For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5 NIV
Husband is both a noun and a verb. Verb: to husband is to care for. Nouns: husbandry is the continuous act of caring; husband is the one who cares for.
Last Sunday I held my husband’s hand during communion. My head on his shoulder, I looked down at our joined hands. At the ring on his finger. At the ring on mine. Outward signs of an inner joining, the mystery of two becoming one.
There’s a ring on each of our hearts, too, far stronger than these symbols on our fingers, patterned by the ring on God’s own heart. Ring of promise, ring of covenant. For better or for worse.
Symbol of a far greater mystery: God in us, sharing our sorrows and our joy, upholding us in our weakness, working in us and through us, helping us live our lives to the fullest. Where we are weak, He is strong.
My friend’s husband was recently diagnosed with dementia. Fulfilling his role as husband will grow progressively more difficult. He will lean more and more on his wife as she takes on the role of caretaker. As she “husbands” him.
But—a part of the mystery—he will be no less her husband. God, our Maker, our Husband, will lift this man’s hands in ways to comfort her, uphold her, even as his own strength fails. No matter how rare those moments seem, they will come, and remain. Through a memory, a mannerism, a familiar word, a moment of recognition, they will come. God will not leave us comfortless.
For He who keeps us in all our ways is the Keeper of Promises.
Avi, You said Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. You promised never to give us more than we can bear—and You have kept Your word. When our burdens threaten to crush us, we remember who You are: the One who carries our burdens for us. Help us to release them to You. In Your holy name, Amen.