Friday, February 1, 2013

Joined Together

"be perfectly joined together"
1 Corinthians 1:10

I had to get up waaaay too early today.  Another forced sunrise in my life, as I had to take the Apple of my Eye to the airport.

I know some people get up early every day.  And I've heard ~ in tales and legends ~ that there are those who manage just fine when they do.  Me?  Not so much.  I was back home from the airport at about 6:30, and I immediately lay down to catch a few more winks. 

So after trying to make up for some of that lost sleep, I got up and went on with my day.  But it was a rough day.  I was really feeling that lack of sleep, (combined with the fact that I'd had trouble falling asleep the night before.)  And maybe napping made it worse; I don't know.  I had a bit of a headache all day, and a slight case of vertigo, and just a general feeling of blah.

And it was all because of the him.  The Apple of my Eye.  Now, of course, in the truest sense of the words, it wasn't his fault.  He had someplace he had to be, and a lot of the details were out of his control.  Getting up early had to be done, and because he is my husband, I had to be a part of it. 

So I spent a lot of my day feeling sorry for.... Bathsheba.

Yup.  That's who I was thinking about.  And Abigail.  And Joseph.  The carpenter, not the son of Jacob. 

Bathsheba and Abigail and Joseph are all people in the Bible who suffered because of their spouses.  Bathsheba's husband Uriah was killed by David, after she and David had their, um, rendez-vous.  And then the baby that resulted, died.  Her son.  We read all about David's agony, (2 Samuel 11-12) and his devoted prayer for his baby, even though the prophet Nathan had told David that the boy would die.  And it's really a beautiful thing, David's trust in God during that whole episode.  His repentance, and his faithful prayer, and then his peaceful acceptance of God's will when the baby died. 

But every time I read about that episode, I think, "what about Bathsheba?"  We really don't know if she was just as culpable as David in the sin they committed, or if she was more of a "victim".  And maybe she hated Uriah, and didn't care that he was killed in battle. 

I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just saying, we don't a lot about her. 

What we do know, is that her child died.  And I know she had another, but did that take away her pain at losing her first? 

God was doing something big in David during that whole period in his life, but David wasn't alone.   Bathsheba was a part of it, too.  What God was doing in David's life impacted Bathsheba.

Abigail.... well, Abigail was married to a fool.  Not my words.  His name, Nabal, meant "fool".  Nabal was selfish and stingy and a troublemaker. (1 Samuel 25) And Abigail had to put up with it.  And then when Nabal spoke disrespectfully to the men of the soon-to-be-king, David, Abigail had to act.  David and his men were on their way to exact their revenge for Nabal's treatment of them, when Abigail put her own life in danger to save her husband, her home and her servants.  Abigail's husband sinned, and Abigail was greatly impacted.

And Joseph?  Well, all he did was what he was told, but it couldn't have been easy.  (Matthew 1-2, Luke 2)  He married Mary, he took that difficult trip to Bethlehem, and helped her give birth.  Then he took her to Egypt when instructed, to protect her and their Son.  The confusion, the gossip, Herod's threats on their lives.... Joseph wasn't living the normal life of a man in his time. 

We don't know a lot about Joseph.  We don't even know how long he lived.  What we do know is that God was doing something wonderful for all of us through Joseph's wife, Mary, and because he was her husband, he was a part of it, too. 

In a way, we're trapped in the lives of others.  No man is an island, as it was sung.  Our lives are intertwined, and the ripples of what God is doing in the life of one, impact many.    And sometimes we are the reason for someone else's suffering, as God works in our lives. 

The words we use are "for better or for worse".  The words God used are "being joined together"(Genesis 2:24)  Our words are a promise.  His are a prophecy. 

And of course, it gets worse than just getting up before the sun.  It means cancer and the common cold; joblessness and childlessness; pain and sorrow and anger. 

The good news is that He is faithful.  He does work in our lives, and He will be glorified in our trials.  And isn't it a joy to share that with someone we love?

~ "God, who is rich in mercy, 
because of His great love
with which He loved us...
made us alive together with Christ" ~
Ephesians 2:4,5

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