This is a guest post from my dear friend Jo Passmore. We’ve traveled years and miles together, both buffeted and blessed by the Lord. May her wit and wisdom help you rise from the ashes of your own history, stronger for the experience. Remember, God wastes nothing.

Jo writes:

I am sending a thought I had written quite awhile ago. I will give some background for the women that may not know I had been married before and my marriage ended causing great heartbreak and turmoil, but out of the ashes came something that steadied me for other fires that were yet to come.

That’s the reason I am sending it again. There are fires all around us.

(Originally shared August 2006)

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” – 1 John 5:3

One great treasure is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What a mystery to have God’s Spirit living inside us!  The love of God placed Him there to aid us in our keeping God’s commandments for in the keeping of His commandments He brings to us joy, peace and stability.

The commentary in my Bible stated that the love of God demanded obedience, and while that is true, I would like to tell you something else I discovered about that verse.

Young, Vulnerable, Divorced, and a Mother

When I had just turned twenty-one I found myself in a situation I had never considered possible.  I was divorcing after two years of marriage and had to support my baby and myself without help.  I was not emotionally prepared for this and was very lost and frightened. There would be no forth-coming support from my parents, emotionally or financially.

Psalm 31:11-12 pretty much painted the picture of my life at that moment: “I am a reproach among my enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and am repulsive to my acquaintances; those who see me outside flee from me.  I am forgotten like a dead man.  I am like a broken vessel.  For I hear the slander of many; fear is on every side…”

That was me. I was glad David wrote about such things for it let me know this kind of thing had happened to some one else and he expressed the anguish that was in my heart.

After the utter destruction of the dream of having a husband, family, and being a homemaker; I wanted to rebuild the dream. I wanted to find someone to love me…to want me.  I had just become bait for the wolves and didn’t know it.

One wolf told the little piggy how attractive she was and tried to enter the little piggy’s hut through flattery.  One wolf said he would pay for the hut, food and clothing if the little piggy would let him visit the hut whenever he wanted to. Another wolf laughed at the little piggy and reminded her that he was a fine wolf and that the piggy was lucky to have him want to visit the piggy because there was a piglet in the hut.

The little piggy sat inside the hut confused and afraid and wondered what to do about all the wolves and then she prayed: “God in heaven, help me!”

God Comes to the Defense of Those Who Call on Him

There came a clear and authoritative answer and it provided the strength to implement the word spoken in her heart.  She got up and barricaded the door.  The wolves huffed and puffed until they gave up.  Besides, the wolves knew there were other little piggies that weren’t so much trouble and they decided to find other piggies that would open their doors like they should.

I had been defenseless.  I had certainly been hurt and confused, but through God’s protective love I had been given the strength to keep His commandments.

This is the point I wish to make.  There is another light coming through the prism of 1st John 5:3. In my most vulnerable and lost moment, God helped me to honor the commandment to love Him by not breaking His commandment. Some of those wolves made a lot of sense to me in that confused and desperate time.

I am responsible to keep His commandments of my own volition.  In this crisis He provided the strength for me to do so. He pulled me back from the cliff that other little piggies had plunged headlong over.

In Matthew 18 the Lord addressed the matter of the lost or straying sheep. He said that not any one of His sheep was allowed to perish.  All I can say is I was, and still am, so very grateful my Shepherd chased away the wolves.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares,I have already come

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.”

– John Newton

Sir William Waller said this: “I humbly devote my life to God who has so preserved it and so many ways blessed it, resolving by His grace to do all I can for the setting of Him up in my heart.”

God’s grace, and our efforts, are the stuff of which we utilize to prepare ourselves to go Home; and they are also the means of living well here until we do. They make up the safety net that is set in place so we can all follow God in any situation.

In My Darkness, God’s Light Shines

Here, in this covenant, I can afford to risk making a mistake because God’s grace will allow me to mend my tattered righteousness.  Here, in this covenant, I can afford to believe, even when groping my way through darkness knowing He will cause the light to shine sometime.

Here, in moments like the one I have written about, God proved Himself to be my Friend when no one else wanted to be. I love Him for that. So when Christ said I could prove my love for Him by being obedient, I am glad for the chance to prove it. And I am very glad He provides the means for me to do so even when my strength is small and my day has turned into night.

This is covenant living.

And this is the type of marriage I have always dreamed about. Here is homemaking at it’s best!


Another Jo Passmore post: Putting God’s Verbs into Action

Have a question or comment for Jo? Message me using the Contact Tab. I’ll pass it on!