The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
I don’t know about you, but I am excited for what God is doing around the world. You may wonder what I am talking about. There is COVID. There is poverty. There is hunger. There is job loss due to COVID-19. As a result, families are selling their homes. Businesses are going out of business. What is most sad about all of this is that families lost loved ones.
Then there is what is happening to us. We are dealing with something never imagined. We are dealing with everything previously mentioned AND, to make things worse, we are going through a situation in which our family is being torn apart. Wedding vows are being broken. We are dealing with endless court dates. We are dealing with endless mind games that the enemy is playing with us in order to give up. We are dealing with “caring” family members and friends telling us to give up and move on because God wants us to be happy. Many are selling homes due to the divorce. Many must find a job or a daycare because they must provide for their families. Our kids are slowly being torn apart. Many of our kids are now having nightmares. Many of our kids are blaming themselves. Many are lashing out. Well, that’s if you have seen your children. Many haven’t seen their kids in days, weeks, months.
Our minds are going crazy. One minute we want to worship the Lord for the rest of our lives, no matter if divorce goes through or not. The next minute, we want to give up, move on, regretting ever meeting our spouses. Why then should we be excited? We should be excited because at any second, God will show up and change everything. He always has. He always will.
When I first started to stand, I didn’t know what to do when my marriage fell apart. All I could do is go to my closet to pray and cry. I decided to randomly open a Bible (coincidently in the closet? I think not) to see what God had for me and wow, there it was. He gave me the following verses (and the ones before that specific verse):
And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Zephaniah 3: 19-20 (NLT)
When I first read the verses, I was in awe at what the Lord was saying. Yes, these Bible verses refer to Jerusalem’s rebellion and restoration. However, those verses definitely spoke to me as well. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That was one of the first times, that I can remember, that God spoke to me during my marriage turmoil. I remembered to write it down on my phone as “Verses God Gave Me.” This was definitely a promise to me that He would restore my fortune before my very eyes. Not coincidently, it was a verse I saw that God had given to a few standers as well. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
One day, God will gather our prodigals together and bring them home. He Himself will restore our fortunes before our very eyes. He has spoken. It is written. I pray that God, in His perfect timing, restores all that we have lost. God is working overtime for our prodigals. Not only that, God is working in us. He is transforming us into what He originally had intended us to be. When I was young, a prophet said that my brother and I were going to be pastors. My brother in kindergarten wrote a list of things he wanted to do when he grew up. Guess what? He has accomplished almost everything. Keep in mind, that list was created by a four or five-year-old. The lone thing that he is currently accomplishing is to be a pastor. Simply amazing.
God knew us before we were even a thought in our parents’ eyes. He knew our strengths. He knew our weaknesses. He knew we’d fail him over and over and He still loved us. Shall I say, He still loves us. If God is calling you to do something, then do it NOW. Not WHEN our marriages are restored. NOW. Hold on to God’s promises.
God is always speaking. God will show up through a verse, a dream, a song or many other ways. God Himself has reminded me of restoration through a song on the radio. It isn’t a coincidence. I would suggest you write down when God is speaking including date and time. You’ll see that it isn’t a coincidence to see the word “Rejoice” or “Covenant” or “Restore” everywhere. God is simply saying, “Just hold on a little more. BUT I’ll send you some breadcrumbs so that you can see that I am still in control and so that you won’t forget My promise to you.”
Sometimes, we need a message here or there from our prodigals. If you don’t get anything, do not worry. God is simply protecting us whether we like it or not. God is in control. God permits things for a reason. The reason, only He knows. As our prodigals start softening their hearts and start to think about coming home, prepare yourself spiritually. IT WILL happen. Hearts are softened. Eyes are opened. The veil comes off. Prodigals do come home. Prodigals WILL come home, in His time. God shows up!! We are almost home.
Jesse in Arizona