As I mentioned last time, I am pretty familiar with storms, in particular tornadoes, after all I grew up in the Midwest. However, my dear wife, Christy, is not, and the idea of moving to a part of the country where there were tornadoes was far from comforting. During one of our first years together we were living in Abilene, TX (suggested motto: It’s just flat!!). We lived in a small first floor apartment.
One sunny day she was cooking dinner, and I was working on something, when the weather cut in on the TV announcing a sudden tornado warning. This was VERY strange to me, and I went outside to look. There was nothing to indicate any kind of storm coming, but the TV said there was a warning. This was Christy’s first tornado warning in Texas and she wasn’t about to waste any time. I told her that something wasn’t right. It didn’t matter to her, we weren’t taking any chances. Since it was an apartment with no basement, we found the center corner of the building, and hunkered down in 100 Degree heat under a blanket, listening to the weather.
Even the weatherman came on and showed radar, with no clouds, and said he wasn’t sure what was going on but the National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for our county. We waited under the blanket for a while, until the weatherman came back on the t.v. and announced that someone at the National Weather service had made a mistake. No tornado. It was okay to go back to our lives. We would live to see another day. Since then, Christy has gotten a lot better about not freaking out about tornadoes, just doing what needs to be done (although, I do have to say, she still DOESN’T like them one little bit).
Now, I don’t want to make light of storms that we face in life. There are some doozy’s. I have never seen a live tornado, but I have driven through areas that have been devastated by a tornado shortly afterward, and it is bad. There is destruction, sometimes death. I remember I had a client that was a car dealership that had been destroyed by a tornado. It was the seeming death of a dream for him. I know another family who had just moved into a house when the house was destroyed. Storms can hurt, and they can hurt a lot.
So can storms in life. Sometimes it can be the death of a dream, a marriage, family, or the death of a loved one. It can be the pain of watching something or someone you love go away. It can be chaos that you hadn’t planned for. I understand storms. I understand the pain of storms, and again, I am not minimizing it. I know when we have been going through storms, sometimes my only thought is, “Make it stop!!” My last post was about love always trusting, know THE ONE who controls the storm, and the one who rested in the storm. We can trust Him to take care of us in the storm. But there is another element in what would Jesus, and Love do. In I Cor 13, it says that Love always endures. Jesus, our perfect picture of love, always endures, and as imitators of Christ, and showing true love, we always endure. What is funny, however, is some of the “storms” that the disciples faced weren’t really storms at all.
Remember how panicky the disciples were when there were 5000 people to feed and Jesus told them to do it? STORM!!! Or remember the storm on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus was asleep in the boat? STORM!!! Or how about another storm when they didn’t have Jesus, so He walked on the water to them, and they thought it was a ghost. The person who was going to save them, a ghost. STORM!!! The disciples freaked out, they got all panicky, but Jesus endured.
Then, one day the storm really did come. One day they arrested Jesus, and He was put on trail and crucified. He endured the cross for us, but the disciples fled. You see, Jesus’ perfect love endured, but the disciples didn’t. Well, actually, I shouldn’t say that. You see, they hadn’t learned all about love yet. They were still learning, but weren’t there. Because they did endure. Every one of them (except John) died as a martyr. Crucified, beheaded, or worse, they all died, and even John was exiled to a remote island. They learned what it means that love always endures.
So, if I am supposed to love my wife and my family, as Christ loved, and I Cor 13 is the picture of what that love looked like, what does love always endures mean? Well, another way to say it may be, “in sickness, in health, for richer, for poorer…” But just enduring through those times isn’t all that love is. Jesus didn’t just “put up with” the cross. He could have stopped the crucifixion any time. He embraced the cross for me. He didn’t die because Rome killed Him, he died because He chose to die. So, enduring all things means that I take the storms, and I embrace them with my wife and family. Some of the storms may be false alarms, and we will laugh about them later. We have had a few of those in our home. (Ask me sometime about the time we were in TN and our 19 year old was home working and we hadn’t heard from her when we were supposed to!!!) Some of the storms may be things we go through together, and we hold on to each other to make it. I need to embrace my wife and my family, and endure the hard times with them, and know that Christ has something great for us and for His glory.
But, let’s be honest, sometimes the storm is because of my wife (and likewise, sometimes her storms are because of me). She is grumpy, or she is angry, or she is hurt, or she is being irrational, or she did something that hurt me. STORM!!! Instead of running from the storm, and instead of lashing back, and instead of hunkering down, maybe I need to embrace the storm to get through it. Maybe it is a false alarm. Maybe her grumpy will melt away with just a hug, or maybe it is a real storm, and I am called to lovingly endure. Love, and Jesus, says I embrace what I go through for her good. I stand beside her AND I LOVE HER, even if she is the cause of the storm. I embrace the pain she causes, not because the pain of the storm is pleasant, or enjoyable, but because I love her, and I want to show Christ to her.
The storm will pass. One day, the storm will be a memory, and one day we will be able to look back on the storm and learn from it, maybe even laugh at it. One day, but during the storm, Love Always Endures. Let me be Christ to my wife.
P.S. I have a GOOD hubby 🙂 cr