“There are three things that amaze me — no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.” Proverbs 30:18-19 (NLT)
One entire weekend. No kids. Just my husband and me, alone in the mountains.
It sounded like a dream come true. Except …
By the time we finally stepped away from our busy lives to celebrate our anniversary, it felt like our love had lost its luster. Our marriage had morphed into an ordinary humdrum of kids, carpools, commitments and careers, and I wondered if we would ever rediscover the whimsical joy that marked our story from the start.
“Lord, I want our love to be extraordinary again,” I prayed as I followed my husband’s footsteps up a craggy mountain trail on a hike one afternoon.
When we reached the peak, we sat silently side by side and watched the sinking sun illuminate the canyon below in a blaze of orange glory.
“God, I want our marriage to be beautiful like that,” I whispered as my husband laced his fingers through mine.
And while I didn’t hear God’s voice peal from the sky, a simple thought crossed my mind. “Look for the beauty right where you are …”
“Beauty in the bedlam?” I silently questioned the God of the universe. “God, You know our life right now is filled with bills and babies, tears and tantrums.”
A shadow danced across my dusty shoes, and I dropped my eyes to study the stones scattered at our feet. And that’s when God reminded me of a little lesson I’d learned one spring from an obscure pile of gravel and a wide-eyed little girl …
My mind wandered back to the day we’d gathered seashells near the ocean. Suddenly, my daughter had plopped on the ground with a squeal of joy and began digging with gusto in the filthy gravel.
When I’d tried to convince her it was just ordinary old gravel, my daughter had flashed me a knowing smile. Then she extended her hand to show me the lovely pink shell she held in her palm. “This gravel may be ordinary,” she conceded, “but if you look closely, it’s really beautiful …”
As I sat on the mountaintop, I couldn’t help but smile at that sweet memory, a visual reminder to find beauty everywhere.
The sunlight started to wane, so my husband and I began to weave our way down the trailhead with steady speed. My feet hit a patch of slippery stones and suddenly, my legs wobbled and slid. My husband steadied my frame with a strong gentle hand.
I thought about the cavern ablaze with wonder and the “beautiful” gravel speckled with shells and the wise words I’d read that morning in my Bible. “There are three things that amaze me — no, four things that I don’t understand … the way that a man loves a woman.”
Proverbs 30:19 reminds us that love is downright amazing. There’s nothing ordinary about a man choosing to love a woman for a lifetime, nothing trite about two people committing to love one another through the daily grind. Even love tucked into the folds of an ordinary life is one of God’s most beautiful gifts.
Suddenly, I was awash with awe as I looked at the man who faithfully walks beside me through the marvelous and the mundane. And I whispered a prayer that God would keep me from growing blind to the amazing gift He had given me.
When we reached the end of our hike, I picked up a simple souvenir — a handful of auburn gravel. I slipped those little stones into my pocket with a smile, because sometimes we just need something to remind us of the beauty of ordinary love.
Dear Jesus, thank You for loving me with an amazing love. Help me to love my husband in the same way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 13:4a, “Love does not give up.” (NLV)
Proverbs 18:22, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.” (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Thank your spouse specifically for something you noticed he does to love you in the midst of the daily grind.
Ask Jesus to open your eyes to something amazing about your marriage you haven’t seen before.
© 2016 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.