What a Beautiful Gift from God!

Published 1:13 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2022

This is a most special time of the year for my wife and I; it was forty-four years ago—March 3, 1978—that we entered into a journey together as a young wife and husband. Like most young couples with lots of dreams and aspirations, we were clueless about the details of life together. I was a local city employee making a fearfully small salary, but we learned how to live within our means, appreciate hand-me-downs like they were brand new, and navigate the sometimes complicated waters of life together. Even though we did not have a lot of things that others had, what we did have was an unquestionable commitment to each other; we valued loving and trusting God, and loving and respecting each other. Every time I get my small monthly retirement pension payment based on my labors for the City of Elberton, Georgia decades ago, it is a reminder of where we came from in the early days of our marriage and where we are today—still loving and trusting God, and loving and respecting each other.

As I sit here before the computer screen putting my thoughts down in writing, Gale and I are blessed with the privilege of being able to spend a few days together on the coast. When I look at her sitting on the couch relaxing here in this seaside town this evening, she is still beautiful in my eyes—in more than one way. She is certainly physically attractive to me, and also beautiful in spirit and faithfulness. God has certainly blessed me with one to stand by my side and walk along with me through all the circumstances of life. I am glad that what God did for Adam, the first man on earth, extends to me too: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18, New International Version). Indeed, God is the wise and trustworthy Creator and He knows how to fill the emptiness in our lives in a most perfect way!

While having a nice meal together to celebrate our anniversary, we talked some about life. Even though we have aged and changed in a lot of ways during these years as a team together, inwardly that love and appreciation for each other still strongly prevails.

A lot happened during the first decade of life together. Both of our girls were born and I sensed the call of God upon my life to get more involved in His work. Gale did not marry a preacher, but she adapted without arguing about what I believed I was supposed to do with my life. She always pledged to “Support you in whatever you do.” That is a pledge that she lives by to this day.

Neither she nor I fully understood what it meant to walk away from what had been our normal life in familiar surroundings and go places and do things that we had never done before, but with God’s help we embarked upon His mission for our lives. The first leg of that journey consisted of a move of several hundred miles from our family and friends for four long and hard years of Bible college. Looking back at those days it makes me wonder how we survived, but we did; God provided and kept us. When those four years were finished, that which might have been considered as the conclusion of a difficult task was actually just the beginning of the next decades of challenges and joys as a pastor. God blessed and provided for us through that, too, and we know that we can trust Him to continue to do so even in this later phase of life.

I cannot imagine how I would have survived the next thirty years of various moves, disappointments, and successes that followed the earning of my BA in Pastoral Ministries without the love, encouragement, and support that my wife provided and continues to provide every step of the way; I am grateful that God did for me what He did for the first man, Adam: “I will make a helper suitable for him.” Indeed He did!