I'm on a boat?

Photographer: Squirmelia(parents) of Flickr under CC2.0,and this new work is hereby released on a similar CC3.0 license. Use of this photo does not imply endorsement of the photographers or the person photographed.

Contest results

Congratulations to Travis! You have won a hard-cover copy of Sproul's "Surprised by Suffering." Please let me know where I can mail it.

Unfortunately, Travis' comment was deleted in a really bizarre glitch in the IntenseDebate commenting system. For those who didn't get to read it, here is a copy of what he wrote:

I was in the middle of a long (almost a week) argument with my wife. She seemed to be defying me at every turn for the sake of making a point that she didn't have to listen to me if she was mad at me. I was going crazy because all I wanted to do was put it behind us and move on but she seemed intent on making her point. I was getting exhausted from all the arguing, cranky with others, and just overall worn out. I had no idea how I was going to spend the rest of my life with someone so intent on making mine difficult. Divorce was not an option but I still felt helpless and on the verge of giving up.

I was driving to work on day and, just before I left, the arguing continued. I started my 20 minute drive as angry as ever. Out of nowhere, I started praying silently which turned into exasperated yelling. I'm sure cars passing by thought I was nuts. I just could not figure out why God would have me go through such misery with the one who I was so sure He paired me up with. I did not want to spend the rest of my life with someone who purposefully made me so miserable. At that very moment, I became impatient and angry that God would allow me to go through something like that. I never wanted those feelings and I had no idea when it would end...if it would end.

After a few minutes of loud and helpless yelling, I felt something overpowering. Verses such as Philippians 4:6 popped into my head along with a slew of others. I felt like God was placing all these verses on anxiety in my heart reminding me that I had no right to be acting that way. If He made a promise that He would bring peace and has commanded me to cast all my cares on Him while being anxious for nothing, why on Earth was I acting like such a fool and not trusting Him? How could I expect my wife to be obedient to me when I wasn't being obedient to God? I felt like the biggest fool on the planet!

Exasperated yelling turned into loud sorrow and shame. Instead of asking how God could have me go through something like this I began asking Him to forgive me for now trusting in Him when I needed Him the most. Instead of praying that He would change my wife, I started praying that He would change me. I prayed the whole day at work for this and, by the time I got home, I felt completely different.

I sat down with my wife and we had a long talk. I shared with her the experience from the morning on the way to work and it opened up so many doors. I can honestly say that, while there have been rough times, my marriage has never been in such a state as it was that day. All I needed to do was trust God instead of leaning on my own selfish pride.

Thanks, Travis, for sharing your story. I hope you enjoy the new book!