heard of deaths on this cliffside rose up in my mind like specters of doom. I pushed them away, focusing on my own two feet. 

If I had not seen with my own eyes, climbed with my own feet the secure paths we walked on only yesterday, I would have despaired. 

Reality would have been distorted in my mind, and I would have been sure that no stable ground ever had existed, only mud and mire. 

Marriage can be like that. There are passageways that seem unrecognizable to us, so different they are from the start of the journey. We could swear that the mountain has melted beneath us, the steadiness and hope of earlier days a mirage, a wish.

Has the mountain changed? Does it no longer want to be a mountain? Will we make it? Is there a path anymore? 

If we peer closely, we will find there is a Rock beneath the mountain that never moves. 

It is unchangeable, and it is steadfast. It is the Lord Himself, and He promises to be our sure footing though the way is no longer visible to our eyes. 

We will find this sure footing when we step forward in faith, placing our foot upon the promise. God is the promise. He promises to be the Rock in our marriages and our lives.

When everything else looks, sounds, and feels unstable, we must strengthen our souls by remembering the promise of security upon the only immovable Rock. God, not our spouse, is our Rock and our Redeemer. 

The instant our foot is placed firmly in belief on the ground before us, we find the welcoming strength of the immovable rock holding us steady. Then we do it again. And again. And again. Step by faith-filled, courageous step, we reach the heights. From that vantage point we will gaze on the slippery slope behind us and marvel that we survived.

If your marriage is hurting today and the way seems lost, look for the Rock beneath the mountain. 

There is sure footing for you today, though the way may seem hidden. Step out in faith and stand upon the promise, one stride at a time.

Lord, be the Rock beneath my feet in my marriage today. Be the steadfastness of my feelings and thoughts, and keep me climbing higher. Amen.


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