He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22
Pastor Abel, the man who confirmed me, liked to throw out little bits of wisdom.
One of those bits pastor shared with his confirmands was "Marry in haste, repent at leisure." While I can't remember Gilbert Herrick sitting next to me in that class, I'm sure he must have. I'm sure, because, if anyone took that expression seriously, it has to be Herrick.
Let me explain. For a considerable period of time Herrick has been looking for a wife. He's spent plenty of time checking out the prospects, looking over the field, but he just never made that long walk down the aisle. Not wanting to have any of that "repent at leisure" stuff, Herrick promised himself he wouldn't get married until he met the right woman.
And he didn't meet that right woman ... not until now.
Herrick met Virginia in a hospital hallway. After that chance encounter, they started meeting every day. Soon love bloomed and recently Gilbert Herrick, World War II veteran and retired postal worker, was united in holy matrimony with Virginia Hartman.
True, some have said that Herrick, who is 99 years old, has robbed the cradle by getting hitched to 86-year-old Hartman. They can say what they want, but Herrick knows she's the right gal.
When I first read that story I thought isn't that cute! But as I thought about it, the love story started to take on a deeper meaning for me. When Pastor Abel talked to us about "repenting at leisure," it was a different world. Back then you stuck with the person you were married to ... no matter how unhappy you were.
Today it's different. Divorce is in and long-term suffering is out.
But ... there are many of us who count ourselves blessed to have the helpmeet we do. Many of us, like Herrick, have been given just the right gal or guy.
This, too, is a gift from the Lord.
This is why, if you haven't done so, won't you give thanks to the Lord for putting such an individual into your life. And while you're doing so, you might want to include an extra prayer for another most special individual. Give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, your Savior. Give thanks for the world's Redeemer whose love turns pale all others, which we will ever know.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for having sent wonderful people into this world who love me, I give thanks. But I also pray for those who feel unloved. May they soon be surrounded by supporters. Most of all I give thanks for Jesus who has given the greatest love of all. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries