“Father, I pray that next Easter, my sister will have her husband sitting next to her in church, in Jesus Name, Amen.”
Three years ago, my heart leaped with the hope of this longing fulfilled. Sunday after Sunday, month after month, year after year, I sat alone watching couples share in the Glory of the Risen Lord. Tears would stream down my cheeks as the stirring sounds of hymns poured into my soul, as I yearned to share this experience with my mate. Upon the altar the wooden cross stood silent, ever watching my lonely struggle of faith.
I’ve been a born-again Christian since 1978. Billy Graham showed the way one night. No fanfare, no fireworks. Just a simple prayer on my knees, ‘I believe’.
My testimony has never been one of trying to save the whole world. I didn’t pass out tracts. Not my cup of tea. I never stood on the street corner or went up to someone and said “Do you know Jesus?”
But I grew in the Word of God. I came across I Peter 3:1-2 “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (NIV)
I thought ‘Aha. That’s the secret for my husband to come to the Lord.’ So I never talked about God to him…unless he brought up the subject. I always feared that I would be a hindrance to the Holy Spirit. My inexperienced lips lacked sufficient words of life.
I felt the pity of the ‘equally yoked’ members of Christ’s body. I knew the societal estrangement of not being included in married group outings. My skewed life didn’t fit in the body.
Many people had solutions but none had the experience. I went to the altar time and again, standing in proxy for my husband’s salvation.
At one point I questioned my faith. Am I not a wife of Godly character? What are my failings, God? It must be me. I’m not reverent and pure enough…maybe.
I tested God, too. I had the audacity to ask Him to prove that His promise of household salvation was true. I needed a sign. The flesh in me desired a pat on the back once in awhile.
The way of faith is a long road. The Word says not to veer to the right nor to the left. The race must be run with diligence and perseverance to gain the prize at the finish line.
Now, as I listen to the hymns this morning, I cast a quick glance around the room and see the love of my brethren for each other and their families. The cross is still waiting. All heaven holds its breath.
I hold my head a little higher, knowing that my strength comes from the Lord through all my trials and tribulations. He also promises that He will see to completion that which He has started. I believe.
My Pastor signals for the end of the songs and we sit down. He steps to the microphone and greets us all.
“May God bless you and keep you. I would like to welcome any new visitors to our service this morning. I especially would like to welcome Mike. Glad you could join us.”
Beaming, I turn to my husband and place my hand in his. The Lord is good.
I believe, therefore I see.
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