Daily Devotion - Monday, January 18, 2016

Today is my wife Merideth's birthday--so it's basically the best day of the entire year in the history of ever.  Additionally, in just three days, Merideth and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary, a day that I remember as if it was yesterday.  

Merideth and I met when we were 13 years-old, so I have known her for 34 of the 47 years of my life.  That's most of my life for those of you who are good at math.  And here's a confession:  I have been in love with her for pretty much all of those 33 years--even though we weren't always together early on.  From the moment I met her, I was smitten.  

The fact that God saw fit to bring us together at last after many years of being apart and estranged from one another is a miracle.  It's an even greater miracle that God has given me such an incredible gift--to call Merideth my wife--even though I am sure I don't deserve it.  

As I reflect today on the incredible journey that Merideth and I have shared, and how miraculous it is that we get to do life together, I am mindful of how I can never take this miracle for granted.  

The moment you become complacent and comfortable in your relationships is a dangerous moment.  When you begin taking the other for granted, expecting them to exist to maintain the status quo, believing that their main purpose is your happiness, your fulfillment---that is the moment when things can all too quickly fall apart.  

In the same way, our relationship with God must be treated with the same kind of vigilance, effort and romance.  "Romance?" you probably asked yourself just then.  Yes. Romance.  

Throughout the Bible, God speaks to God's children through the prophets and psalmists in loving, caring terms going so far in some cases to play the role of loving, doting husband.  Jesus (who shows us what God is really like) refers to himself as the bridegroom in some of his parables, a metaphor that is picked up by the writer of the book of Revelation when he describes Jesus' ultimate reunion with the Church--the bride of Christ. 

In the same way that I can never take Merideth for granted if want our relationship to thrive, grow and flourish, I cannot, must not take my relationship with God for granted either.  My marriage helps me to see this more clearly, which is one of the many reasons why I believe God gave us the gift of marriage.  And in my case, gave me the gift of the most incredible, beautiful, perfect partner to travel with on this great adventure we share.  

May you find renewal in your relationship with God this new year.  May you dedicate yourself to cultivating moments when you can draw closer to God, talk to God on a regular basis, experience God in the world around you to the fullest. May you discover a new romance for the One who loves you passionately beyond all love.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen.  


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