In January of 1992, I met a young lady named Angela at church. Over the next few months, our friendship grew. In fact, my feelings for her grew beyond friendship, and I began to desire a closer relationship. However, she didn’t share those same feelings. It was as if she had recited those painful, grade-school words, “But, Russell, I just like you as a friend.” Ahhhhh!
Finally, on the Fourth of July weekend, my emotions seemed to be caught up in a whirlwind–a tornado, to be exact–a jumble of love and rejection. That Sunday, I wrote her a letter explaining my feelings for her and her lack of feelings for me. I understood her situation, but I told her that I had to let this relationship die–friendship and all. If I couldn’t have a close relationship, then I couldn’t have a relationship at all. It was just too painful.
She read the letter and agreed. I remember driving home that night thinking, “Well, I did it. I wrote the letter. She knows it’s over. It’s done. It’s over.” But in my heart, I still had not let her go. I remember hearing that still, small voice say, “Now Russ, is it really over in your heart? Have you accepted that it is over?” At that point, I began to weep, grieving the loss of my friend.
Three days later, Angela called me. She had talked with her dad. She had talked with some friends. She realized that she did have feelings for me. (I knew it all along!) We married six months later.
Why this personal story about me and my wife? There is a principal here about God and how he works. At first, I poured so much into the relationship, yet it came up fruitless. I came to a place where I had to give the relationship to God–I had to let it die. I even grieved in my heart that it was over, as far as I was concerned. But on the third day, the relationship rose again. This time, with new life. This time, with new meaning.
“How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies” (1 Corinthians 15:36).
You can hold a seed carefully in your hand forever, but it will never come to life. You must bury the seed and let it die before it will bear fruit. This is a natural and spiritual principle.
Prayer: Father, at the Cross of your Son, you ultimately revealed the principal of sowing and reaping, the principal of dying in order to live. I choose to let this aspect of my life die, believing that you will resurrect it with new life, new meaning and new direction.
P.S. On January 23rd, my wife and I will celebrate 14 wonderful years of marriage! I constantly give thanks to God for my wife, for she is truly “a woman who fears the Lord” (Proverbs 31:30).