As I started up the mountain path, I easily walked the even ground, taking my time to look around and enjoy the view. Gradually, the path grew steep and there were more obstacles to make a way around. I focused on getting ahead on the path and didn't notice the abundant beauty around me. There were several jagged breeches in the mountain face that I had to find ways to cross, along with some rock slides and a place or two where the path had been washed out by storms. There was even several times where I wandered off the path and had to just stop, stand still, and wait until I could figure out the way to find the path again. Then, when I was feeling overwhelmed and worn to the bone, I found a quiet lake half way up the mountain. Here I stopped and took my ease, sitting still and enjoying the beauty of the world. Here I found refreshment, rest and even inspiration to continue the journey.
When I first read Andrea @ Embracing Him's blog I was really inspired to write a great blog about how my marriage is a sanctuary in my life and how my husband and I refresh and protect each other. The more I thought and tried to figure out what I wanted to say, the above analogy of a mountain journey played in my head.
Ideally, we would always overflow with abundant grace and mercy for each other, living the love of Christ in each other's lives. Most of the time, just the sight of my husband walking into the room causes me to actually feel the stresses and the burdens of my day lighten. He makes me smile and makes me feel precious. But other times, well, we are human and therefore broken. We mess it up all the time with selfishness. We get bogged down in the journey and forget the joy and wonder. We want our marriage to be a sanctuary, but sometimes it is the source of the conflict. The great thing is, we are not the final word in our marriage.
God has a vested interest in what we do with the marriage he has given us. God has plans far above what we can see or understand but for us to be able to complete his design for our life, we have to have the sanctuary of God's grace and mercy.
I love my husband, and I see him as my protector, rock, and rest; I try to understand that he will let me down, as I will him, and we will need to find our sanctuary in the one who is always there. When those circumstances come, we can take refuge in God's sanctuary.
The great thing about God's sanctuary is that not only is it a place of healing and grace, but it is also a place where we can learn and grow, so that we can offer refuge to each other the next time those circumstances hit.
Is my marriage a sanctuary? Most of the time, ya, it sure is. But no matter how strong we try to build it there will be times when the attacks of the world will weaken it. for those times, when our marriage needs a place of refuge from the world, it is comforting to know that there is always a place for us to go.