Monday, August 7, 2017

Each week we share guest devotionals written by a fellow stander. The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc. or the Steinkamps.

Has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers? Submit it by clicking here.

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.  Proverbs 1:5

I have had a tendency to worry and be fearful in my life. I believe my marriage situation is a teaching tool God is using to change that in me. Worry is unbelief and it is sin. With His help I’m learning to rise above my circumstances and conquer my thoughts and fears.

You may go back and forth like I do. Most of the time I have faith and I trust that the Lord is in control and will turn everything for good. But at times doubt and loneliness creep in, when I think about how long my husband has been gone and what he is doing. That’s when the enemy is at work.

Prayer is a teaching tool. God hears every single word we pray. I’m often surprised by what I pray because He is leading me. Prayer is a dialog and we must spend time listening. The more I pray the personalized scriptures the deeper meaning they have. I’ve gone from mere recitation to great faith and expectation. I’m also trying to remember to pray in my spiritual language whenever my thoughts become negative, to shut the enemy up and shut him out. Only God knows what I’m praying.

Another teaching tool is recognizing God. Have you noticed that with God things often don’t make sense? That’s how I know it’s Him! During this period of no communication with my husband, God is building my faith. If I were seeing hopeful signs I would be believing in the natural, not the supernatural. I must learn to trust when I can’t see…and believe when I don’t understand. God’s wisdom is not the wisdom of the world. He may be waiting on my faith before He answers my prayers.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

We want our paths to be straight, don’t we? But God writes straight with crooked lines. When I turn a corner and come to a realization about something, He has another corner for me so He can show me more. He waits for me to learn one lesson before He can reveal the next. I am in awe of how God has knit all of this together in so many ways…for so many reasons. I have much to learn and He is teaching me every step of the way.

Obedience is a teaching tool. The Lord has dealt with me in several areas unrelated to my marriage. The soul is the mind, will and emotions and I didn’t WANT to do what He was asking of me. My excuses wore thin and I am obeying. This has blessed me with a surprising feeling of lightness and freedom.

One morning I felt nudged to anoint our home. I was crying as I put anointing oil on my finger and prayed over things including door frames, family photos, my husband’s side of the bed, his clothing and shoes, his exercise machine and his wedding ring. It was the first time I’d done that and I was obedient to the Lord’s calling. A few hours later I received an unexpected gift. A friend revealed how my husband expressed his feelings for me after he finalized the divorce. I broke down in tears, thankful for that revelation.

Knowing is a teaching tool. It becomes a part of us and settles into our spirit. It activates the greatness of God’s power. I know that I know my husband will be returning to the Lord, and to me, when we are ready in His eyes. Knowing brings unexplainable peace.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  Hebrews 10:35-36

The voice of God is a teaching tool. I heard these words in my head, “You can’t cook a ten pound stew in five minutes, even in a pressure cooker. And it’s quite a stew. You’re not putting any pressure on him. Let Me put the pressure on him.” That evening in church while worshipping I heard, “It’s because you’re not putting pressure on him that he will come home.”

Waiting and confirmation are teaching tools. A week after that word about stew, my pastor continued his “Back To Life” series which was hitting a bull’s-eye regarding my marriage. He spoke on resurrection and how Jesus described Lazarus as sleeping (that’s how I think of my marriage). Jesus waited four days to resurrect Lazarus so it’s a story of waiting. We don’t like the concept of waiting and would rather have something fast than something that is good for us. We live in a fast food and microwave society but God is more of a Crockpot cooker. I laughed as I praised God for that confirmation with another cooking analogy.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”  John 11:40, 43-44

Our prodigals will be set free. God doesn’t measure time like we do. We want instant victory but our triumph is in the works, and we have to thank Him for the answer before it comes. God wants to show up in such an undeniable way that we’ll know it could only be Him.

Recently I heard His still small voice again, “You have to go through what you’re going through to get where you’re going.” He has a purpose for everything. Thank You Lord.

Waiting and learning,

Ruth in Arizona

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3 comments on “Charlyne Cares – GOD’S TEACHING TOOLS
  1. Geoff says:

    Hey Ruth
    Thanks from Geoff in Sydney Australia. Your message is exactly what I needed to hear. You oar-sum lady, you!!!

  2. Norma says:

    Praise the lord for your strength and wisdom Ruth. Thank you for your words. May God bless us and hear our prayers for restoration.

  3. Jane says:

    Thank you Ruth your words resonated with me ! I have been standing for 3 1/2 yrs with no contact from my husband we r not divorced but it seems some days he will never return and I am holding on for nothing ) is he having a better life with the OW has been a thought ) he is so stubborn and I wonder if he still thinks about me after all this time ( it is all about gods timing not mine)

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