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in sickness and in health

It’s a hard decision when a spouse is faced with an ailing husband or wife. It’s one thing to care for your spouse when he or she has a cold or a flu, but what happens when you are watching the love of your life coming dangerously close to making an appearance in next weeks obituary. I think about this as I am watching my mom deal with the harsh reality of my dad’s heart condition. In fact I am writing this while sitting in a hospital hoping that my dad will be soon leave this place to live out the rest of his years.

While marriage, I am certain, is a gift from God, the traditional vows we speak in a ceremony are man made. The words we know so well, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health…” these first came from the ‘Book of Common Prayer’ published in 1549. So, while the words are man made, the value in these words are given to us by God. What happens when we stick things through in both the good and the bad? What happens when we are able to properly handle sickness and health? There is no doubt, that something incredible happens through the times of trial that we face.

I can’t seem to say this enough, but it is when we find ourselves living in isolation that it begins to become almost unmanagable to live any type of quality life. We tend to give up more and we find ourselves becoming more cynical on just about everything around us. So, those vows that we have been repeating since the mid 16th century, those are more than just common words. They are the glue that ties us to God. They are what gives us the hope of living a life worth living. It’s what brings us into the community of God and other people.

When the trials of life come at us, its incredible when we are able to call upon the strength that we have access to through Jesus Christ. Through those trials we are given this encouragement from James 1:2-4..

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So, while you may be facing trials of your own, allow God to complete the work He has begun in you. Allow perseverence to finish its work. This is the promise that whether you are facing the ugly in life or the failing health of your spouse, you will not be alone. Christ is with you, and He will never leave you. This is the type of companionship you cannot live without.

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