Holding On By A Thread

It was late Friday afternoon. I left my home headed to attend a wedding of some mutual friends of my wife and I. I was fresh dressed and ready to celebrate the nuptial exchange of Maryland’s newest power couple. The wedding was slated to begin promptly at 6:00 pm at The Four Season’s Hotel located on the beautiful waterfront of downtown Baltimore. Little did I know what lay ahead of me. As I proceeded on my journey, I began to hear a noise. Unbeknownst to me, the left rear driver side wheel of the car was literally holding on by a thread. That’s right, hanging onto the car by ONE stud and ONE lug nut!

As God would have it, I made it safely to the hotel and back home. How could this have slipped past my consciousness? The signs that the threads were coming undone were ever so subtle. So much so, I overlooked them. I knew I was hearing a noise but I wasn’t certain what the noise was. I thought it was the engine. After all, the car is 10 years old. Then I thought it was the tread  of the tires. Nope, that wasn’t it either. As I departed the wedding in the late hours of the evening my spirit was unsettled. Sure enough fifty minutes into the one hour ride the noise got louder and the car began to shake, just moments from my front door. Once I arrived at the house and inspected the car I discovered that the rear wheel was missing 4 out of 5 lug nuts and 3 out of 5 studs had completely broken off.

I couldn’t imagine what may have happened to myself or others while on the highway. Think about it, what if the tire would have separated from the car while I was driving at speeds of 65 miles an hour plus? How many innocent people could have been impacted? How could this event have altered my destiny? Can you say – BLESSED!

I’d like to take a minute and parallel this story to someone who may find themselves holding on by a thread in their marriage. I have learned in life that you’re going to experience some challenges, setbacks and obstacles. Life is like a roller coaster. One minute you’re up and the next minute you’re down. Conversely, such is marriage. However, in both situations it all comes down to who you’re connected to and how you’ll handle each event.

What do you do when you find yourself holding on by a thread?

WORDS of WISDOM:

  • Learn to PRAY. “God, help me to see my destiny and not focus on my history.”
  • Learn not to PANIC. Breathe and say, “Everything is going to be okay.”
  • Learn to PRAISE GOD on credit. “Lord, I thank you in advance for deliverance, healing and victory.”
  • Learn to PROBLEM SOLVE. Who do I know that can help me resolve this situation?

PRAY

Although prayer is such a powerful weapon in the Kingdom of God, if we were to take inventory of how many couples pray together we would discover an alarming number of couples that don’t pray at all. If you are going to ever advance your marriage to the next level you have to be willing to grow in areas that you haven’t gone. What you don’t feed can’t grow. Your faith has to be fed.

There’s one thing I failed to mention as I spoke about my wheel earlier. The issue didn’t just show up overnight. The signs were already there; I just ignored them. Some of you have done the same thing in your marriage. That’s what gets us in our mess to begin with. We make excuses for our spouse’s bad behavior and we justify our own guilty choices. Then we put our trust in the wrong people. Conversely, I entrusted the safety of my vehicle with too many people. Somewhere in the process of a tire rotation the person I trusted did not properly seat the lug nuts correctly on the thread. Comparatively, you have to be careful who you trust and talk to with the affairs of your marriage. Just because they wear a shirt with a Jesus cross and know two scriptures doesn’t mean they can give you Godly counsel.

DON’T PANIC

Some of the worse accidents happen when people panic. Panicking doesn’t resolve things, it only exacerbates them. Prayer helps to equip you to manage the noise. So many couples are experts when it comes to panicking, but lack the faith to pray. People panic when it comes to questions like who’s cooking dinner? What time will you be home? You even panic when your spouse doesn’t respond in kind to your question, “How do I look?” Listen marriage is a covenant commitment of two courageous and imperfect people coming together to form a union to serve a Perfect God. It is a three strand cord that must not be easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

“Courage does not panic; it prays. Courage does not bemoan; it believes. Courage does not languish; it listens.” ~ Max Lucado

PRAISE GOD

Far too many Christians are stingy with their praise. I don’t think we really understand the magnitude of PRAISE. Praise means to express approval, extol, commend and esteem. How can we not praise a God that gives us life, liberty and demonstrates to us unconditional love on a daily basis? Psalm 22:3 reminds us that God inhabits the praise of his people. Have you become too consumed by your desire to receive praise that you’ve become derelict in giving God His praise? Then you have the audacity to wonder why your spouse doesn’t compliment you as much. Have you ever stopped to consider the following question? Am I spending too much time criticizing and complaining about my spouse? What have I deposited into their emotional tank lately? Remember, there’s victory in your praise, not your complaining.

Listen, when I initially saw that the lug nuts and studs had broken off I could have easily complained. Instead I was grateful that God spared me. I am grateful that I didn’t get hurt. Grateful that I still have a car and that the wheel didn’t come off. I know there are  some of you reading this message right now and you’ve been through more than what you thought you could handle. I’m not here to minimize your experiences. I know marriage is hard work. There are others that have already contemplated walking out. You put together a plan that was meticulously crafted down to your favorite pair of shoes and which bags you would take. But I’m here to inform you that God sees you. In spite of your pain, your sleepless nights and your tears, God has not forgotten YOU. Stay prayerful, don’t panic and praise Him on credit.


PROBLEM SOLVE

You’re either in a problem, leaving a problem or heading towards a problem. What I need to tell you is that your marriage isn’t the problem – it’s YOU. As I looked at my the car God told me that the problem wasn’t the wheel on the car, nor was it the car. The problem was how I LOOKED at the car. Unfortunately, in the midst of all the circumstances I could only see was what was wrong. In the same manner, someone reading this article is doing the exact same thing. You’re looking at your marriage the wrong way. That’s why you’re overlooking your blessings.

Anyone that considers themselves to be an effective problem solver knows that there’s more to what meets the eye. The challenge with looking at things solely through your natural eyes is that it’s easy to be deceived of your spiritual blessings. Don’t allow your focal point to be distracted.

Even though you might be experiencing some marital problems you cannot begin to believe that God has forgotten you. He’s still a way maker, miracle worker and a promise keeper that specializes in solving problems. If you don’t believe my words, remember my situation. I made it home safely on ONE lug nut. My tire didn’t begin to fully wobble until I got closer to my house. That’s when I knew I had a broader problem. The fact that I made it this far – I couldn’t give up. I am just grateful that I know the Problem Solver. God is the key to your problems being solved. However, a lug nut not connected to a stud, is a problem in itself. The problem is – it’s not connected to its purpose. The only way for you to truly experience the fullness of your spouse is to find your purpose in them through Christ. Don’t quit, don’t give up and stay connected to the Problem Solver (God) because He won’t give up on you.