Imagine that! The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead can get you up and out of bed in the morning, can fill your soul with a sense of purpose, and can fuel you with energy to serve God in life. But in order to walk in that Risen Life it requires that we, first of all, receive that life by asking God for it. And, secondly, it involves a reckoning. We must reckon, or consider, ourselves as dead to sin and alive to God.

Beyond the Grave
Succeeding at giving her marriage another shot was something that few people in Maggie McKinney's life had any hope for. Deep into the Personal Gethsemane of her separation, she found herself caught amidst a mixture of conflicting thoughts and emotions. The day her husband came back into her life, she was contemplating the "freedom" she was about to experience, the trips she would take and the projects she could undertake. The divorce papers were expected to arrive any day and she was becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of being single again.

While sweeping up cat litter in the basement, Maggie heard a familiar sound as a car pulled up in the driveway. Without a word, her husband slowly entered the basement and invaded the silence as he walked over and gently hugged his wife. He came this time not with papers, but with a question: "Could we try again?"

In a millisecond all kinds of questions flooded Maggie's mind: Should she toss two decades of marriage in the trash along with the cat litter? Or should they give it another go? Did she want to have to answer to someone else again? Did she want all the cooking and laundry that went with it? The meals? The sharing? What about the complaints she would hear about her shortcomings? And yet, what about the good times they had known together before everything went south?

Maggie was not so sure. Yes, for better or for worse, vows had been made. She had made a promise. She wondered about the kids, however. Wouldn't they be better off with both parents at home? Still, that seemed a lame excuse for moving back in together. As she walked the valley of decision, Maggie's hopes were paper-thin. Still she felt more positive about the idea of giving it a try again together than going it alone. Honestly, she felt the risk of either decision. Reenter the marriage and it might blow up in her face; leave it and she might regret having given up so soon.

And how did Maggie's long Saturday end? She describes it this way:

Our separation taught us a little about what is and what isn't important. Forgiveness, we've learned, is essential. And we've avoided (at least so far) the anger and bitterness that can come from divorce.

Our marriage is far from perfect . . . but the marriage is better than it was before. We walk nearly every day, eat out more frequently, talk more. Both of us have learned to pay more attention to each other than we did in the past.

The minister wasn't wrong. At the time I talked to him the marriage was dead. But hasn't he heard about resurrection?

This article is Part Three of a three-part series. See Robert Crosby's column page for more.