"Any doubt I may have had about whether or not God was speaking directly to me instantly vanished."
In 1993 my young bride filed for divorce and said if I refused to sign, she would take the kids and I would never see them again. I wept, fasted, prayed, and earnestly sought God’s guidance. I know the Bible is no magic 8-ball, but I also know it is the inspired Word of God for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I clung to it as the Bread of Life and, fasting and praying, I poured out my heart for an actual, miraculous answer from God.
I held that Bible with the spine resting on the table and dropped the leafs where they may fall. With my eyes closed, I asked God to guide my hand to His answer, and I dropped my finger on the words:
“Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.”
I prayed and slept on it, unsatisfied that this holy response would do me any good in this very earthly dilemma. The next day I confessed that I needed more direct instruction about what it meant to love my enemies in this particular situation. I again dropped open the leafs of my Bible, and dropped my hand to the page. There I read:
“it (love) keeps no record of wrongs.”
“God, that makes no sense!” I thought. “My lawyer told me to keep a notebook of all the times she missed a doctor’s appointment, failed to give the kids their medicine, or went out without getting a sitter for them. We are protecting me by demonstrating a pattern of unreliable motherhood here. Keeping no record of wrongs would make me vulnerable to her irresponsible wrath.”
The words burned my eyes and echoed in my ears, “Love your enemies,” and “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” At that moment there was a fire roaring in the fireplace, and it seemed the perfect altar on which to submit my sacrifice of obedience. I cast the notebook of my bride’s wrongs into the fire and I wept bitterly.
It was the eighth day of a ten-day fast for me, and the final hearing was in two days. With no record of wrongs, I knew I was in for trouble in the courtroom. I went to my Bible one more time:
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way…”
Any doubt I may have had about whether or not God was speaking directly to me instantly vanished. God, don’t you know both our lawyers have forbidden us from talking to one another? Still, since you say so, I will call her.
“Hello. I know I’m not supposed to call. I just have one question. What is it that you want?”
“That’s it? You’ve got it. Can we cancel the rest of this? I’ll do whatever you want.”
Fast forward ten years. Upon hearing she was moving again, this time to California, “Since you’re leaving the state again, I think we should make the paperwork look a little more like what we are living. Would you mind if I had it tweaked a little?”
She responded, “Todd, you have never hurt me, and I trust you completely. I will sign whatever you put in front of me. …Yes, even full custody.”
It gets better. Her lawyer went through a divorce of his own and saw me in passing at the courthouse. He stopped me and said, “Todd, I never knew how much I hurt you until someone had me in the same position. How can you treat me as friendly as you always have even after I treated you so horribly back then? If you ever need anything…anything at all, you let me know, and it’s yours.”
“Actually…” I responded, and I was awarded full custody of my children for free without any arguments or court appearance.
God is still good, and He still speaks through His Word.
Questions: One of the great disparities of humanity is that we generally fail to live up to what we believe. What step of sacrificial obedience are you holding back from God?
Psalm 119:105 says that God’s word is “a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” What Scripture remains hidden in your heart waiting to light your path in just this hour of need?
Consider praying this prayer: Holy Father, today, I ask that You speak Your Word into my heart. Light my path and give me a holy boldness to follow You, holding nothing back. Lord, where You make a way there is no obstacle that can endure. Break me free from my earthly entanglements and draw me nearer to You as I seek to do Your will. Through Christ Jesus, our Lord, Amen!