When a “New Year” for your marriage ain’t lookin’ good
By Janel Breitenstein
During our holiday travels (over the river and through the woods, etc., etc.), my daughter remarked how many trees around us were dead.
Indeed, they did not look lively. If they were people, their lips would be blue. Their fingers would be popsicles.
“Not dead,” I said. “Dormant.” I thought of the new life curling within the trees, waiting for the perfect season to unfurl in lemony-green sashes.
Psalm 1:1-3 compares a righteous person to a tree stretching its roots deeply for its water source. It has a fruitful season.
But a tree has seasons where it doesn’t bear fruit.
It’s storing up resources, looking skeletal, exposed, naked. Waiting. It’s winter, a season of its own peculiar, startling beauty.
Marriage can be like that.
Or maybe you’re lopping your marriage into the “dead” category rather than just “frozen solid.” But does our God not raise dead things?
He possesses the power to flesh out your life (even your marriage) in lush greenness, though it may not arrive when and how you saw it going in your head. God knows what you need and how to find you, and He is relentless in bringing you near. His version of spring as it needs to happen is coming.
The good stuff: Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
Action points: In what places—in your marriage, spouse, or self—have you given up hope, or left pieces for dead? Confess to God areas where you struggle to believe He will create beauty and goodness. Ask Him to help you release your own version of success and life and to fill you with hope for whatever He wants to give.
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