Juggernaut Cars and Glorious Chariots

Along with my Bible I have a little pile of devotionals I try and read every day. Not because I have to, but because on any given day I genuinely hunger for God needing constant reminders of Truth to keep me anchored, sane, and centered. Like panning for gold, I sift through them one by one in search of something shiny and strong to hold in my heart as hidden treasure.

Wrapping up my quiet time one morning, I glanced ahead to the next day’s date…August 8. For a moment I couldn’t remember what was significant about it. I just knew there was something familiar about August 8.

And then it hit me…

It was that day thirty years ago that I married my husband. The first one.

Wedding Day – August 8, 1987

You think you’ll never forget certain dates in your life. The date of a birth, or a death, or some sort of trauma, an anniversary, a wedding, or the date the divorce was final. It surprised me that it actually took a minute to jog my memory.

Weirdly, just a few weeks prior, a passage from my ‘Springs in the Valley’ devotional made its way onto the pages of my journal. The writer spoke of that person who was “the juggernaut car to crush my soul into the very dust” who became “a glorious chariot to carry me to the heights of heavenly patience and long suffering…”

Intense, I know. The language is strong. I had to look up the word ‘juggernaut’ to gain the implied meaning…something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped; a very large, heavy truck.

Now, please don’t mistake this as husband bashing. That is not at all my intent. Nor do I recommend the practice. I loved that man for more than half my life. He’s the father of my children and had many good qualities that we as a family both celebrated and benefited from.

My point is to reveal the hidden treasure God showed me that day. A new way to frame my story. My ex is not just this painful thing or that painful thing. He is, in fact, that ‘glorious chariot’ in my life. That tool that God used to mold me into someone quite different than before. To mold me…into something more. And for that I am thankful.

Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV)

Coincidentally, or perhaps not so, the Psalms reading for that date included Chapter 30, verses 11-12. And on August 8, I posted it on Facebook punctuated with several exclamation points…“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” 

And God certainly has. He’s turned my mourning into dancing and clothed me with joy. But, not entirely for the reason you might expect.

Wedding Day – December 2016

It’s not simply because I moved onto Husband #2 and now I can finally be happy (although we are quite happy!). It’s not because I’m naive enough to think that the second half of life will be all kittens and rainbows. Nothing against kittens. It’s just that I prefer a certain Shihtzu.

No. What’s significant is that I had actually underlined these verses in my Bible many years ago. Even in the midst of the struggle. It was a verse that had become evident in my life in spite of the crazy it had become. Because God had taught me how to dance, and keep on dancing. He taught me how to choose joy, and keep on choosing it. He even taught me something miraculous about gratitude: it is entirely possible to have it in spite of the not-so-fun and in spite of the not-so-happy.

As I belabored whether or not to write yet another post about that time in my life, I resolved to do it anyway. If it helps someone have a more redemptive perspective on those juggernaut vehicles in his/her own life, so be it. I have done a good thing.

Or rather, God has.

At the time of this writing my daily reading from the Psalms began in Chapter 31, verse 19…“How great is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.” 

For His many blessings (husbands included!), and the tools which take me further up and further in, I say thank you. For, oh, the treasure I’ve found in Jesus Christ! Of much greater worth than gold.

Two songs come to mind as I close. Lyrics from American singer/songwriter Bobby Darin…
If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway? (Yes!)
Would you have my baby? (At this age? Are you kidding me?!)

Angel and Statue – Rome by Samantha Higgs

Ha! And the ‘ole negro spiritual by Wallace Willis…
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home

As we think on life’s significant dates and times, let us frame them or re-frame them if necessary, to propel us toward greater heights in Jesus. To put it another way, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride! He’ll be waiting on the other side…

Love and prayers from a carpenter’s wife (and a Carpenter’s bride!)…

Cheri

 

 

20 comments to Juggernaut Cars and Glorious Chariots

  • Lynn Sanders

    Beautiful! Alcoholism was the family disease that was the juggernaut in our life, and God used it to transform us into vessels that He has used for His glory. Married now 52 years, 31 years with a sober husband and 44 years of Alanon under my belt, Jesus walks us into the lives of hurting people and we have the pleasure of sharing the love of Jesus with them. Sometimes we get to see newfound faith in Jesus and a true salvation restoration story. Sometimes we are just a glimmer in God’s eye as we share His Light. We try to be faithful and show up where He points us. And we are blessed.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Lynn. And thank you for your service! So grateful for programs like AA and Alanon. So needed.

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  • Nenia M Ryan

    I love this! Beautifully said! Everything we have gone through, good or bad, has molded us into the person we are now! Thank God for his love and his gift of grace!

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Nenia. I appreciate your feedback. How good is our God. So thankful for His grace sufficient!

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  • Joanie McLeod

    So love this!!!! Wonderful! What a Savior!

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    Cheri Reply:

    Yes, what a Savior! Love you, sweet Joanie. You have been such a good friend through the years. I thank God in every remembrance of you…

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  • Deb Hash

    Thank you! August 21 is significant … not just because there is a total eclipse, but it would have been my 36th wedding anniversary. As I’ve thought about what Father has done in my life through the separation, divorce, move (from CO to TN), back surgery, working at Wal-Mart … I.am.grateful!!! He is merciful, tender, loving, patient ~ you know all the adjectives that we use to try & describe the Indescribable.

    I had no idea this is what my life would look at this season of my life (I’ll be 60 in Dec.), but Father knew! How grateful I am that He didn’t tell me ahead of time, yet over a 10 year period, He prepared me for this new life … in dreams & quiet whisperings I didn’t understand at the time, but now see as His gentle moving in a new direction.

    He makes all things new ~ & I am His grateful child.

    Blessings, sweet friend.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Mmm. Thanks, Deb. Just read your comment again. I love what you said about the Father preparing you in dreams and quiet whisperings. Amazing we can share that kind of intimacy with Him. How faithful is our God to see us through it all. Carry on in Christ, my dear sister!

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  • Kim

    Love!

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Kim!

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  • Kelly Willie

    I first met you at She Speaks the weekend you found out you were going to go through a divorce! I remember it well and have followed you since. So happy that you found a second love of your life@

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Kelly. She Speaks, what a beautiful ministry. Life changing. Love to you, dear sister.

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  • Kyra

    Thank you for sharing, Cheri. It was something I needed to read today. I too recently went through a divorce, but through the ugliness of it I was not going to allow Satan to take my joy. We all go through unhappy times and trials but His joy is our strength. It was His joy that brought me thru that time and it is His joy that will keep bringing me through. So thank you for sharing and encouraging.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thank YOU for your comment, Kyra. I know what it is to fight for joy! And to discover it is possible in Jesus, no matter our circumstances. Sorry for your pain, friend. Thankful God is meeting you as only He can. Carry on in Christ, dear sister.

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  • Anita

    I love this, Cheri. Thanks so much for sharing. When we can go through the most difficult of situationa and trust God in the midst of it….even finding great joy when life takes sharp turns away from what we think are our highest desires, then it is obvious that our trust stands firm in HIM. In HIM. (Jesus) we find unshakable joy. So glad you have also found such great love and joy with your new earth man…

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Anita. Yep, that is key…in Him! Grateful everyday for ‘earth husband’ while still in love with my Husband in the Heavenlies! Basically, I am well loved.

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  • Great post, sweet friend. Beautiful outlook.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Cheryl. Isn’t it like our God to give us the best outlook…one might say our uplook determines our outlook!

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  • Lisa Reiner

    Hello Cheri!
    I had the blessing of discovering your music in the early 1990’s when I too was a young wife and mother. I even had the opportunity to see you in concert here in Southern California! ‘Little boy on His knees’ was my song with my son and I will always be thankful to God and to you for such inspiring and beautiful lyrics. Juggernauts take on different forms, as you know, and for me it was the sudden death of my husband in a helicopter accident when my children were only 10,7,4 and 2. He was a devoted father and faithful man and I was blessed to be his wife for 13 years. Your writing speaks beautifully to trusting God amidst heartache and trials. When we wait, watch, trust and pray, He remains ever faithful. I have been blessed with husband #2 and he too is a faithful and godly man. As you pointed out, gratitude is transformational. At any point in our life, we can choose to focus on who we are with, and give thanks. May Our Lord continue to bring you healing and inspire you to share the work He does in you. The vulnerability you show reminds each of us that we are works in progress and that we remain in His hands. Peace be with you.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Wow, Lisa. Thanks for sharing. I can only imagine the things God taught you in that season. “Peace be with you.” And also with you, dear sister.

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