“If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him”
Steve and I will be married twenty-six years in September. He does not have to question whether I love him. My devotion to him has proven my love. I married Steve when I was only seventeen years old. We were so broke that the only way we were able to go on our honeymoon was by funding it through the money we graciously received at our reception. Talk about last minute! We were simply HOPING. We drove halfway to Myrtle Beach and stopped at the Cricket Inn to spend our first night of forever together. How romantic is that? The Cricket Inn! Yet, it was romantic to us and we devoted ourselves to one another in that place. Steve still carried the receipt from that night at the Cricket Inn in his wallet until a few years ago when it became unrecognizable.
That was before the days of Steve being named a vice-president of a very large national construction company. Before the days of him being a wise man. Oh, that was sixteen moves ago...before I followed Steve to six different states and lived in a fifth-wheel camper for eleven months while also homeschooling our kids. Long before the days of extravagant gifts, dream vacations, and beautiful homes.
You see, before any of the reigning, there was a season to suffer. A season of proving my devotion to Steve, while having little to our name. A season of following him through blind faith. A season of submitting to his plan simply because I loved him. Encouraging him through times when he lacked the confidence needed to go to the next level. Standing with him through the tough days, on my knees in prayer. Creating a safe place of refuge for him to come home to day after day. Extravagantly pouring out love and respect upon him, choosing to build him up instead of tearing him down.
Through growth and spiritual maturity, Steve now reigns as a King and I stand beside him as his Queen. There is not one thing my husband will not do for me. Not one thing he begrudges me to have, when it is in the power of his hands to provide it for me. He lives by this statement: “My love for my wife is a reflection of my love and devotion to Christ.”
Steve is for me all the way...my greatest fan. He sends me all around the world to do what I love...being a refresher to others.
God is looking for this type of devotion from His children. So often, we want the gifts and benefits from God before the suffering and devotion. But, God is looking for hearts that truly belong to Him, not simply saying we belong to Him through lip service. Have you followed Christ through blind faith, allowing Him to lead and guide your every step? Have you created a place of intimacy for Him to come and dwell? Have you loved him and devoted your life to Him before He gives you anything? Do you serve him with joy and gladness while living in “the camper” just as you will when He provides the mansion? Devotion is the giving of one’s self fully and wholly to another. It is unconditional. It remains through the good and the bad.
Your life, at this moment, may not be all that you desire it to be. Perhaps this is a season of testing and suffering for you, but your faithful devotion to Christ will lead you to your destiny. When you stand in the field of true joy and prosperity, just remember there was no other way to arrive here than through seasons of suffering that reveal our complete devotion to GOD.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” - Psalm 37:4-5