Jas and I had a good, though hard, conversation this morning. Through a sermon he was listening to, his thoughts were turned to how he would cope if he faced a great tragedy, or if we faced a great tragedy. What if something happened to AK or I? What if something happened to him? Would God still be the same God in that situation that we believe Him to be now? The answer is a resounding yes, but we talked about whether or not we are faithfully seeking to love God more than anything or anyone else in this world, trusting that He is the same God whatever circumstances we face.
Now, I know this is a heavy topic and you might possibly be thinking, seriously? How morbid could she be right now? But my point is not to be morbid. My desire in sharing this is to be open about a struggle that both my husband and I face — setting one another and our little girl up as more loved and more important in our hearts than God. That’s what was at the heart of our conversation this morning. We aren’t trying to live in fear of something happening — the Lord tells us over and over again in Scripture not to live in fear, not to worry about the days ahead (Matt. 6:25-34, Heb. 13:6, Ps. 23:4, 27:1, Isa. 41:10). What we desire, is to love the Lord so deeply, to seek Him so diligently, that whatever circumstances He allows in our lives, we would rest in the truth of His character and lean on His abundant and tireless grace and strength.
To love the Lord wholly. To love Him with all our heart, soul, and might (Deut. 6:5), this means that we must remove any idol that we are loving more than Him. Those we love most dearly in the world can so quickly surpass God in our minds and hearts. And while they are testimonies and gifts of His grace to us who we are called to love deeply, selflessly, and in the way He loves us, they are not to be more to us than Him.
One of my Dad’s absolute favorite quotes is one from Mark Dever. Dad has quoted it to us countless times over the past years and it is one that Jas and I hold dear in our lives. It is this:
“God, in His kindness, allows us to be living testimonies to the fact that having Him and trusting Him and being His are better than painless joints or happy marriages or never-ending earthly friendships; having Him is better than it all.”
So this. This is what Jas and I are desiring to be a reality in our daily living. Is God “better than it all” to us? Is He better than being married to your best friend and dearest love? Is He better than holding your child for the first time, holding their hands as you take walks together, watching them grow? Is He better than those dear friendships in which you cry, laugh, and talk for hours? Is He better than health? Is He better than your dream home? Is He better than the raise at work? Is He better than having your dream job? Is He better then?
And then, hear it is this way. Is He better when you watch a friend walk through the loss of their spouse? Is He better when you are struggling with infertility? Is He better when every job turns you down? Is He better when you feel absolutely alone in the world? Is He better when your child gets ignored or hurt by their friends? Is He better when you can’t make rent that month? Is He better when the way you thought or expected life to be isn’t happening? Is He better then?
Asking myself this question is, truly, one of the hardest things to do. Because, when I’m honest about my heart before the Lord, I have to say that so often I’m not living as if He is better. But, as gut-wrenching and revealing as it is to think through those things, to see where my deepest love lies, I am thankful. I am thankful for the conviction a question like this brings to my heart. And I am thankful for a God who draws me ever closer to Himself, desiring to be my greatest love, to see me love Himself with all my heart, soul, and might.
I pray that He becomes better than it all to me — in every area of my life. May I seek Him so diligently, pursue Him so passionately, read His Word so faithfully, that with each day I can more truly say, yes. He is better than it all. And another gracious result of that? I will love Jason and Anna Kate and all those around me better as well. For I will love them as I should — I will love them less than the good God who gave them to me.
I am thankful for that hard conversation I had with my sweet husband this morning. I am thankful for his thoughtful, tender, faithful heart. I am thankful to learn with him and grow with him. I am thankful that, together, we can pursue loving God more than we do each other. Oh, how I pray, by God’s grace, that our home and our marriage will be one where it is seen that He is best!