Today’s message is from Bob, who was a prodigal who returned home and was remarried to me for an additional 23 years before the Lord took him home to Heaven. Bob wrote 19 books from the prodigal’s perspective for more than two decades after our divorce and remarriage. – Charlyne
Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8
When the Titanic sank in the early 1900s, rescue efforts were being monitored by radio. The efforts of one man kept being repeated over and over again. He refused to get into a lifeboat, saying, “You go without me. Let somebody else have my seat because I’ve got to win everybody I can on this ship to Jesus Christ.”
Later in the memorial service for this man, another young man stood up and said, “Excuse me. You don’t know my name. I am from Scotland, and I heard about this memorial service. I met John Harper on that ship, for I was a passenger and had gotten hold of something that kept me afloat in the sea. In the blackness of the night, suddenly beside me was a man. He bumped into me and said, “Hello there. My name is John Harper. I’m the pastor of Moody Bible Church in Chicago, Illinois. Are you saved?” I responded, No, I’m not saved.’ He said to me, ‘Then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ John Harper repeated this message to me three times because he couldn’t identify me in the dark. The third time, he never finished. Silhouetted against the moonlight, I watched him disappear under the water. He never came up again. With two miles of ocean under my feet, I cried out to the God of John Harper. I am his last convert.”
The unsinkable ship of your marriage, once thought to be like the Titanic, may be trying to sink. You may feel like there is no way to save this marriage. The life rafts are waiting for you to abandon ship and jump into them. To many, the life raft of divorce is so ready to save you. Nearby, the life raft of another marriage waits. Some ride away in the life raft of abandonment and watch the ship of marriage slip under the surface. I urge you to stay with what others are calling a sinking ship.
As one who’s been there, may I speak for your loved one? The heartbeat of that one who jumped ship might be, “Please show me the way to safety. I’m confused and frightened. I will just watch you to see how to survive.” We are all praying for the day your spouse realizes that the ship’s not about to sink and comes back aboard. In the meantime, watch out for the lifeboats that are so tempting to jump into. We know those lifeboats of divorce, other marriages, and abandonment, are all filled with holes. They will sink while your marriage ship is still sailing.
Every day we hear about other “John Harpers.” They tell people about the saving power of Jesus and about how He alone can change hearts to heal and restore broken marriages. Does this really happen? Every single day.
May God be with you as you work on your marriage and realize that, unlike the Titanic, that ship of your marriage really is unsinkable when the Lord Jesus Christ is the captain.