Twelve thousand, seven hundred and eighty four days since December 30, 1978. That translates into thirty five years, and for Frances and me, our 35th wedding anniversary.
First, I must resist the urge to use this forum to gush about her. I don't begin to have the space for an adequate expression of appreciation, and I'll be in trouble with Frances if I journey too far down that blessed path. So, I'll just be succinct and to the point before pressing on: God graced me to marry the best and finest person I have ever known, or ever will know (and I know a lot of great people, including you folks!). That, of course, is a wondrous thing to be able to say in sincerity, and I assure you that I could express no sentiment that I more genuinely mean. "Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22). Solomon was right. Boy, was he right! As I often suggest to young men when counseling them before marriage, "Never stop realizing that she is God's gift to you. Because she is."
I'm stunned today by the sheer fact of thirty five years having passed since our wedding day. I've actually pondered the matter for several days, and the thought occurred to me last night that our perception of time often seems strange and skewed because in a very real sense, the clock exists as a measure of something we almost universally misunderstand.
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal
God created human beings for the eternal and the spiritual to serve as the heart of our existence. Our physical faculties and members were formed to serve as the expression of God's everlasting and unseen glory. Time would exist for Adam and Eve - "The evening and the morning were the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31). It would serve humanity, however, rather than dominate it, as took place when our forefathers sinned - "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 1:31). We misconstrue time because sin distorted humanity's relationship to both the eternal and the temporal. Thus, thirty five years can seem as a blip, while a few minutes may often feel like an eternity. Indeed, time seems to use us rather than our using it.
The saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ initiates deliverance of born again believers from the temporal as our master. We still operate according to clock-based schedules, seeking to show up for our responsibilities on time as the fruit of God's working in our lives. We do not, however, fear the passing of moments, or the aging process, or even the end of our presently temporal existence on the earth. We rather rejoice in the glories of forever, of Christ's forever that awaits us as our own eternal estate through grace. We've begun the reorientation and repositioning of things, viewing eternity as the essence, and time as a tool of expression. Thirty five years? I don't understand it. I can, however, rejoice in it with much thanksgiving, and consider its glories as the basis for expecting the Lord to be no less present in the days and the eternity to come.
"There are great days ahead." Frances and I long ago adopted this anticipation, based on a book we love. Even more, however, the Book calls us to the perpetual hope of grace. "My expectation is from Him" declared David (Psalm 62:5). The king was not disappointed, nor shall we be as the passage of time heralds the presence of eternity already in our midst, and awaiting us in a forever that promises an "everlasting kingdom," known in the peace of "everlasting Arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 145:13).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Weekly Memory Verse
From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.