Ready Or Not

Ready or not could be the tagline for military marriage. Army wife Ruth recalls the Christmas banquet she and her Ranger husband were attending when her husband received a call from his unit. He went outside to take the call and did not come back to the banquet. When she returned home, he was gone. A few days later, he was parachuting into an armed conflict in Panama.

Ready or not, such a call can come in the middle of the night, the middle of a dinner, or the middle of a vacation and usher your husband from your presence without a moment’s notice. Duty calls and he must answer. When the unexpected is the norm, we often struggle to build trust.

Mary and Joseph had several ready or not moments. One is recorded in Matthew 2:13. Jesus was about two years old, and King Herod, troubled by the visit of the wise men, was about to send men to kill all the male babies in Bethlehem up to two years of age to make sure he eliminated the newborn king-to-be. On the orders of an angel in a dream, Joseph awakened Mary in the middle of the night, packed up their belongings, and fled from Bethlehem to Egypt. If Mary had not trusted Joseph, she might have told him to go back to sleep and they would talk about it in the morning. Instead they began a trip that meant riding a donkey or walking for two hundred miles through desert, mountains, and wilderness—with a two year old.

I do not have to use much imagination to believe that Mary was less than thrilled with this PCS. Yet there is no indication that she doubted Joseph. She did not have time to plan or prepare for the midnight move. She could not check off her list of things to do because she did not even have time to make a list. Joseph had to take life-or-death action. She trusted that he had her and her baby’s interest at heart. At this point, she had to act out of the trust she had nurtured and sustained in her husband because of her trust in God.

The everyday uncertainties that come with military life make trust an essential factor in marriage—and make trusting in God paramount.

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