This weekend Stacy and I watched the movie "Facing the Giants." I truly believe that the Lord used that movie to minister to me and to help me through some difficult things this week. I know it sounds strange, but let me take you on my thought train. It's a long train.
Stacy and I have had a pretty rough weak maritaly speaking. It goes beyond, "Stop leaving your clothes on the floor!" type stuff. There was real hurt, real pain, and real emotion. So real, that Sunday I had to just take the day off. So I went to Oak Mountain State Park for the day. Just me, my Bible, a notebook, and a nice cold Mtn Dew! I had issues and feelings that I needed the Lord to help me through. I really went through a type of cleansing process while I was there. Even the weather cooperated with this process. It was raining when I got there, and sunny by the time I left.
While I was there, I kept going back to the movie. There is a seen were the coach is really trying to make a point with his star defensive lineman. Coach wants more out him. Player says he's giving all he's got. Coach says, you've gotta give me more. So they do these things called the death walk. Big player gets down on all 4's and carries smaller player on his back. Only, the big player cannot let his knees touch the ground. They do this for 10 -20 yards.
Well this particular time, coach says "I want 50 yards". Of course the player thinks it can't be done. So the coach blindfolds him. By being blindfolded the player had to fight harder and he HAD to rely on the coach to guide him and cheer him one. The scene is really touching. The poor player is hurting, he's fighting, he's wanting to make it to the 50, but he can't see it. The coach is there the whole time, yelling, screaming, I need more out of you. You can do it. Give me all you've got. You can do this. 20 more steps, 10 more steps, 5 more steps. Now drop your load, you made it! The coach is down on the ground with the player, he's telling him, look you did it. I knew you could do it. I knew you had more in you. Imagine the players surprise to find himself in the end zone. He went not to the 50, but all the way.
I say all of that to say this. I am so guilty of telling the Lord, "I am giving you all I've got. I can't give anymore, I can't do anymore." But He is there, and He knows me, He knows what I am capable of. He's saying, "Thats not true. You have more. Give me more. Take it to the 50." But I fight it, I say it's going to be too hard. So He put me in a situation were He just had to blindfold me and say, "You don't think you can do this, so I'm going to have to slap this thing on you and make you see what I can really do in you." So I carried my load. And it hurt. It hurt like crap. It burned. It made me want to quit. It made me want to scream and yell and say forget this. I don't need to make it to the 50.
But you know what. God, was and always is, right there in my life, cheering me on. Making me go further than I think I can. Making me reach for more. Making me fully dependent on Him and His voice leading me to the 50.
By the end of the day yesterday, I was suprised to find myself not at the 50, but in the end zone. I was suprised to find myself completly wiped out and spent from the battle that I was fighting, only to end up in the end zone, in the arms of my Saviour who had been telling me all along..."Give me more".
Marriage is hard. Sometimes it just plain sucks. But when I am willing to pick up my load, carry it on my back, and let the Lord cheer me on to the end zone, suprisingly, the difficult situation in my marriage is not just dead weight, running around a field with no direction, but it's a load with a purpose and a direction meant to fulfill God's glory in me.
God's word best sums up (as it always does) this picture.
" Oh, bless our God, you peoples!
Make the voice of His praise to be heard,
Who keeps our soul among the living,
and does not allow our feet to be moved.
For you, O God, have tested us.
You have refined us as silver is refined.
You brought us into the net.
You laid affliction on our backs!
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
BUT YOU BROUGHT US OUT TO RICH FULLFILLMENT!"
I am excited. I am thankful that the Lord, with our afflictions on our backs, going through the fire, is refining us and bringing us to HIS rich fullfillment.
I pray for His rich fullfillment in my life, in my kids, but mostly right now, in my marriage. That His glory will be shown through the fulfilling of a Godly marriage.