Contentment, Divorce, Healing and Reconciliation, Waiting on God

Christ is Enough

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

Psalm 16:5

For those in troubled marriages whose spouses have left or checked out emotionally, it’s easy to think of our situations in terms of what is lacking. While it is natural to desire and long for reconciliation and restoration, we need to be mindful of our tendencies to forget the abundance of grace and mercy poured out upon us each and every day.

Reflecting back on my time in the valley, I remember occasions I would give in to despair, or be overwhelmed by the stress and pain the fight for my marriage was causing me to endure. Being in a position now where I can look back and assess my past actions, it’s clear the times I found myself in the lowest emotional state, was when I was focusing on my situation, rather than my identity as a child of God. Back then, I often lacked perspective, and failed to see the broader picture. In reality, that short chapter of my life was an indescribably small segment, compared to the rest of eternity. It’s that same lack of perspective that compels many standers to lose hope for restoration, and instead turn to the fleeting and temporal happiness found elsewhere.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Mature believers in the Lord will understand the practical implications of this reality. For them, contentment in present circumstances is the norm. It is because of this right way of thinking, they are able to endure the hardships, persecution, and suffering that accompanies remaining faithful to marital vows after a partner has walked away. These standers have come to grips with the role God has assigned to them. Obedience and acceptance is the driver and motivator for all they say, do and think. Underlying all of that however, is the understanding that their lives belong to Christ, and that glorifying and growing His Kingdom remains their primary goal and purpose.

Do you find yourself constantly asking God for more? Are you struggling emotionally, and find yourself longing for companionship, and a restored fellowship with your prodigal spouse? If the answer is yes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. While God has designed us to be relational beings, and has given us hearts and minds meant to connect on deep levels with one another, we need to be mindful not to let our emotions rule over us. Overactive emotions can oftentimes lead us to lose perspective, and act in ways that are not rational. If honest, many reading this will probably admit that being guided by over active emotions in the past, likely contributed to the fractured state of our marriages.

As believers, we need to come to the point when we say to ourselves, “Christ is enough”. In the book of Philippians, Paul tells us to be content, regardless of the circumstances. Practically speaking, this is to say “If the Lord restores my marriage, I will be content.” or “If the Lord delays the restoration of my marriage, I will be content.” It’s not a matter of where we find ourselves in the restoration process that should define our level of contentment. Rather, our state of mind should be characterized by satisfaction, peace and well-being. Remember, the outward expression of our inner heart condition is what the lost world sees displayed in front of their eyes. May our testimonies always reflect the reality of Christ’s abundant grace and goodness.

True, we should all continue to pray God’s will for our marriages, and that restoration occurs in the Lord’s perfect timing. Never cease in this endeavor. But as you make your petitions before the Lord, also ask for contentment. It is when we arrive at the point when we can say, “Christ is truly enough.” that God has us exactly where He wants us. It is in these moments, great and miraculous things can occur!

In Christ,

Tommy Larson
Purposed Marriage

Christian Walk, Divorce, Endurance, God's Power, Healing and Reconciliation, Inspiration, Marriage, Suffering, Waiting on God

Stranger in your Hometown

Do you feel like a stranger in your hometown? Or maybe even a stranger in your own home? I know I felt that way when I returned to the states after living overseas for several years. The community that was once very familiar was not and the people I thought I knew had changed. Where I imagined I would feel safe and at peace, I felt overwhelmed and lost. It was difficult to communicate those feelings with people that hadn’t lived or experienced that “strangeness” before. I remember trying to describe my situation to family and friends, but often they didn’t understand. I recall reading Luke 4:16-30 and taking great comfort in knowing Jesus understood what it felt like to be a stranger in His hometown.

The same passage was preached by our pastor this past Sunday, but this time, the story resonated with me in a completely different way. If you are not familiar with this passage, it is the story of Jesus’ return to his hometown of Nazareth. In verse 18, he identifies himself as the prophesied Messiah, but unfortunately his message was not well received and he was rejected by the locals. The villagers that had grown up with Jesus did not accept that he was anything other than the son of Joseph and an ordinary carpenter. Even his own family did not believe him initially. Those that had admired him, rejected the truth of his claims. Scripture goes on to say that the locals were filled with wrath and drove Jesus out of his hometown. I can imagine he felt like an outsider!

When I listened to the message Sunday, it brought back memories of when Tommy and I were separated. I know during that time he felt like a stranger in his hometown. Friends and a few family members thought he was crazy for holding onto hope of a restored marriage. By all accounts, it appeared as if the distance between us was far too great to be mended. His stand for our marriage seemed like a lost cause and sadly, I was no different than the villagers of Nazareth. When confronted with the truth, I too rejected the message as well as the messenger. My heart was embittered and hardened after years of marital setbacks and disappointments. I didn’t want to hear the truth and chances are if you are standing for your marriage, your prodigal spouse does not want to hear it either. But, oh how my heart swells with gladness knowing Tommy did not give up! Although he endured pain and suffering as he withstood the trials, he continued speaking the truth in love. Over time, my hard exterior softened as God’s Word penetrated my heart.

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

Oh friends, I’m extremely grateful for messages like these because I never want to forget the grace that God poured out on me. Likewise, I stand in amazement at the strength of the Father’s hand as He upheld Tommy during his time in the valley. Perhaps you are facing loneliness and harsh rejection during this difficult season of life. Remind yourself and those around you of the truth from God’s Word.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Stand on God’s promises in times of difficulty, knowing and believing that God has the power to do great things, far greater things than you can even imagine! He is working behind the scenes weaving together a beautiful tapestry to be revealed in His time. Speaking as a previous doubter who didn’t believe Christ was capable of being the Savior of my marriage, He proved me wrong! He showed me He is THE Savior to all and in all circumstances.

With love in Christ,
Amy Larson