It is in the stillness that God is asking us to cease from striving, take our hands off the wheel, and develop a new perspective.
Sometimes, it seems as if God is hiding unwilling to be coaxed or persuaded to appear. We can put out our best effort, stand firm, and claim that we are ready to move on, however, the still, small voice deep in the distance simply whispers Be still……
This is the phrase I heard for much of the season when I was standing in the gap for our marriage. The one thing I have learned about God is He is never in a hurry. He is, after all, the source of time, so He knows when and where to make the grandest entrance. We are the ones who have the tendency to lean towards anxiety, while in the waiting. So often, we think we must “do” something when so often it is in the “doing” that the mess is made. It is in the stillness that God is asking us to cease from striving, take our hands off the wheel, and develop a new perspective.
Balancing Military Work Life
Patience can feel like such a dirty word. Something we must trudge through. However, when we dig through all the bad connotations of the word and realize the true intent God has for us, we find there is a whole world of lessons that can be taught in the waiting. Our eyes become open to the reality that the sweetest things in life are worth the wait.
This was never truer during the most fragile times in our marriage. I had been fasting and praying for a breakthrough for months, and things were seemingly worsening. It had reached its crescendo when Matt said he was ready to file the divorce papers. I will never forget that moment, nor the events that transpired after that.
I froze while sitting in the car. A cry came forth from my spirit that had no words. When a word finally did come, “ABBA” was all that was mustered. There is something that happens to you physically when you succumb to surrender. The Spirit takes over your flesh, and you feel as if one part of you is dying, but a new and better part is coming to life. It is a metamorphosis that cannot be entirely captured in words but must be experienced. For years and months, I had arrogantly claimed the word “surrender” as my own, but it wasn’t until that moment that my whole being embraced it.
I had finally come to the end of myself. There was absolutely nothing more I could do, or so I thought. I went home that night with an ethereal sense of peace I had never experienced before. When I woke up, the book of Esther weighed heavily on my mind. Versus, 16-19 of Chapter 4, struck out to me, “Go gather, all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” For months I was fasting and praying for my marriage alone, however, I believed the Lord was instructing me to gather an army to stand in the gap alongside me, to dedicate time to fast and pray for my marriage. I sought the Lord on whom He wanted me to ask, and he gave me 12 women. I contacted each of them and asked if they would be willing to fast and pray for my marriage for three days. They each agreed to consecrate 2 hours a day for prayer, which would cover my marriage all day and night.
That time of fasting and praying was so different from the others before. The level of warfare was like nothing I had ever experienced. I had never felt weaker or oppressed; at times, it felt like my body was being broken. I could tell something was going on around me that I could not see. My 12 warriors felt the same. We each sought to pray as the Lord led us to pray because we all knew that doing otherwise would be foolish.
The last hour of the last day of the fast, I received a message from my husband simply stating that he would be home when I got home from work. I could not believe it! A flood of emotions welled inside of me as I prepared for my drive home. I had no idea what to expect when I entered the house.
He sat me down and said, “I know we have a lot of work to do, and I am willing to do it. I don’t want to move backward, only forwards in our relationship, and I know the Lord has to come first.” He went on to say that something had happened to him the night before; he had been really having a hard time and was at his lowest point, and had lost all hope. At that moment, he felt the Lord say “Go Home.” He could feel me praying for him and knew that there would never be anyone that would pray as fervently for him as I would.
This is the heart of what we have to share not only with military couples but couples in general. Pursuing God in those moments of uncertainty, allowing patience to have its perfect work, trusting that it will teach us valuable things in the waiting, and acknowledging that somethings simply can’t be rushed. If the Lord had allowed me to have my way months before, Matt and I would not have been ready. We would have been independent of God and would have continued on the cycle of dysfunction.
There is value in knowing in battle, you need to enlist an Army. As men and women of the Armed Forces, you understand the strength in numbers. The same holds true in the Lord. Esther had the wisdom of knowing that first and foremost, she needed the Lord on her side, then she needed her people. Deuteronomy 32:30 says, “How could one chase one thousand and two put ten thousand to flight unless their Rock had sold them and the Lord had surrounded them?” For months, I had been fighting for my own strength. My efforts were noble but futile. It wasn’t until I fully surrendered to the Lord, received and accepted His instruction for how to fight, then obeyed, that things moved in my life.
We had no idea the level of impact we would have during those three days. The Lord used us to break through, to show my husband that there was someone who loved him enough to pray for him, even while he was in his lowest moment. The Lord used us as vessels to break strongholds. I had to, first and foremost, fully surrender to the Lord and His perfect will and way. Then obey in the direction He gave me.
As men and women of the Armed Forces, you understand the strength in numbers. The same holds true in the Lord.
When we do that, we can watch and see what He will do, knowing He will order our steps, fight for us, move in a mighty way in our lives, and do miraculous things that only He can get the glory for.