“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
Yesterday, I was feeling the strain of my husband being away.The first few days are always the most difficult; the dogs start acting out and refuse to leave my side for any reason, and it sinks in that there is still quite a way to go before he’ll return.
Well, I pulled out my calendar and crossed off Sunday and thought to myself, “One more day down.” out of curiosity, I counted up the remaining days until his projected return, longest case scenario. 40 days… Instantly a plethora of Biblical references popped into my head, 3 in particular:
1.) Genesis 7:17– God flooded the earth. He chose to deliver Noah and his family on the ark, protecting them as the flood waters raged for 40 days and 40 nights. God did not abandon them. Noah was faithful to the Lord, and he was rescued from destruction.
2.) Exodus 34:28– Moses went to the mountain where he spent 40 days and 40 nights in fasting and meditation with God. It was there that God sealed his covenant with Moses (the 2nd time around) with the 2 tablets: the 10 commandments.
3.) Matthew 4:2– Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights in preparation for his ministry. While fasting and spending time with his Heavenly Father, Jesus was tempted by satan. He did not succumb to temptation, and remained steadfast and pure, a perfect living sacrifice.
In each of these instances, God used the time span of 40 days and nights for periods of spiritual growth. He was present, guarding his faithful servants, protecting them from harm, leading them in His truth, and preparing them for what was yet to come.
In my devotion this morning, Psalm 56:8 was referenced:
“Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll– are they not in your record?”
It went on to say in the devotion that God knows our every struggle. He is present and with us through all the things that make us weep, and he is moved by what moves us to tears. It said that God comes close to us in our times of distress and he knows and is aware of our every tear….
For whatever reason, last night a few friends and I decided to watch the movie, Brothers, starring Toby McGuire, Jake Gyllenhall and Natalie Portman. **For those of you who don’t know the movie, the following sentences may be considered spoiler alerts… Skip down to the next set of green asterisks. Anyway, Toby McGuire plays a Marine who deploys to Afghanistan in 2007, where his helicopter is shot down. Everyone assumes him dead, but the audience later discovers he survived the crash with one of his other Marines, and they were taken POW. Anyway, the point of my ramblings is that the whole “deployed spouse” thing in the movie, and watching Natalie Portman’s character try to carry on with her life, assuming her husband is dead while he’s in a prison camp being tortured really struck a nerve. **I feel blessed that my husband will not be facing a combat situation (assuming nothing breaks out in Korea while he is there) when he goes to Okinawa; he’ll be on a military base, a lot like the one here, just…over there… But I still really felt the twinge of loneliness for my husband. The fact that he deals with cannons and explosives for a living was unsettling. As I continued watching the movie, I began to cry…
God knew exactly what was on my heart and He spoke to me through his word this morning as I read that devotion. He knows my tears and doesn’t see them as insignificant, or petty. We worship a God who is present in our lives; fully alive and working, who cares about our ever tear. Every pain. Every struggle. He sees, and He is moved to comfort us as His children. I know the next 40 days are a period of preparation not only for me, but for Mitch as well. We are both being tempered like steel, molded and prepared for the obstacles to come. We are being strengthened and empowered in the Lord to serve and worship Him through our trials. I feel that being able to see just that much of the “big picture” is enough to keep me going, seeking God and craving to know his wisdom in this time of spiritual growth.
I’m not alone. I have been blessed with other military spouses in the same boat who are sympathetic; we are here to help each other through the lonely times, and encourage one another. I have been blessed with a beautiful and caring church family, who are constantly offering their assistance and prayers on behalf of me and Mitch. I have been blessed with good friends who love me enough to distract me with good food and companionship 😉 I feel so loved, so blessed. In the scheme of things, this is a tiny, miniscule season that both my husband and I must go through. I pray that it brings spiritual growth, strength, maturity, and prepares us for what lies in our future, both in the Marine Corps, as well as our marriage. Amen.