Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.” (Isaiah 39:5-8)
Suddenly, there was a huge crack was in our ceiling. Not a literal crack, although I would have preferred a literal crack. My family had experienced a setback of sorts. The result of which dealt a dizzying blow to the newly established feelings of peace and security that had been established throughout the previous year. For almost a decade, I had lived with a continual wary eye, ever watchful for signs of the next great crisis. I used to say that I was always in fear that the roof was going to cave in – again.
Living in constant fear of unexpected upheaval is no easy way to live.
During those years, I had tried to live with my eyes on God, walking in faith that my marriage and family would be restored, healed and protected (yet honestly, I failed more often than I succeeded). But, feeling as if I bore the responsibility of keeping our family shielded from the newest crisis (a noble, mis-guided intention), while doing my best to separate my children and extended family from the ceaseless turmoil of my marriage (a task that was by its very nature foolish, fruitless, impossible, exhausting and fueled by pride), propelled me into attempting to be ever-prepared for whatever might happen in our lives. “Always be prepared” takes on a new meaning when your marriage struggles with brokenness that predates your lives together.
Yet, eventually, one day, and in quite an unexpected way, God faithfully fulfilled His promises regarding my marriage, my husband and my family. Day by day I watched my husband closely as he began to continually demonstrate a change of heart, a new commitment to God, and a renewed commitment to his family – much to my delight. It had been the kind of year that I had never thought possible. Then suddenly (although not without a few warning signs), a threatening crack loomed in our ceiling.
As a Christian wife, we not only commit ourselves to our spouses upon getting married, we also enter into covenant with God. The best marriages try us and stretch us. The hardest seasons take us to places that can still bring us to tears years after we’ve left. But no matter the storm we face, God is still able to bring us through. And each test is an opportunity to draw close to our Father, relying on Him for our strength.
In Isaiah 39, Hezekiah was approached by envoys from a neighboring king. Although this visit may have seemed innocent enough, Hezekiah was in reality opening his doors to a terrible new enemy. Interestingly, Hezekiah had personally experienced the results of seeking and trusting God with challenging situations. In both chapters 37 and 38, in two different situations, Hezekiah had turned to God and trusted Him to guide him, and to perform miraculously against both national, and personal, enemies. Yet, when faced with the opportunity to showcase his own glory (which was not at all his glory) during what seemed an innocent visit, he forgot the lessons that he had learned. Perhaps Hezekiah did not consider a visit from the Babylonian envoys serious enough to turn to God. Yet, whatever his reasons, instead of seeking the wisdom of God, he relied on His own wisdom, and allowed his pride to lead him to self-direction.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Even more unfortunate, when faced with the consequences of his actions, he seemed satisfied that ‘at least there would be peace’ during his lifetime, instead of repenting and seeking God for continued peace for the kingdom.
As wives and mothers, how often do we forget the victories that God has brought about in our lives? When new crises or questionable situations arise in our families, do we remember the lessons that God has taught us? Do we only seek God for what we consider to be the big or problematic circumstances, or are we humble enough to realize that we need His guidance for our every step? Are we lulled by perceived seasons of peace into spiritual complacency or prideful choices and mindsets? When facing opportunities to showcase our strengths and accomplishments, do we consider the will of God as carefully as when we must face our storms?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28-29)
God has promised us that if we trust Him, and allow him to lead and direct us, He will make all our paths straight.
How is awesome is that!
Not only can we trust that in all things – whether good or bad, our Creator is working for our good; but we also know that as we follow Him, we are not wandering in circles like lost children, but walking straight toward the good end that He has prepared for us.