I was sitting in a bagel store—in Texas—munching on my pumpernickel bagel with garden veggie shmear. Why don’t they call it cream cheese in Texas? So confusing, just call it cream cheese. That’s what it is! Shmear, who thought of that? I feel like an idiot just saying it. Shmear…I’ll have a bagel with shmear. Sometimes, I protest and call it cream cheese. Take that Texas!
So, I’m sitting with my daughter-in-law, son, and three-month-old grandbaby, chomping on my bagel with S-H-M-E-A-R, and I noticed a couple two tables down. My attention was immediately distracted. They were older, ahem, as in grandma and grandpa types. What caught my eye was that they were praying. They were seated across from each other and had their hands clasped over the table with their heads bowed as they said an unusually long prayer of thanks. They look so cute. I’ll bet they’ve been married for like fifty years or more!
I continued with the conversation at my table but kept an eye on Grandma and Grandpa. They were so cute. From a distance I concluded they had an awesome marriage and the secret ingredient must be prayer. When they pass me as they leave I’m going to ask them how long they’ve been married. I know they’ll have a brilliantly heart touching story about prayer and how it kept their marriage strong for decades.
I waited for them to leave. As I watched this happily married couple…
they got up and headed for the back door. Oh no, they won’t be passing me at all.
I shot up out of my seat and “ran” to the back door. I casually followed them out.
“Hello, excuse me. You two are the most adorable couple, how long have you been married?”
The elderly gentleman proudly proclaimed, “Fifteen years.” No! This is terrible for my story. You were supposed to say fifty! Not fifteen! Fifty! Fifty! F-i-f-t-y! I’ve been married longer than they have. How am I supposed to make my point that prayer keeps couples together? My story is ruined. Ugh!
Then his adorable wife shimmed in, “Virgil was married for fifty years to Claire…” Okay, there it is. Please don’t say you were the honey who zeroed in on a married man, and now they are divorced. Please, please, please don’t say that. Please.
“after she passed from the cancer…” Gulp!
“Virgil and I met and got married, and we’ve been married for over fifteen years now.” And obviously, happily.
My story is not about how prayer can hold your marriage together for fifty years—although that is true!
Now, I think it’s a better story.
It’s one of redemption and hope.
Even when we are facing our worst of days God can restore, renew, and repair us.
Even if we find ourselves in a predicament due to a huge mistake we have made, or a big mess-up we orchestrated, God is a God of second chances and better tomorrows.
Wherever you are today—good or bad, high or low—God will sustain your future, if you give it to Him.
Even when we face our deepest sorrow,
give us hope…
and a brighter tomorrow.
Until next time, look to God for your everything.