To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. It’s a line we’re all familiar with, from Christian marriage vows at wedding after wedding.
Most of us know people who have honored that vow. Couples who seem to have the best of luck, couples who seem to have the worst of luck. No matter what life throws at them, they endure it together.
We also know people who have not honored that vow. Couples who drift. Couples who are torn apart by life events, or infidelity of one or both. Couples who used to have “love is blind” vision of each other, whose casual comments have changed about their spouse: “The way he chews his food grosses me out”; “She irritates the hell outta me”. Those people don’t have the big issues to drive a wedge between them, so they resort to pettiness to justify their decision to leave.
But that’s people we’re talking about. Imperfect beings. Works in progress at best.
I want to talk about God. Our Father. Our counselor. Our protector and caretaker. Our companion and confidant.
He is not an imperfect being. He is perfect. Stop right now if your subconscious projects onto him what you have experienced in humans.
He is not human. He is God.
The common obstacle to believing his goodness, is the reality that all is not good on the Earth. Why are there landslides, earthquakes, droughts, starvation, murder, rape, theft? If he is exists, why does God allow evil?
That I can’t answer. I’ve heard it explained that it began with Adam, but I don’t know that the origin of the fall of man explains it all for me. I don’t need to know the answer. Because God’s spirit is accessible, speaking and guiding, comforting and encouraging now. Today. I don’t want to compromise his presence available to me in the now, to pursue questions yet to be answered in all of time.
I don’t know much about this world we occupy but I know this:
God accepts each person’s extended hand and holds it. Like people do in marriage. Or friendship. Or as a parent and child holds hands. And as long as you are committed to him, he keeps holding on. If you push him away, or turn your back to him, he won’t push himself on you — he will honor your free will.
But keep searching in the dark for his hand, finding and clinging to it, intending to do so forever, and know that in doing so you enter a covenant relationship with God.
A relationship in which you can count on him to be faithful in all things. He makes more than a lifelong vow with you, he makes an eternal vow with you. He will not break his vows.
To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, in death I need not part, according to God’s holy law, in the presence of God I make this vow.