Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you--you are my God. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.
However, in my head was the reminder of a similar day over 27 years ago, when a 21 year old boy stood before a 21 year old girl and made similar commitments. That was a beautiful day as well, and man would I like to go back to that day to talk to that young man. Oh the wisdom I could impart now!
Tonight I took some time for my walk. It is a delightful evening with the setting of the sun, but just before it did, I got a picture of this amazing flower. It was a reminder of my creative Father who is faithful and abounding in steadfast love.
You see, I was reminded today of the fact that I have not been faithful in my love for my wife, or my God. I failed them both. I broke the covenant that I made all of those years ago. I had no intention of doing that when I made my vows, but somehow, arrogance, selfishness, self-deception, whatever the reason, I did not love my wife as Christ loved the church. I disappointed my wife. I hurt her. I mishandled her heart. I sinned against her.
And so today I walk, with my head down, my eyes toward the earth, my heart heavy. There is nothing I can do to undo what I have done. There is no way to reclaim faithfulness – once it has been lost. I long to go back to that day all those years ago and warn my younger self of the dangers of thinking too highly of myself, and not valuing the most precious gift I was ever given – my wife’s heart.
I am reminded in Psalm 86 about my God. It says, “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.” God forgives. God exudes steadfastness in love. God offers grace. God answers my call. But God does not remove the stain, the pain, the scars, and the hurt of my sin.
Days like today remind me how far from the mark I landed – I am just thankful for a loving and forgiving Father, and for a wife who has followed hard after God and has granted me forgiveness and grace as well. Thank you Father for the gift of my wife. Help me to never fail her again. I trust in you for the strength to walk in faithfulness and love.
Today was a day of hugely mixed emotion. I had the privilege of going to the wedding of a very dear friend. I was thrilled as I saw him look at his bride for the first time today. His eyes filled with emotion, and you could see that this was a man in love. The ceremony was beautiful, and for all who were there, it seemed a joyous occasion.