Eight years ago today, I woke my wife up at 3AM to propose to her.
That moment together, in the quietness of the night, seeing the ring on her finger for the first time, knowing that she was going to be my wife, knowing that we would start a family together and spend our time together until our time was over. It was a different time in our lives. So much has changed. We’ve been shuffled and rearranged.
As I watch a family member lose his wife this past week, I am reminded how precious and short our time together can be. I’m so thankful for my amazing, beautiful, loving, and strong wife. If I were to go first, I know that she would maintain her faith and lead our daughter down the path of a life seeking and honoring God. I hope that she might know that same trust in me.
But looking back 8 years, I realize this hasn’t always been the case. You see, we were far from God. Involved in all kinds of open rebellion against God, chasing after all kinds of things that were pleasurable in the short term, but that were empty and unfulfilling and that eventually lose their flavor. We were running along with the pack, we were different animals altogether.
But the Lord has touched or lives. And we are now His. And it is making all the difference. We are on the same team now. It’s amazing to know that a house that was originally so divided in “me, me, me” could be turned upside down into a “we” that includes Christ right here with us.
So I’m thankful for my wife, Mandee Fowler Ballinger. But even moreso, I’m thankful that I can see Christ in her – alive in her life as she loves me and my daughter, as she goes through the weekly routines of a working mom that also maintains a household, as she is patient with me, as she laughs at my corny jokes, as she faithfully steps out in faith beside me into this life of ministry.
If you had told me 8 years ago that we would be ministering the gospel to others, I would have probably not just laughed in your face, but called you a liar as well.
But God’s ways, well, they are remarkable.
They are undeniable.
You see, I’ve seen a genuine miracle happen. I’ve seen the voice of God, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior touch our lives – and change our household to its very foundation.
Without the mistakes of my past, without the evidence of my weakness, I might have been foolish enough to overlook the power and glory of His grace. It might have slipped past me like a fleeting light in the darkness. But that isn’t how He works.
His glorious grace, to send me my wife, to give me a second chance at life, to lead us down our Damascus Road, and to change it all.
To God be the glory and honor. He can use even me.
He can use even you.
His blessings are overflowing.
Remind me each day if you see me forgetting, friends. Remind me of my precious wife and of our life together – so I will treasure each breath that we share.
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.