Michael and Julie seem to be having the best time of their lives. Julie has a thriving career as a manager in the head office of a commercial bank while Michael runs a successful Estate Development Firm. They have been married for twelve years and have three wonderful children. This couple had everything going for them. They owned houses in the choice areas and states of Nigeria and one overseas; goes on yearly vacation abroad as a family with regular weekend getaways for just the two of them; shopped in the best places and had all the good things that money could buy. Each day was a honeymoon; one cannot see Michael at a religious or social gathering without seeing Julie by his side. The couple was inseparable. While at work, they will exchange one or two text messages checking on each other. Break time was incomplete without one of those two minutes ‘I love you’ type of phone calls. They were the perfect couple; their marriage was the type that every young man or woman looks at and dreams of having. Their lives were just perfect – a match made in heaven or so it seemed.
Disaster came unannounced and walked into their marriage. Julie was having some pains in her right breast and went to the hospital. On examination, the doctor felt some lumps and further tests and checks were carried out. That visit to the hospital changed her life and their marriage. Tissue from the breast was sent for examination and it was discovered that she had cancerous growth in her breast. In a matter of a few months, Julie became a shadow of herself with all the chemotherapies and other treatments she had to undergo. Despite the treatments, the cancer continued to spread. In the process, she lost her job. The husband could not understand how his queen has become this feeble, just bones with a slight covering of flesh holding them together. He did not understand the situation and started seeking comfort in alcohols; keeping late night and of course, got trapped in adultery. The once happy home became a grave of some sort; entombing their joys, passions and dreams. They could see no future ahead. Michael was as sick in his mind as she was in her body. He occasionally visited his home because of the children and treated the wife with disdain.
A close friend of Michael continued to counsel him and Julie individually and also to pray for them. Like the prodigal son of Luke 15: 17, Michael came to his senses and went back to God in repentance. He also made peace with his wife and started taking care of her, praying for her and took her to one of the best hospitals in the world. The cancer eventually went into remission and Julie was able to live a normal life. The man was tested and almost failed.
Has your marriage been severely tested? Did you see it as an opportunity to serve God in your spouse? Have you taken the easy way out – running away from it all? Please return back to the wife or husband of your youth. Is your marriage being tested even now? How do you respond when the unexpected happens in your marriage? Are you able to patiently take it to God in prayers? To whom do you go for counsel? Are you willing to daily carry your cross and follow him? Luke 9: 23.
Remember that 1Corithians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except such as common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”.
Their story could have ended differently with Julie dying of cancer; however, Michael would still have felt fulfilled knowing that he stood by her until the very end as he promised during their wedding. “To be true to her…in sickness and in health …”.
Always remember that God has not promised us a road without bumps; He only assures us of His divine presence.
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