And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom
for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
Neil and I were married fifty-nine years ago on August 18th 1956, in a little Baptist Church in Bracebridge. It was the magical hour of seven in the evening on a gloriously hot summer day.
I was the ripe old age of seventeen but Neil was a mature twenty-five year old with a career in education well under way.
After a weeks honeymoon we spent our first year in Toronto in a three bedroom apartment we shared with Neil’s brother Don and his wife Naureen. Their first child Trevor was born during that year. Our time together in that large apartment, formed a solid bond of friendship, love, and caring for one another along with each others families which has lasted to this day.
In fact, on August 30th 2015 I will have the privilege of attending Don and Naureen’s Sixtieth wedding anniversary. What a milestone for them and what a blessing for me. I know Neil and Karen will be smiling down on them from their place in heaven.
Our first September as man and wife began with Neil’s first year of a thirty-five year career in education with the North York Board, while I began as a Private Secretary at the Bank of Nova Scotia.
When I look back on the fifty-four years that Neil and I were together it boggles my mind all the happenings that occurred in our lives. I can’t believe all we packed into those days which have quickly flown by in the blink of an eye.
The four children born to us that survived our many foibles as parents; Neil’s upwards career advancements along with the many health challenges for each of us over the years; the different homes we built or bought and places we lived; the camping years with and without the children that added so much fun and entertainment to our lives; the years we were in business together that put an enormous strain on our health and relationship; the many friendships formed, travels experienced, successes as well as failures that brought us the highs and lows of life together as it ebbs and flows.
John McArthur is quoted as saying – “Love is not a feeling, but a determined act of will…” How true that is as sometimes one does not ‘feel’ love, but a determined will keeps one focused on the covenant made before God with that person years before.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is the Scripture that pops into my mind along with “Without Me you can do nothing”. Without Christ I am convinced Neil and I would have missed out on many purposes that God was able to accomplish which had a positive effect on many other lives as well as our own.
When Neil and I stopped leaning on our own selves for solutions, and began leaning on the Lord, our lives took on a whole new sense of purpose and direction. This does not mean we did everything right or were free from troubles, but as we prayed and studied our Bibles for solutions, Esther’s words came alive in our hearts and minds even though we didn’t realize it at the time.
D.L. Moody’s advice for any relationship rings true … “When a man has no strength, if he leans on God, he becomes powerful”. God’s power carried us both through some very difficult passageways, and continues to carry me to this day. “I will love you with an everlasting love” Jesus promises and further comforts me with – “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid’” Hebrews 13:5-6.
Have you ever thought about the fact that you were born into this very period of time to fulfill a purpose God has prepared for you to do? Throughout your daily lives are you relying on your own power to get through the hurdles of life, or are you turning to God for the help He offers everyone who calls upon His name?
These past years have been hard ones for me personally with the loss of my husband and my daughter, but the words in Esther…“Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” keeps resonating in my mind. I trust Jesus knows what that purpose is and that I will act upon it when He calls on me.
My daily prayer is that God will continue to use me for His purposes.
I want to influence this world towards Him just as Esther did by listening to and acting upon what God had prepared for her to accomplish.
For I was created for such a time as this!