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When Jeans and a Tee Don’t Cut It - I Do Every Day - November 10, 2019

When Jeans and a Tee Don’t Cut It 

By Carlos Santiago

They told me the climb could be strenuous, and I shouldn’t overdress. To my Brooklyn-born wisdom, that meant jeans and a t-shirt.

As we started that morning, everything was new and exciting. I felt like a kid admiring my surroundings—a fallen tree, a small stream, a family of blue jays. As we ascended higher, the mountain face opened up before us. The scenery was stunning. 

At about 2,500 feet, we passed through a low-lying cloud. The higher we climbed, the windier it became. It was soon apparent my wardrobe choice was a mistake. 

It should have been beautiful, but now I was wet, in the shade, and facing a steady wind. I could feel my fingers stiffen, and I started to shiver. I’m sure there was still beauty around me, but I couldn’t see it. Survival was the goal.

My misadventure reminds me a lot of marriage. Inexperienced and ill-prepared, we set out in pursuit of a dream. We ignore the obvious dangers and press forward enjoying every new experience. 

But somewhere along the way, the terrain gets steeper, the air gets colder. What do we do when we lose sight of the goal? Do we press on or turn back?

As I was considering my options on the mountain, I met a hiker returning from the summit. He gushed about the view and encouraged me to keep going. Seeing my condition, he peeled off his jacket and handed it to me. 

I was stunned. Who does that?

But because of his sacrifice, I was able to press on. 

At the summit, I sat in the cleft of a rock, looking at the clouds below. Shielded from the wind, I was able to warm up. I thanked God for His creation, and for the gift He sent to help me appreciate it. Like manna, He’d handed me a mind-boggling provision in the wilderness.

Wondering whether you should turn back? First, look around. What resources could God be handing you to warm and shield you, like the perfect layer of Gore-tex?

It’s a lot easier to keep going in our marriages when we have a strong support base around us. Wives, read “Women Encouraging Women.”Husbands, read “Men Encouraging Men.”

The good stuff: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Action points: Sometimes we need encouragement in our marriages to help us make it through tough times. What gifts is God extending to you? Who are the people that you talk to when your marriage needs help? Are they the kind of people who would encourage you to help you press on? 

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