Month: August 2014

Vows, covenants, and sickness

I put our wedding pictures back up on the dresser today.

Some rights reserved by Hamed Saber

Some rights reserved by Hamed Saber

Interesting that you take them down when you stop by…

You feel that I’m unable to face reality… move on…

Your parents even encouraged me to do so.

It’s sad really; that God’s word means so little to so many.

 

I made some vows and I entered a covenant.

There was something in there about sickness and turns for the worse.

I meant those things, though I never pictured it quite like this.

I used to run scenarios in my mind… maybe I’m a bit strange.

I knew I wouldn’t leave if you lost your hair, face, limbs, or your ability for physical intimacy.

 

I was ready for tragic accidents…

I was ready for cancer of the body.

I never imagined cancer of the heart… the soul… the mind.

I never imagined the enemy would capture you.

Yet, it’s no different. I still stand by you.

 

I know you probably feel like I’m trying to trap you…

to keep you from “getting on with your life”.

You likely would think I’m mad if I told you.

He talks to me. The God of the universe speaks.

I’m standing, as long as He tells me to stand.

 

I know you don’t want to hear about “God and covenants”.

I know you could care less about my “feelings”.

Look, this has nothing to do with “feelings”.

I don’t feel like fighting this. It is exhausting.

I don’t feel like being lonely much of the time.

 

If you had gotten a terrible degenerative disease,

would you not expect me to stand by you and love you through it?

Here I stand.

If someone had kidnapped you, would you not expect me look for you?

Here I stand.

 

I know you don’t believe your heart will change.

You may not even think anything is wrong.

I believe in the God who stops the sun, raises the dead, and created you.

If He says He’s got this,

who am I to argue? You take it up with Him.

Why does my prodigal seem fine?

Some rights reserved by Another Pint Please...

Some rights reserved by Another Pint Please…

Does it ever seem like Job 33:14-22 is happening to you but not your prodigal? My prodigal seems so happy, and I am suffering terribly. How can he / she not feel any of this pain? A fellow stander said to me recently, “I think the most confusing part of it is how one person in the marriage can feel all the pain of separation but the other one seems to feel nothing. It seems like if you are ONE flesh…..it’d be equal pain.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that way.

Yes, there are a lot of testimonies online of returned prodigals that testify to the idea that they do feel pain and conviction but are simply hiding it.

That’s nice to hear, but it doesn’t really answer the question. After all, many of us standers are trying to hide a good portion of our pain for our children or what have you. Still it’s hard to hide real heart pain and even harder to hide 30 some pounds of weight loss.

Leave & cleave / Sever & suffer

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

I left home. I moved four hours away. I intertwined my life with my spouse’s family, neighbors, hometown events, annual family vacation, and favorite restaurants; “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Now she is gone… and I’m still here with no “claim” to anything that has been my life for nearly 16 years… She can come and go as she pleases and still “fit in” because blood is thicker than water as they say. Meanwhile, I’m stuck in limbo. My job is here. My friends are here. My church is here. My kids are here… My wife is not. This is the case with many of us. We have not only lost our spouse but much of our day to day life experience. Meanwhile, the prodigal has replaced that experience with sin. We are left with void. Yes, we have God to fill that void, but it’s hard to go on vacation with God or take Him out to eat.

Sin feels good & this one is legal…

Our prodigals also have something to distract them, to fill the void. Sin feels really good. That’s why we sin. They have a non covenant partner to keep them busy, going on dates. They have a little false fantasy life and no real consequences yet. The sin is the prodigal’s, but so far all of the pain and consequences have managed to be shifted to the stander and, quite often, the kids. This is how the pain can be distributed unequally. Also, our legal system tends to favor the prodigal, rather than the stander, so you’re not likely to get any “justice” like victims of most other sins can hope for. You are left entirely to rely upon God. This is a good time to pray scriptures, like Hosea 2:6-7. Pray that God would stop your spouse from being fulfilled by his or her life of sin. Pray that it would be increasingly more empty and meaningless.

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword. (Proverbs 5:3-4)

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Take consolation

Throughout the Bible, marriage is an example of God and the human race, Christ and the church. Jesus suffered in ways we can’t imagine to take away our sin so we could be in a relationship with Him. Yet, people everywhere are just living their life, enjoying the pleasures of sin without realizing the hurt they cause Him by rejecting Him. Honestly, that’s how I’d been living before I got the wake up call of separation and divorce. Most of us would have to admit the same, I think. Now, we are living the ultimate example of Christ and the prodigal church right now.

Again, this isn’t very encouraging. I know that my life is serving as an example to others, but that doesn’t make me feel better. I really don’t enjoy folks telling me how others are watching my walk. Honestly, I’d rather have my wife back than be an example of Christ’s sufferings. Also, the enemy comes at me with doubt. What if she never comes home? What kind of example am I then? Hey everybody, look at me! I’m an example of how sometimes God lets us hanging… Again, that’s the enemy trying to steal my faith and my hope, but it’s there nonetheless. Meanwhile, our prodigals don’t know they are the ones really missing out on a deep, fulfilling relationship with God because they are deceived by the pleasures of sin. Also, as we’ve read earlier, there’s NO peace for Prodigals. I have to believe that, or I may lose faith. He is seeking them and longing to show them a real relationship. This is how we testify to our sphere of influence what God’s love is really like.

Remember, that Jesus promises to come and make a home with those who obey His teaching. Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones who do the will of God. Further, in the end of the story, victory is only guaranteed to those who overcome (Revelation 2, Revelation 3). The key is to overcome. If we don’t overcome, we are overcome (Derek Prince). That brings me the the passages I despise above all others:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:6-11)

I really don’t like those.

Crying out to God

God,

Some rights reserved by Elsie esq.

Some rights reserved by Elsie esq.

I cry out to you! I scream at the top of my lungs in this empty house. I scream and cry out to You! God, my God, My Father, My Daddy, how much longer will You, God of the universe who loves me, allow this pain and injustice to stand? I am determined, with your grace, to remain obedient no matter how long, but how long?? Have I not been put to shame enough?

Lord, must I restate my case?

  1. You hate divorce. (Malachi 2:16)
  2. What you have joined together, man should not separate. (Matt 19:6, Mark 10:9)
  3. Whatever I ask in Jesus name in in Your will, you have heard and it is as good as done (1 John 5:14-15)

You know these things, and I know that I am undeserving of you. I know that I am a wretched sinner. I know that I bear much of the responsibility for this mess. Yet, I seek you, with a broken and contrite heart, to have mercy upon me in Your great love. Forgive me for my many sins, and help me to also forgive. May I look only to You as my God and nothing else. I know that you do not intrude upon free will. Still, I ask you to work in my wife’s life as you did in Gomer’s (Hosea 2:6-7).

Once again, I pray for the hedge of thorns. Frustrate her every attempt to find peace and happiness in this non-covenant relationship, the toxic environment that fostered it, and this new life she is trying to construct with Your blessing. Open the eyes and ears of her heart and speak loudly to her, offering the way of escape. God I ask this hedge of thorns around everyone on vacation this week with this imposter Satan has put in my place. May they find this getaway to be empty, joyless, and frustrating. Fill them with Godly sorrow that leads to repentance and leaves no regret (2 Corinthians 7:10). Speak to all of their hearts and grant your servants boldness to speak the truth. May your Holy Spirit be felt and recognized. The enemy’s powers were broken over two thousand years ago at the cross. Satan and his powers and principalities have no right to touch or torment my wife’s mind. I cover my marriage, our home, our family and all that we have under the blood of Jesus Christ.

Awesome and mighty Father, place your armor upon my family today. Surround them with chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17). God, I know that those who are with us are more than those who are with them!! I stand firm, awaiting Your deliverance (Exodus 14:13,
2 Chronicles 20:17) and Your victory. Come quickly, Lord (Psalm 70:1)! Do not delay (Daniel 9:19)! Abba, Father, Daddy, I could really use a hug. Come and save me! Please help me!

God, where are you? There are so many broken families suffering under the attacks of the enemy right now! Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of [these families] that bear your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, DO NOT DELAY, because [these families] bear your Name (‭Daniel‬ ‭9‬:‭18-19‬ revised).

I praise you for Your mighty works! I praise you for your perfect love. You have never let me down, and always you are with me! You provide for me even now when my enemies are partying and I am downcast. You are still on Your throne and everything is under Your command. God, this battle is Yours! I love You! I praise You! I cry out to You! You are mighty to save!

In Jesus Name,

Amen.