UNITED WE’RE BLESSED
How wonderful and delightful when we live together in unity. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, life forevermore!
Recently my wife and I finished a National Geographic series called Life Below Zero. It’s a very engaging reality series about several people who have chosen to live a subsistence lifestyle in Alaska. One of the families they follow is a couple named Chip and Agnes Hailstone, who live in Norvik, along with their children. They regularly venture out in subzero weather, hunting Caribou, trapping, cutting timber for firewood, riding their snow machines, they get in the mud, butcher the animals together, and they endure the hardships making the necessary sacrifices together in order to live this way of life. They often live in a large t-pee-style tent out in the brutal cold, traveling on their snow machines, or when it is warmer on their boat, fishing, gathering berries, intentionally training their children along with them in this way of life. More than once during the series this man and his wife have commented how blessed they are to live this life in subzero weather, in brutal conditions most would refuse to endure, or consider inhumane. As we watched this series, we both commented on what a blessing it is to see a married couple so united, working together for a common purpose no matter what price they had to pay. It has really been uplifting to both of us.
I have often commented to Kathy as we’ve watched this series, “Kathy this is us! This is a beautiful picture of our own unity, and why we feel so blessed to have lived the life we are.”
You see friends, the great secret to our marriage, to the blessings we have enjoyed is our unity of purpose, the unity of our way of life. Kathy joined me in all the sacrifices of ministry life. Kathy united herself with me and the purpose God called me to. Kathy and I are united in our sacrificial way of life. We are united in our persecutions, united in our suffering and hardships. Kathy lived cheerfully with me where I chose to move our family. She did not complain about no air conditioning for all those years, she did not complain about owning only one old vehicle, she did not complain when she had to take me to the airport again as I flew to speak at another conference leaving her with our four children at home, sometimes for weeks at a time. Kathy is united with me in our divine calling, she considers it a privilege to sacrifice with me for the honor of living for Christ together. Kathy united with me on literally everything that truly matters. When I started a new church on a different night of the week to reach out to young single people, she did not grow resentful that she couldn’t come, or that I would be gone one more night of the week. No, she embraced our way of life together.
My wife and I are united. We are united in our Biblical way of life. We are united in the simple foods we eat, we are united where we shop, we are united in the old cars we drive, we are united in our minimalism, we are united in our finances, we are united in loving God together, we are united in our pursuit of Christ, we are united in our commitment to exercise, we are united in the priorities and values we live by. Kathy does not try to chart her own path in life, she has united herself with me heart and soul, and united with me in the path God laid out for me, in the lifestyle God has impressed on my heart for us to live. Kathy united with me wholeheartedly in the way we raised and trained our children. She united wholeheartedly with me in the way she devoted herself to homeschooling our four children.
This, my friends, has been the greatest source of all the blessings we have experienced. God blesses us when we are united, and united for his divine purposes. Where He leads I follow, where I lead she follows!
I urge you couples, get united! Wives, re-commit yourselves to unite with your husbands in everything, in every way. Men, re-commit yourselves to unite with God in his divine calling on your life, on the God-given role he has called you to in your family.
GOD BLESSES UNITY! Ps. 133 tells us how wonderful, and delightful it is when we live together in unity. It is in that state of being that God commands a blessing upon us, the blessing of real life. Be aware: Prolonged disunity will result in a slow, painful death of your marriage. May each of you receive God’s blessing in its fullest in this New Year!
* We highly recommend you couples watch this series, Life Below Zero as you will really be challenged and uplifted by what the Hailstones endure together and how they train their kids in this way of life. You can simply fast forward through each of the other people in this show if you want and only watch the portion on the Hailstones in each episode.
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling