I overplan for life. I consider every variation of circumstance and overplan accordingly. There must not be an element of mystery.
I overpack when traveling. “I must have multiple outfits per day. You never know what the dress code of La Casa de McDonald’s will be,” is my reasoning. I also stow reams of maps and general travel information.
I overprepare so that I don’t have to bear the anxiety unknowns bring to me. Unfortunately, overpreparation means lots of baggage.
On a trip not long ago, a little toothless lady noticed my luggage struggle. How small I felt when in her tattered dress, she helped me lug my abundance up the stairs of the subway stop, hugging me goodbye in joyful service.
My overabundance and embarassment led me to evaluate. Is my overplanning a way to avoid faith?
So, the next jaunt across the big pond. I packed way lighter, two pairs of pants to rotate, and no maps.
God took my small bet and upped the ante on a trip to Spain. (Is it OK to use God in a gambling metaphor?)
Remember no maps.
We crossed into Spain from Gibraltar on foot in the pouring rain, rolling one little suitcase each. We flagged down a Spanish cab to take us to the sea-port where we were renting a car to drive to the Andalusian coast, three hours north.
The only two wet Americans for miles, we completed the rental transaction and asked, “GPS?”
“No,” the clerk answered.
“Maps?” we asked.
“No,” he responded.
NO? We looked up maps in the translation dictionary. The word in espanol was vastly different, so maybe he didn’t understand us.
At this point, I’m coming unhinged. No map? We can’t look up directions on Dave’s cell phone because he doesn’t have European internet access. We are ridin’ old-school and I don’t like it. There’s a storm of anxiety brewin’ in my head.
“How are we going to do this?” I asked my husband, annoyed. He calmly replied, “We’ll get in the car and drive.” Mr. Smarty Pants was not agitated at all. He thrives on this kind of adventure. Or maybe he just has more faith than me?
We know that our destination is in the middle of solitude. Leaving the port, we asked the machine-gun-carrying-bullet-proof-vest-wearing police office which way to Cabo de Gata. He pointed to a highway sign and said, “Norte.” Got it.
Aside from the village name, we are armed with a phone number. But at the moment, we have no cell phone signal and question whether it will ever appear.
As regular as labor contractions, we stop every 10 minutes to find a mapa. They apparently don’t exist in southeastern Spain. Or, maybe God was teaching me to trust. With every breath, I check for cell phone reception.
We drive for our allotted three hours trying to decipher Spanish highway signs. Dusk is hovering and we still have no mapa or specific directions. My edginess is escalating, but the prayers I had been whispering all along kept me from full-blown panic.
Miraculously (God?), cell phone reception materialized in the empty Andalusian countryside and an English speaker answered the phone.
The very next exit would lead to our solitude.
“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail, “Isaiah 58:11.
My minimalization started out as my exercise toward faith. God led it to be an exercise of his faith. So, I could see how faithful he is to me.
God was the map.
There was another journey of unknowns in my life. I didn’t know the way, but I knew the destination, some kind of harmony between Dave and I. We were both miserable. I felt disconnected from him and he felt I didn’t love him.
God’s map led to sexual intimacy.
When it comes to sexual intimacy with your husband, you don’t have to understand it. You can be unsure where it will all lead. Have faith that God’s map is perfect.
Have you considered that a sexless marriage is not God’s design? Have faith that God’s map is perfect in design.
You can be sure of God’s faithfulness to guide you and show you that sexual intimacy is the miraculous cell phone coverage of marriage. It connects you to your husband with crystal clarity. It’s 4G reception with an unlimited data plan.
Trust Jesus. He melts the power of unknowns.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I bring before you my sister who has struggled with that part of marriage reserved only for her husband. We confess that as wives, we fail to understand our husbands. We confess that we don’t always understand you, either, dear Lord. Help us trust and help us in our unbelief of your design for marriage.
May Christ’s love take up residence in her heart and her husband’s. May my sister and her husband assume unselfish motives from each other.
May her husband love her as dearly and as sweetly as Christ loves and may she respect him for the man of integrity he is. Christ, purge any evil or selfish thing in their marriage.
May the deep abiding delight of your love, Lord God, whisper deep in their souls. May they know you hear their prayers for harmony. Guide them to resources to help them, individually and jointly. And may the secrets of the marriage bed be abundantly revealed to her.
You know her, my Lord, by name. You know her heart. You know her fears and her brokenness. I thank you that you are already in her future, bringing healing and rejoicing as she grows to understand and have faith in your perfect design.
In Jesus’ calming name I pray.
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