Going the Distance

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 4:31-5:2

In Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas says that many trees in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington state have lived to be hundreds of years old. One tree in particular is 700 years old, marked with a sign that verifies its longevity.

For a tree to live that long anywhere is remarkable. Typically, forests experience damaging fires every 50 to 60 years, and trees are burned down. However, the trees in the North Cascades are kept moist by drenching rains, which protect them from the lightning strikes that can cause forest fires.

Gary Thomas writes: “Strong Christian marriages will still be struck by lightning—sexual temptation, communication problems, frustrations, unrealized expectations—but if the marriages are heavily watered with an unwavering commitment to please God above everything else, the conditions won't be ripe for a devastating fire to follow the lightning strike.”

Thomas notes there were hundreds of trees in the forest, but the National Service put a sign in front of the 700-year-old tree because “it had survived seven centuries. It had simply gone the distance, and in so doing, it commanded attention.”

In a time when families are falling apart, marriages are disintegrating, and lives are unraveling, the ability to persevere, remain faithful, and go the distance does command attention. The source of lasting emotional, spiritual, and relational health is a close fellowship with God.

Pray that you will go the distance in your walk with God and in your commitment to your spouse, your children, your parents, and your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Have a great day and keep moving forward!