Month: October 2014

Tired… but God

I took a nap this afternoon… slept right through dinner. Yeah, I am tired… okay, exhausted might be a better word. The enemy is working over-time, but I am more than a conqueror. My heavenly father is showing me sign after sign, and putting me in the right place at the right time. My online fellowship of standers has had two restorations in the last few weeks as we have been fasting and seeking the Lord in prayer.

Last night I went to a real prayer meeting at the local AOG. I had literally no idea churches were still holding prayer meetings. I thought we, as a 21st century church, obsessed with satellite campuses, professional video feeds, and the like had given up on divine power that demolishes strongholds. During one prayer time, I got together with four fellow believers who prayed unequivocally for the restoration of my marriage and shared their own real concerns. There were no superficial requests about a sister’s neighbor’s missing cat. It was real raw hurt brought before the God of the universe in humility and confidence in His mighty power. This is such a simple concept. Pray. Pray believing that something will happen. Keep praying. Pray without ceasing. Fast and pray. Pray through.

I’ve been reading Psalm 91 as a proclamation for a few weeks now. The pastor read it and prayed through it last night. Rhema? Yeah, I think so… He also used “But God” as a standalone phrase twice during his message, just like Charlyne. I would have burst into tears if I wasn’t already crying my eyes out. It’s amazing how much power there is in that simple phrase… “but God”…

I don’t have much else to say. I leave you with tonight’s proclamation. Yeah, it’s Psalm 91…

Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Stand strong brothers and sisters. Stand strong and pray through! I think another one of our fellow standers is just on the edge of restoration. May your suddenly come swiftly!

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I have to know…

I just came in from my back yard and my father-in-law’s field where I was on my knees crying my guts out to my heavenly Father. When was the last time you cried your guts out before the Lord? This is when you cry so hard that you can barely breathe and you begin heaving… I wasn’t crying my guts out over my prodigal spouse or my legal fight to keep my children. I was crying my guts out because I’m afraid I’m missing something. I was crying my guts out because I want to know Him better. I was crying my guts out because I have to know…

I have to know. Is there something I’m missing in my relationship with God? I have to know… Is there a separate baptism of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, Acts 1:8, and  1 Corinthians 12:1-31? Am I called to something more? Is this pentecostal stuff a bunch of spiritualist mumbo jumbo bandied about by prosperity charlatans, or is this just another truth of the Word of God that we cast off in the seeker sensitive mega church because it’s uncomfortable and scares the cappuccino sipping yuppies away? I honestly don’t know, but I have to know…

So, tomorrow, I’m going to our local AOG Church instead of my usual place of worship. Honestly, I feel dry and thirsty. I want to be surrounded by people who believe God is real and not a nice idea to go along with all the LED screens, professional production, and trendy coffee bar furniture. I want to be around people who don’t think I’m crazy for standing, who don’t think the idea that my wife is under demonic influence is crazy and irrational, and who are willing to entertain the fact that God just might restore my marriage… I have to know… So tomorrow, I will try something new. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Encouragement for the hurting Stander

Are you literally sick of life?

Do you practically hate everything?

Are you sick of crying your eyes out?

Burned out on prayer and seeking God?

Buck up, Cupcake?

bootstrappyNo, this is not going to be a shallow, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, Romans 8:28 pep rally. You are hurting. I know that I can tell you that God keeps His promises. I can tell you that Christ paid the ultimate price so that you you will not ever have a “Gethsemane”. I can even talk to you about how loved you really are by the God of the universe. I know that none of that matters right now. You are hurting. Like me, you probably go from being encouraged by great testimonies of marriage restoration, to being devastated and depressed by stories of long dismal unresolved stands. Sometimes, even restoration stories are frankly disheartening at best. Dennis Wingfield, for example probably wouldn’t trade his testimony for anything, but I find it to be the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.

You are lonely. You have been rejected by your one-flesh partner. The person you have been the most vulnerable with in the whole world is playing house with someone else, and often acting like God is okay with that. You may even be questioning whether or not God is okay with that. After all, He sure isn’t doing a darn thing about it! Maybe you have had enough “false hope” moments to know God doesn’t always come through.

Be Encouraged… no really.

Okay, maybe He won’t come through. Maybe your spouse’s heart his becoming harder and harder. Maybe. I do know a few things that may encourage you, though.

First, God is NOT okay with this. God definitely does not condone everything He tolerates. Your one-flesh partner is on the highway to hell, but be encouraged. You are not, and you can pray. Pray your lonely, rejected, broken little behind off for your spouse because he or she needs it. There’s no such thing as “fire insurance” Christianity. Even casual, lukewarm Christians make God want to vomit. Imagine how He must feel about those who profess his name and live in abject rebellion to His teaching? Your spouse may not “want” you right now, but he or she “needs” you. If you haven’t organized an elite strike force of prayer warriors to stand in the gap for your spouse’s soul, maybe you should work on that. That’ll give you something to occupy your mind to push out the thoughts of that non-covenant partner who is snuggling with your children like they helped bring them into the world.

…do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. (Romans 2:4-11)

Second, you are ultimately responsible for you. Seriously, it may not be the most encouraging thought on the surface that someday “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). I don’t know about you, but that scares the crap out of me. It is good to develop a healthy fear of the Lord. I was talking about this on GHO one night with my friend and fellow stander, Ben. Ben noted that his mom used to say that “God is your friend but He is not your pal”. Someday, we’re all going to stand before God… okay, I really don’t see myself standing unless supernaturally held up. Honestly, I think I’ll be face down before Him, shaking uncontrollably, kneeling in a puddle of my own urine. Put yourself in that spot. At that point, will it matter whether your spouse ever came home or not? No. All that will matter is how faithful you were to whatever God called you to do in the circumstances you found yourself in. Imagine how shallow and pathetic our own words would sound when we say, “but, Lord, I just wanted to be happy… I thought I deserved to be happy.”

Your life has epic meaning…

No really. This one is a little deep, but stay with me on this one. You have been chosen for a special mission of great significance that will save the lives of many others. No, this is not a fantasy novel or an MMORPG. This is what you signed up for when you crossed the line of faith. You want to be a Christian? Welcome to the war. By the way, now that the enemy has attacked your marriage, you can choose to be among the elite who will actually fight, or you can join the other side. It all depends on where your treasure is. This won’t help you most days, particularly when you’re feeling very alone, but there are times, driving in your car when this will hit you… when you think about someday hearing “well done, good and faithful servant”, that this will carry you to new heights that you never thought imaginable.

Now, tame that tongue… and put it to work.

I am tired. I am physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. I am spent. I am struggling to forgive the other man. I’m even struggling to be near him without fantasies of physically harming him consuming my thoughts. I have to see him regularly, now, holding hands with my wife and touching my children. I am flooded with legal, financial, and relational circumstances. Amidst this daunting context, I am frequently asked, “How is it going?” or “How is everything?” How tempting it is to just unload on whoever asks that question. After all, it’s therapeutic to get it off my chest right? WRONG!

Even if you’ve taken no encouragement from this post… Even if you forget everything I’ve said so far, remember this one thing: Our words have power… so much power. Honestly, I thought my friend Bill was a little over-the-top-happy-feel-good when he first said this to me, but the more I read the Bible… the more I learn about the Power of our words, the more I realize this is true. It is not pop-psychology. It is not foolish optimism. It is power. Speak life over everything. This is a war… a serious serious battle. We are fighting for our lives, our very souls, and those of our spouse… Our mouth holds the Power to give life and fight off the enemy, through praise, proclamation, and scripture… speaking the Word. Let’s use it that way! Are you testifying to God’s glory or His impotence and Satan’s power? What is your mouth doing to you? What is the picture you are giving others of your Lord?

I have come to realize that my enemy’s #1 form of attack is to get me to focus on my circumstances and his #1 weapon is my own mouth… I constantly catch myself giving bad reports to those who ask what is happening and I have to go shut myself in my office and repent, proclaim some imprecatory Psalms, and go try to do better in my next conversation… A fellow stander of mine recently noted that when she opened her mouth with negativity, she was also helping hand over valuable strategic intelligence to the enemy camp.

I really started to see that I was giving Satan step by step instructions on how to hurt me. One day I said- no more! No matter how afraid I am sometimes, I will not give him any power over me. It has made a big difference in my life and my stand (C).

We need to commit to overcoming the enemy with the word of our testimony. We need to commit to making our mouth work for us. I have found that the best thing I can do in bed in the morning when I wake, in bed in the evening before I sleep, in the car, and anytime I’m alone is to proclaim the Word of God. I learned the power of proclamation from Derek Prince, and so far I have to say that he is right on.

So, I leave you with some verses to proclaim today. Please add your own in the comments. I need more.

25 The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,

and your strength will equal your days.

26 “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,

who rides across the heavens to help you

and on the clouds in his majesty.

27 The eternal God is your refuge,

and underneath are the everlasting arms.

He will drive out your enemies before you,

saying, ‘Destroy them!’ (Deuteronomy 33 25-27)

7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. (Deuteronomy 28:7)

8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

33 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ (Ezekiel 36:33-36)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. If God is for us, who can be against us? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28, 31b, 37-39)

I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. (Isaiah 45:2 NIV)

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:12-14 NIV)

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10, 11 NIV)

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18 NIV)

no weapon forged against you will prevail,

and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

and this is their vindication from me,”

declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)

A Unique Breed

Based on a photo by gumption, Some Rights Reserved

We cry over trucks;

tears streaming over joyous laughter

at the sight of Covenant, Swift, or United.

 

We are spiritual juggernauts,

standing flint-faced in the gap

refusing to accept the world’s death sentence.

 

We know “happiness is not the truth”.

So, we embrace holiness and obedience,

taking the suffering that comes along.

 

The words, “but God”, cause our hearts

to stand to their feet, in fiero,

defiantly pumping fists to the air.

 

We call the circumstances circumspect,

living by faith not sight;

a unique breed for sure.

 

We’re misunderstood by many

and pitied by most…

“God bless your little heart…”

 

Call us crazy.

Call us stupid.

Call us what you want.

 

We’re waiting for further review

from a higher authority on the matter.

We’d appreciate your prayers, though.

 

We are a unique breed.

Stand strong, brothers and sisters.

He’s got this.

Radical Extremists are not P.C.

Some rights reserved by Jordon

Some rights reserved by Jordon

Sometimes I can’t even believe what I’m saying to people… I’m normally very reserved about this stuff, and I’ve always been leery of those crazy snake-handling charismatic types, but… well, I’ve decided the Bible is either true or it isn’t.

Jesus was pretty radical. Seriously, you don’t become the enemy of the entire religious establishment of your own people by being politically correct. Jesus was a religious extremist. He said crazy things, like.

9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 18:9)

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12)

Standing is turning me into a radical extremist. Where once I used to be, pretty PC, an NPR-listening yuppie hipster, and generally laid back, I am now understanding that there is such a thing as truth, it is not relative, and the Bible does not make suggestions.

The Seeker Friendly Movement, Cheap Grace, and The Truth

Many churches, mine included, are trying desperately to reach as many lost and hurting people as possible and to be a light in the community.The danger, here, is that it is very easy to slide down a slope from acceptance, lack of judgement, and grace extended to non-believers to a place where your congregation of believers are not expected to live any different as Christ followers than they did when they were not.

Are we not going to fail and sin, even as Christians? Yes, of course we are. Will we not still receive Gods’ grace? Of course! We just have to be careful not to cheapen His grace by saying, “I know that this is sin, but it makes me happy. I’m going to keep doing it because He will grant me grace and forgiveness.” That is not Christianity. That is urinating at the foot of the cross. 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.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ (John 8:31-32)

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

Paul warned that a time would come when people would not put up with sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3). However, with over 70% of adults under the age 25 thinking all beliefs are equally valid (according to Barna Research), sound doctrine is exactly what is needed. It is the Word of God that plants the seed for the new birth (1 Peter 1:23), and the Word must be taught for the purpose of “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and for taking the true message out into the world (Matthew 28:19-20) (Got Questions).

So do we need Christ’s church to be a grace-filled community? YES! We cannot, however let sound doctrine be discarded. We can’t just look the other way, while a brother or sister is in open unrepentant rebellion against God. It’s bad for us and it’s bad for them. What is more judgmental, confronting them in love to bring them back onto the right path or considering them lost and gossiping about them behind their back?

I said all of that to say this. You should watch these videos. Then you should start reading your Bible and see what it really says. Then decide whether you really want to do this or not. Stop playing Christian.

 

 

 

 

Discomfort and the Happiness Police

I’ve had a lot of conversations with fellow standers lately about how those around us react to our stand. If you’re a stander, perhaps you’ll relate to this.If you’re a prodigal spouse, stop running and go home. You will never regret obeying God… never. If you are in Christian community with a couple going through a divorce, this post is largely for you. Yes, I’m addressing the stander directly, but I intend you to overhear our conversation… It is for your benefit. If you know a stander, perhaps you’ll take note of what you are doing and stop some of this “helpful” behavior.

You make everyone uncomfortable…

Some rights reserved by FaceMePLS

You are now that guy on the corner with a megaphone, pointing out the sins of others, just by standing. You needn’t say a word. Some rights reserved by FaceMePLS

You are a victim. Divorce is a cruel and violent act. Your spouse has rejected you, he or she had an affair, left you to live with another, and is divorcing you. By all accounts, you should be able to count on the support of those around you as you navigate this painful place. You can count on that support as long as you remain a lost and broken victim, willing to deal with your situation in a worldly way. If you stay hurt, fight with your beloved, and find someone else to ease your pain (move on, as it were), everyone will understand and give you a lot of helpful encouraging words. As soon as you make a stand on the Word of God and fight for your marriage, you mark your self as a source of discomfort for everyone. You are now that guy on the corner with a megaphone, pointing out the sins of others, just by standing. You needn’t say a word.  The specific discomfort is a bit different for each faction, but let’s look at some of the more common ones.

Home towns, blood, water, and the thickness of it all

As the stander, many of us face the daily pain of rejection from our prodigal spouse. If we’ve moved to our spouse’s childhood home community, we often also face the rejection of our in-laws, neighbors, and friends. Sometimes these people are vaguely supportive for the first few weeks after our spouse leaves. Then, they begin to encourage us, often in little ways, to move on. Perhaps they suggest moving from our marital home or finding someone else. Our very stand creates a feeling of discomfort because it points to the sin of your spouse. If you are the outsider, even if you’ve been accepted and loved for 10 or more years, your spouse is the person whom the community has known and loved all their lives. Your stand and your refusal to go away shines an uncomfortable spotlight on their fall. You need to go away soon so that your in-laws, neighbors, and friends can get on with the “new normal” and pretend everything is okay and you never existed.

Friends and fellow believers

Our best friends, even if they are fellow believers, are often very uncomfortable with our stand. For starters we’re going through pain, and as our friend, they do not like to see that. They want to spare us as much discomfort as possible. They try to come up with things that might help us. They encourage us to destroy our prodigal spouse in court or ruin their career. They try to introduce us to single friends, who often have also been through what you’ve been through… so they “understand”. Even those closest to us can be a tool of the enemy, much like Jesus’ closest friends.

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:21-23)

Not only do they not want to see you suffer, but also they don’t know how to talk to you with this uncomfortable elephant stomping about the room. Again, if you’ll only stay hurt, fight with your beloved, and speak death and insults over your estranged spouse, then the whole thing would make more sense and be more “normal”. It’s hard to say “get behind me, Satan” when talking to a good friend, but sometimes I say it anyway (in my mind, of course).

The failure of the church

The church, honestly, is just a bunch of broken people living in community with each other, trying to follow Jesus. I really do not like church bashing, but lately I’ve been getting really hung up on the whole following Jesus part. There is a lot of apostasy going on, particularly in the area of marriage and divorce. Our seeker-sensitive model is killing us in this area more than any other, which is ironic since marriage is a metaphor for Christ and the church. I’ve said more about this in other posts, but today, I want to share the words of a fellow stander, Cortney, who said:

I put myself on a mission to find a church to back me… truly I did… I found none. I gave up. I think churches love their numbers too… they like their membership numbers and they don’t want to scare away potential people with the truth, so they cushioned it… then just withheld parts of it during sermons… then altered a little and so on. How many church goers even know the Bible… the truth? “Wait on the Lord”, apparently only means for a very short time until you aren’t happy. I think we are missing a fear of God too… I so often hear it preached that God forgives if you just ask. That’s true, but what happened to the part about repentance and dying to self!!

Believe me, trying to get so much as a prayer out of people for your marriage is close to impossible once a divorce goes through. If they think you’re nuts before the divorce, then after you just become stupid.

And the divorce care and support groups make me gag too… no marriage restoration groups running in every church, but divorce help is everywhere in the church… And often paired with the singles ministry and advice to “find” someone. I can’t tell you my shock in finding these groups to be bashing their spouses, giving divorce advice, praying to move on, and encouraging dating asap (even before divorce). (Cortney S. Fellow stander)

I’m not sure I can put it much better than that. Thank you Cortney.

Our way is not the world’s way

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (John 17:16)

Okay, so it all comes down to this. Jesus called us to be weird. Really, we’re supposed to be salt. We’re supposed to stand out. We are set apart. We are not supposed to be normal or cool. Before my wife left, I was not set apart. Sure, I went to church, and I played on the worship team. Other than that, my life didn’t seem that out of the ordinary. I was trying hard to be a Christian hipster, and ended up a middle class yuppie. I was extremely comfortable. I was so comfortable that I didn’t notice my spouse’s discomfort or her falling into sin. I was not being the spiritual head of my home. Our world likes comfort, particularly the “western world”, as it is often called. Happiness is our religion. Our ceremonies include shopping for more stuff we don’t need, eating out, and posting well-polished photos of our manufactured happy moments on social media for our non-present friends to see and envy.  No wonder so many of our prodigal spouses have said that God wants them to be happy, so they left to pursue happiness with someone else. We have countless pop culture gurus to thank for the pervasive believe that our feelings are paramount and that we can live without sacrifice, self-denial, or discomfort. We just need to focus on what makes us happy.

Standing is extremely uncomfortable. For the first time in many of our adult lives, we face extreme economic hardship, devastating relational rejection, and legal attack. Ironically, despite standing in obedience to God, you will find that the law is not on your side (the courts want you divorced as quickly as possible), your prodigal spouse has the financial support of their non-covenant partner (you are alone in your stand), and now your friends and relatives are sick of your “holy” routine and just want you to “get on with your life”.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)

Jesus never told us we would not suffer for our obedience to the Father. In fact, He often said the opposite. We are marked people. Now that we stand for marriage restoration, we are simply more aware of it.

A word about Noah’s neighbors…

Some rights reserved by elmada

Some rights reserved by elmada

Noah was a complete loser in the world’s eyes. I bet that a lot of Noah’s friends and neighbors used their ancient-world equivalent of the phrase, “bless your little heart” a lot.  I’m sure they thought he was a little over-zealous and a bit too into his religious thing. Imagine the awkwardness of running into Noah at the grocery store. Noah’s very stand was like a signpost, pointing to the impending doom of all of those around him.

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; (Matthew 24:38)

The people around Noah were going about their lives, and I’m sure it bothered them that he was not. Imagine if he had given into his friends and relatives and neighbors. Imagine if he had decided that all of that lumber would be better put to use in expanding his game room. Imagine if he had decided he was sick of being lumped together with the crazy cat lady down the street because of all his exotic pets.

For whatever reason, you are a stander. God has shown you the truth of His word and asked you to wait. It is not fun. Your spouse is re-living their newlywed puppy-love years all over again with someone else, while you fight for custody of your children, go to bed lonely, and eat a lot of take out meals by yourself. In the end, though, when we are face-down, before our Lord, with a puddle under our knees, we will not have to hear how shallow and pathetic our own words sound when we say, “but, Lord, I just wanted to be happy.”

God bless. Good luck. Stand strong.