by Pastor Mike Middaugh
I have been doing some prep work for a fall sermon series about relationships – ours with God, and ours with each other – so that is where my brain is this morning.
Before Sandi and I got married we had some big, blowup type fights. Yes, we have had some disagreements since, but nothing quite like those of our dating days (she would probably say I have learned). Looking back on those arguments, I was certainly part, if not more than part to blame for a couple of them. I wasn’t always great at telling her things she needed to know when she needed to know them. Then and now I would say I truly wanted the best for her and our relationship; I never set out to cause a problem when I did. But for some reason I just wasn’t always good at doing what I knew was right. Sometimes afterwards, when we had smoothed things over, I would wonder why I so dumb as to let stupid things cause problems between the two of us.
I felt then in those moments the same thing I feel when seeing the problems in our city, in our politics and in our society. It seem like no matter how hard we try we are plagued by our inability to get along.
If you take a look around you will see the evidence. The divorce rate, family problems, racial tension, distrust of whoever happens to be in charge, the latest political scandals (which may or may not involve unfortunate photography), in all of these things broken, hurting, or misunderstood relationships seem to be the cause of much of our pain. Yes, money and power are also worthy contenders to this title, but when we dig down to the root of our issue, so much heartache comes from our desire to love and be loved and our seeming inability to do it well.
Sadly, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. As the Bible tells the story of man, woman, God, and how they were all made to fit together, the first sign sin had entered the world was separation from one another and distance from their Creator. This story sets the table for all the other challenges that humankind would experience down the road and we are still living in this broken system today.
There is some good news, however. While we are pretty good at breaking things, God is even better at fixing them. We will struggle in our relationships, and there will be moments we do it wrong. But with God’s help, and his molding, bending and transforming of our heart, we can again recover the joy, the delight and the privilege it is to be in relationship with each other and with Him.
Want to know more? We will begin a sermon series titled “To Love and Be Loved” on Sept. 15th.