We live in a world of communication. We text. We tweet. We call. We post. I am a communicator. I am an extrovert. I need to talk about everything with everyone. Now I find myself in one of the most communication-barren places in my life. God does not text, tweet, or call. My spouse has separated and distanced herself from me. I must rely on other forms of communication in the most difficult trial of my life. What am I to do? Unfortunately, I have more questions than answers right now, but maybe this will minister to you nonetheless…
Standing Orders, Special Instructions, & Signs…
Thoughts on communicating with God.
A Sunday or so ago at church, our Pastor talked about standing orders vs. special instructions. The basic gist is that God has given us his standing orders, the stuff we’re supposed to do all of the time without asking, in the Bible. If we’re doing those faithfully, then comes the special instructions. I mentioned yesterday that, I am only following the standing orders found in 1 Corinthians, Malachi, Mark, Luke, and so on. I have not received any special instructions. I don’t feel like God has promised me anything. I wish that he would would speak to me. I had a fellow stander tweet me recently that I would not believe all of the things he’s seen and heard directly from God regarding his stand. That’s awesome! Praise God! Right now, I’ll settle for a truck sighting. I know that I’m on the right path. I know that I’m doing God’s will. I’ve received blessing upon blessing and tons of affirmation that I am on the right path. Nonetheless, I would love to get any word at all that God intends to restore my marriage. I have this sneaking dread that I’m going to be called to a life of loneliness, pain, and celibacy. I’m trying to surrender that to him, but it scares me to death! I love my wife, and I hate being alone!
Maybe God is communicating with me. I did figure out the whole standing thing pretty quickly. I did find Rejoice Ministries in less than a month after my wife left home. I have been blessed financially. I did find Stephanie’s testimony. Often what I read or hear in devotionals and daily and weekly podcasts lines up perfectly with what my spouse is doing or saying or with what I’m going through. Is this coincidence or God speaking? I do know that my spouse seems very happy without me. She seems to be on top of the world and feeling no regret or conviction at all. The new Christian friends she’s surrounded herself with seem blind or indifferent to what is happening. From my limited view on this side of the mountain, everything looks very bleak. This holiday weekend was excruciating, and I cannot imagine the Summer, when I shall have tons of time to myself, often parenting alone. Oddly, this morning’s devotional from Charlyne, was about letting God wipe away your tears. Again, God hit me this morning right where I needed it.Here is the closing scripture from today’s devotional.
When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:1-6)
I am continually comforted, cared for, and blessed. Why do I doubt? Why to I beg for a sign? How many have I missed? How many am I ignoring or dismissing? I pray that Charlyne is right that, “[I] will be weeping tears of joy at God’s perfect timing when the Lord brings [my] spouse back from the enemy’s prison camp” (Charlyne Steinkamp). I would love to have that promise confirmed, but I will continue to stand nonetheless. I long for the day when “everyone will be saying, Look at what the Lord has done for you, your beloved spouse and your family. To God be the glory!” (Charlyne Steinkamp).
Will my actions speak louder?
Thoughts on communicating with her.
What do I say to her? At church, we’ve been talking about forgiveness and how we need to take the first step in reconciling relationships. I fell at a loss as to what to say. My spouse knows where I stand. She knows I am not signing Divorce papers. She knows that I am here, hanging on. Is there anything else I should say to her? It seems like I am just to pray and stand and work on my walk.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
It’s hard for me to simply stand. I want to communicate with my mouth, but I feel that my actions must speak for me, which is much much harder when all of our interactions are awkward and often tense. I want to send cards and flowers and letters, but I find myself fighting those urges. I think all the flowers on earth will make little difference when I find myself being untruthful about little insignificant things just because I’m in fight or flight mode and my sin nature takes over. I feel like I spend every private moment in prayer and scripture. How can I still lie about whether or not I read a text message?
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15, 23-25)
Oh God, let me crucify this sinful nature so that I can communicate what I wish to communicate. In the name of Jesus, help me!
Pray for me friends. Pray for my wife. Pray for our kids. I’m praying for you. Tweet me if you want me to do so by name.