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Faithfulness

We
are gathered here today in the sight of God and angels, and the
presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life’s
greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of
love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words which
shall unite these two in holy matrimony.  Marriage is a most
honorable estate, signifying unto us a mystical union. May this
marriage be adorned by true and abiding love
.”
John
William and Matilda Jane Burris

– October 1, 1867 – NC – 38 years
Isaiah
and Ella Nora Burns Starkey

June 16, 1892, KS – 26 years


Jacob
“B” and Emilie Brunn Siemens –
February 11, 1897,
KS – 43 years
Gerhard
Weins and Anna Loewen
Suderman – March 8, 1900, KS –
50 years
Rufus
Edgar and Olive Ruth Starkey Combs
– February 6,
1915, KS – 12 years
Herman
Bennie and Anna Daisy Suderman Siemens
– May 22,
1928, KS – 50 years
Edgar
Frank and Emily Ann Siemens Combs
– February 1, 1952,
OK
61 years

And
so commitment begins for a young couple. A young couple who makes a
commitment to each other, one of the most beautiful and mystical
unions God has ordained. A commitment that can be described as
faithfulness in action, with loyalty, trust, and being resolutely,
unwaveringly bound together until ‘death do us part’.
There
are so many side-trails that can beckon a young couple. One, or both,
may feel weighted down by the increasing responsibilities of a
marriage ‘made in heaven’ but lived on this earth. There are joys,
but who can smile when the cupboard is bare, when clothes become
worn, when the car needs gas to travel to the job or, when there is
no money to seek medical help for a sick child?
The
marriage vows, taken in a world of flowers and butterflies, can
become chains that bind. When one or both long to escape from the
prison bars of stale love. Perhaps escape to another relationship
where we are sure to be more understood. That is when the word
faithfulness is forgotten. Trust, patience, kindness, joy and love
fly out of the window. Scowling, cutting comments and no hope become
the companions of the faithless marriage.
That
is when we turn in tears to the strength that is waiting, ready for
us to put on. Righteousness
will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

Isaiah 11:5
How
do we know what faithfulness looks like? Did we see the sun come up?
Did we see moisture come from the skies to grow grain in the fields?
Do we understand what God’s mercy looks like in our lives? That is
only the beginning.

We
have an example from the Author of Faithfulness – Jehovah, Lord
God, the Alpha and Omega, El Shaddai, the Great I Am. Faithfulness
is a theme in these verses from Psalms, overflowing with praise for
God’s faithfulness –

Who is like
you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and
your faithfulness surrounds you. Psalm 89:8

Righteousness and
justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go
before you. Psalm 89:14

He will cover you
with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his
faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

It is good to praise
the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,
Psalm 92:1-2

Let all creation
rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the
earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in
his faithfulness. Psalm 96:13

For the Lord is
good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues
through all generations Psalm 100:5
Abraham
is an example of faithfulness as he obeyed God by taking his son
Isaac to the mountains to sacrifice him. He proved his faithfulness
through his obedience. He was tested and God knew his heart and a
sacrificial lamb was found in the thicket to substitute for Isaac.
The scripture in James 1: 2-3 – Consider
it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials
of many kinds,
because
you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Faithfulness
is living with perseverance the race that is set before us. It is
finding hope in adversity, trusting in the midst of turmoil, loving
in a world of hate and seeing good when others see only ‘the end’.
I
often wonder how God, who cannot look upon evil, sees the peoples of
the earth and their unwillingness to hear Him. Yet He waits, for He
loves us, He trusts us to return His love. He is truly faithful.
Faithfulness is a part of God’s character. He will not abandon us
even as we play ‘Family Circus’ wending our way through life’s
distractions and finally come to Him. Our Father God is our final
destination.
How
then shall we live from this day forward? In faithfulness or
faithlessness? The only decision we can make is to follow God and
plumb the depths of decision that fills our life. It is amazing to
me to know that I lost so many years of oblivious living – when it
could have been so much more. It could have been fulfilling with
intentional searching, loving, trusting and being faithful to His
teaching. It has taken a lifetime to be heart-ready for His Coming
into my life and heart.

In
our spiritual sleepiness we need the words of Mark 13:32-37 – “But
about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do
not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He
leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with
their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the
house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or
when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not
let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone:
‘Watch!’”

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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