A LOVING ALLY
Ps. 144:2 NLT
He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my deliverer. He stands before me as a shield, and I take refuge in Him.
Ally: one that is associated with another as a helper; a person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle.
During WW2 most people today remember we were allies with England and eventually fought side by side with the British, united in purpose to save Europe and the world and defeat the Nazis. However, most do not remember that we were also allies with Stalin and the Communist Russians. It is really hard to grasp how unseemly that alliance really was, as Stalin was purging and slaughtering his own people. He was a ruthless, brutal, murderous dictator. It was a kind of “hold your nose and don’t breathe too deep” kind of alliance. It was an acrimonious alliance at best.
One of the most wonderful and marvelous things about God is the fact that He is our ally, but he is not an acrimonious ally, or a ruthless, unrighteous ally. Our God is a loving ally. There is no mountain God will not move in his support of us. There is no limit to his love. No limit to the strength he will exert to come to our aid and help us. He will never treacherously betray us or stab us in the back. This I know, God is for us! God is for me! God is for you!
God’s very own example of being our loving ally has had a tremendous impact on my marriage to Kathy and how we are towards each other. For the last 45 years we have been each other’s devoted loving ally. Just the other day, my wife said to me in tears, “Mark, I am so grateful that I have your support, that you are my loving ally. I am so grateful that you are for me!“ In fact there is nothing I wouldn’t do to support Kathy, fight for Kathy, protect and shield Kathy from, or defend her against. She has my unwavering support and devotion!
This is one of the most profound, beautiful things about our relationship. We are loving allies. We are for each other and no matter how cruel, vile, brutal, uncaring, abusive, and judgmental other people have been towards us, whether they were Christians or non-Christians, I was for her, she was for me. I am her loving ally. Believe me, we have been put to the test.
A few years ago, I was going through the most savage ordeal of my life. One day I was on the phone with a close Pastor friend whom I have known and worked with for over 42 years. We served on our church’s national board together, worked on conferences together, and were involved in very high leadership issues together. I was explaining to him the reasons I would be resigning. I said to him on the phone, “Brother, I don’t think I am exaggerating to say, that over the last 42 years, I don’t know of another pastor in our entire movement of churches who has suffered more persecution, more ridicule, more abuse, more personal attacks, been criticized more, misjudged, slandered, wrongly accused and had more bad things done to them than me. If you think I am exaggerating, please tell me?” He interrupted me and said, “Mark, I absolutely agree with you. In fact, I was just telling that same thing to a couple of pastors the other day. I talk with pastors all over the country and have for years, and no one has suffered more or had more slanderous things said about him, or personal attacks and false accusations, than you have.” I felt for the first time, someone finally acknowledged what I had been living through for all those years.
But here is the thing. The one person, the only person who I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I could count on, who has stood by me through all the lies, the criticisms, the ridicule, the slander, the abuse, the harsh and unfair judgments, was my loving ally, Kathy. She has been absolutely remarkable, and steadfast in her support of me. She is for me 1000%! She has walked and lived through it all with me. She is an extraordinary woman!
The same can also be said of me to her. My wife has been through so much, it is hard to fathom for most people. What she has suffered and endured, what she deals with daily, the toll that all these things have taken on her, most just don’t understand. I do! I am her biggest supporter, her most ardent loving ally, and nothing in the whole world will ever, ever change that.
This is what you want your marriage to be. This is what you want your spouse to be to you, and you to them.
Ask yourself today – Are you a loving ally? Would your spouse say you are? Do they genuinely feel you are? Or are you an acrimonious ally?
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling