Don’t Sit While You Stand

What are you doing while you are standing? What occupies your thoughts? Where do you focus your energy? Where do you find your peace and contentment?

These are important questions when we are standing. The point of standing is not to be consumed by standing. Your spouse should not be your focus. Your marriage healing should not be your focus. You should keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.

An amazing thing happens when you focus on Jesus. You begin to build a solid, deep relationship with Him. When I first began standing, it was all about me–my pain, my rejection, my heart’s desires, etc. The more I walked with Jesus, though, the more His life became my life and His vision became my vision. The love that compels Him began to compel me. The compassion that moves Him began to move me. The desires of His heart became the desires of mine.

People who are focused solely on the healing of their marriage are hard to be around. They are like an open pit that sucks in every bit of life around them. I think we are all there at some point but that is not where we should remain. No one who is in love with Jesus and is walking closely with Him comes off as a needy person. Those who focus only on themselves are a walking mass of need. People begin to avoid them because there is no way they can possibly meet that need.

Ask yourself a question. What is the focus of your daily life? Is it calling out to Jesus to meet your need? Is it telling others how much you love your spouse and desire to have him/her with you again? It is making sure others know you are suffering? Or are you focused on Jesus? Are you at peace? Do you share with others how wonderful He is and what He has done in your life?

Scripture tells us that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks. Whatever is in your heart will come out your mouth. If you are focused on yourself and on your lack or pain or emptiness, that is what will come out of your mouth. That is where your heart is. If, though, you are focused on Jesus and His tremendous life within you, that is what will come out of your mouth. When your heart is grounded in Him, life will easily flow from your lips.

Your life should not be put on hold while you wait to receive what you are praying for. “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

That is how we are to wait: actively serving our Lord, focused on Him. Look at what happens when we wait like that. We are strengthened. We do not grow weary. We mount up and fly over circumstances like the eagle.

So how are you waiting? Are you sitting and waiting or are you serving the Lord with all your heart? Are you counting the days and wondering when God is going to answer your prayers? Or are you so in love with the Lord and with walking with Him that He will be the one to tell you when your prayers are answered.

Before you can live that way, though, you must settle something in your heart. Do you have a marriage covenant that is broken only by the death of either you or your spouse? If you truly believe that, then time is not an issue. You can put away the clock and the calendar and stop wondering “when.” You can focus on Jesus and His plans for you. You can serve Him with all your heart. You can fall more deeply in love with Him with each passing day.

If, however, you have a plan B somewhere in the back of your mind, then time will be very important to you. What happens day to day with your marriage will consume you and your focus will remain on you and your needs. You will always be wondering if your marriage is really going to be healed or if you should get “on with your life”.

I want to be as blunt and honest with you as I can. When we stand we all go through a time when we are broken and crushed by the circumstances of our marriage. We all need healing in our own hearts. That is where most of us start. But that is not where we should remain. If you believe that Jesus is strong enough and powerful enough to heal your marriage, then you must also believe He is able to heal your own heart. If He is able to turn the heart of the king, then He must be able to minister to your heart and bring you to wholeness in Him.

You must become a whole person in Jesus no matter what you do with your life. Your spouse is not going to heal your heart. Your spouse cannot make you whole. Seeing your marriage healed will not bring you fulfillment. So you must stop putting all your emotional energy into your love and desire for your spouse.

If your heart is broken, you need to allow Jesus to bring you healing before anything else. Your own healing is key to your stand. Then out of your wholeness in Him, you can serve Him with all your heart. Instead of sitting while you stand, you can run and not grow weary! Love, Marilyn

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” Psalm 37:7

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!”  Psalm 27:14

Consider Leah

Have you ever thought much about Leah? Just think what her life must have been like. (Genesis 29:14-28) Jacob wanted to marry her younger sister Rachel, who was “lovely in form and beautiful.” He worked seven years to win Rachel, but Laban instead gave him Leah, his older daughter, who had “weak eyes”. I’ve always had a bit of trouble understanding how Jacob didn’t know the difference at the wedding, but have chalked it up to lots of veils.

At any rate, when Jacob discovered he had the wrong daughter, he went to Laban and pleaded for Rachel to be his wife. Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”

That must have been some week! Leah spent her first week of married life with a husband who couldn’t wait for the week to end so he could get the woman he really wanted.

“Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah.” Then scripture says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

When Michael found out I was pregnant with our third child, he left me and said he didn’t want the baby or me. As my time of delivery grew near, God gave me that scripture. It was how He told me I was carrying a boy. Then He said that his name would mean healer and that he would bring great healing to many in his life. I had to take a baby book and read through name after name to find the one that meant healer—Jason, God’s child of promise!

As Leah continued to have children, Rachel remained barren. One can only read between the lines that Jacob probably spent a lot more time with Rachel wanting to conceive than with pregnant Leah. Her life must have been filled with loneliness and rejection.

Leah’s story may have been a sad one, but it ended well. Rachel died in childbirth and was buried by the side of the road, but when Jacob was dying he gave instructions to be buried where Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there he buried Leah. In the end, God honored Leah’s position as Jacob’s covenant wife and she was buried alongside her husband in the family burial grounds.

Today maybe you feel like Leah (or maybe Lee if you are a guy), unloved and unwanted by your spouse. Jacob was very overt in his desire for another woman and very clear in his rejection of Leah. No doubt you too have experienced similar treatment.

Yet God remembered Leah and blessed her and honored her. You need to look to the One who truly knows who you are and loves you and desires the very best for you.What your spouse thinks or believes right now is not the end of the story. Just as with Leah, God sees where you are today and the condition of your relationship. He is more than able to bless you along the way.

I have always loved the story of Leah. It gave me hope when things were dark and seemed hopeless. It showed me that God’s love is greater than man’s rejection. And it demonstrated to me that generations can be blessed by the Lord through one person’s faithfulness. Love, Marilyn

“For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” Deuteronomy 30:16

“He has taken me to the banquet hall,  and his banner over me is love.” Song of Solomon 2:4