January 12

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. . . . —Song of solomon 8:7 (NIV)

Joy and I celebrated twenty-five years of marriage last year. The way we met has become family legend.

We were part of a group of college students from around the country in training to be summer-camp counselors. A buddy of mine thought it would be fun to meet this cute blonde from California by pretending to show her how to use a canoe, but then tipping it over and dumping her into the water. I was from Minnesota and practically grew up in a canoe, so I knew this was a stupid idea. I did the smart thing and waded out to rescue both Joy and the canoe. Obviously, I did the right thing.

Ever since then, water has been a metaphor for our relationship. There have been the peaceful waters of quiet walks and the deep waters of lasting commitment; the turbulent waters of disagreements and the swamp waters of hurts, small and large. There have been troubled waters of anguish at times in raising our sons and the powerful, energetic waters of shared dreams and goals. There have been the dark waters of uncertainty during tremendous change and the sparkling waters of new horizons and wonderful friends. But in it all there has been one constant: the living water of Jesus Christ holding us up and strengthening our love even on days when we didn't exactly like each other.

As we embark on our second twenty-five years, we'd like to tell you what we've learned: If you nurture a relationship like a garden with the living water of Jesus, it will survive storms, heat, cold and dark to bear a lifetime of sustaining fruit.

Lord, thank You for each other, and for the presence, power and promise of Your Son in our lives.

—Eric Fellman