When you live in Hawaii, where do you go on vacation?
By Janel Breitenstein
At one point on my friend’s trip to Hawaii, the driver of his shuttle remarked, “I think I need to go on vacation.”
My friend laughed. Where do you vacation when you live in Hawaii?
Wherever you live, it’s never all bliss. As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Magician’s Nephew, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.”
One side of my own house overlooks a VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner), for example. But God still has to tap me on the shoulder from time to time: Just a reminder. You live in a place people go on vacation.
Maybe your marriage as a whole has not turned out to be what you hoped. But what if at least parts of it are worthy of appreciating? What things in your marriage do you take for granted that would be someone else’s vacation, someone else’s greener grass?
Perhaps you can find gratitude in that your marriage is based on Judeo-Christian values, rather than oppressive value systems still in place in other parts of the world. Or your family can eat regular meals and every member is literate, or you have married by choice.
Even when the ways to thank God for your marriage feel paper-thin, perhaps it’s God Himself for which you can be thankful. That He’s in your marriage, that forgiveness and change and resurrection of dead things are always possible. That hope lives.
And even if your marriage is never resurrected, even if you find more things about your spouse you need to forgive rather than feel grateful for, thank God you can trust Him for the things you can change: In Him, you have the power to take responsibility for your own heart.
Maybe that seems to set the bar low. Or is it only getting started, just tipping up our chins to spy God’s goodness?
Action Points: Write your spouse a note of gratitude. Be both general and specific. And challenge yourself: Every day this month, could you come up with at least one thing to tell your spouse you’re grateful for about them or your marriage?
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