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
Somewhere along the way I became something of an amateur rock collector. Sitting atop the bookcase in my office are several large rocks that I have picked up on ministry travel. There is one large boulder from under a bridge that is pictured on the front of Pulpits in the Marketplace. Another was picked up outside of a church in Chattanooga. Many of these are simply limestone. They have no value or meaning to anyone other than me, but they do bring back memories to the Steinkamps.
On a one-day train trip to central Florida, I acquired something else to add to my collection. It is an old railroad spike, found near the Amtrak station in Sebring, Florida.
You may know that trains fascinate me. Thousands of tons of steel having been formed into a train, somehow ride atop two steel rails. If it were not for the spikes that secure the rails to the wooden cross ties, there would be no railroad as we know it today.
The spike that I recovered had obviously been used. The sharpened tip shows evidence of once having been driven into something. There are indentations on the head of the spike from having been hammered into place.
My new collection item has significance to me for another reason. Holding that rusty object in my hands, I realized once again the price that Jesus Christ paid for my sins and for yours. The spikes that held Jesus to that cross might have been like the one sitting beside me.
I sense that at times many of us are guilty of sanitizing the crucifixion until the real meaning of Jesus dying for us personally is lost in historical fact. My spike brings to me just a bit of the impact of the crucifixion. My first impression was to sand off the rust and to paint the spike. On second thought, I have left the spike that sits atop my bookcase just as it is. May it always remind me that Jesus died for me.
How many times a day do you think of your absent mate? How often does something happen that instantly reminds you of the one you love? Rest assured that you are coming to your prodigal’s thoughts just as often.
When you were married you became one-flesh, a relationship that simply cannot be dissolved at will. Your absent mate may wish you would drop from their memory, but God will never allow that to happen. As you stand strong, doing things God’s way, those memories in your mate’s mind will only be enhanced. Take that as fact from a man who called the other woman by his wife’s name a year after our divorce!
Your marriage, in God’s eyes, need not end with the banging of a judge’s gavel. Your marriage is alive today because of the sounds of spikes being driven into Jesus on Calvary. May you and I never be guilty of trampling the Cross by the careless handling of our marriage covenant.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”… Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:27, 29
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.