by Milton Hubbard
For the past several years I have been aware of the fact that time seems to be accelerating. We take the Christmas tree down and in what feels like 2 weeks, we are putting it back up again. As a child it seemed like birthdays were separated by eternity. As we get older, birthdays seem to appear every 6 months instead of 12.
Suddenly with Kathy's death all of that has changed. Time seems to move at a snail's pace. Nights seem endless and daytime seems sluggish. As I am learning to adjust to these changes, God appears to be giving me small pieces of a puzzle to help me with my lack of understanding. In spite of all that we encountered in the past 2 years, I had come to strongly believe that Kathy was going to live. I have struggled with the fact that this ended in a way that does not seem right.
Today the Holy Spirit led me to Isaiah 57:1-2, in the NLT. "Good people pass away; THE GODLY OFTEN DIE BEFORE THEIR TIME. But no one seems to care or wonder why. NO ONE SEEMS TO UNDERSTAND THAT GOD IS PROTECTING THEM FROM THE EVIL TO COME. For those who follow Godly paths will REST IN PEACE when they die."
We know that tribulation like nothing that has ever occurred before, or will ever occur again is coming. People we love who are with the Lord have been spared from the turmoil ahead. For that, we should rejoice. This is a small but comforting piece of a very complex puzzle.
As I write this, I am aware that this will be the first time in many years that I will not be buying a valentine, flowers and candy [that I got to help eat]. I have a perspective on this also and that's another critical piece of a puzzle that extends far beyond my life alone. Let me explain.
I cleaned the tub and shower today. WOW, that was fun!!! I also mopped the bathroom and kitchen. I did 2 loads of laundry and can't wait to vacuum the house later. This was stuff that Kathy had done for years without complaining. To show my appreciation I would get her a valentine, flowers and candy. Except now in retrospect, I realize that the things she did were worth much more than the limited appreciation I expressed.
This was stuff that I took for granted and had no idea how time consuming it all was. It is stuff that most men take for granted because we are all clueless about why God created women to HELP men. [It's because WE NEED them!!!]
As we approach Valentine's Day, I want men to stop for a moment and ask themselves what life would be like if their spouse was suddenly taken away. How would your life change if you had to start doing all of the things your wife does that you take for granted? It is also OK for women to ask the same question about their husbands. But I suspect that life is more difficult for men who become single than for women, although I know many women would disagree.
As you approach Valentine's Day, ask yourself what your spouse is really worth and then celebrate accordingly.
Milton Hubbard has served as Pastor of Living Word Assembly since 1977
Ryan Wheeler serves as Associate Pastor at Living Word Assembly.