Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. Isaiah 46:11
A few months into my marriage stand, things were not looking very good. The prospects of restoration were becoming further and further out of reach. By then, I had moved out of the house and communication between Amy and I had been reduced to text messages and brief phone calls usually revolving around when our kids would be exchanged.
These were trying times for me. My heart was hurting and there was no escape from the constant pain and emptiness. It was during this time that the Lord was drawing me closer to himself. I was being refined, but the refining fire He was using was extremely painful. (Hebrew 12:6)
One night I had gone to the Lord in prayer. I prayed desperately for my marriage to be restored and for our family to become whole again. It was a particularly intense prayer involving many tears and groans that only the Holy Spirit understood. After this prayer, I fell asleep. A couple hours later I was awakened to pray once more. Again, I prayed for restoration and healing in my marriage. I also prayed that God would be glorified in my life and through the testing I was enduring. I fell asleep while praying.
Suddenly, around 2:00 in the morning I was awakened once more. This time was different. I was completely alert and a Scripture reference had entered my mind. I heard it repeated over and over inside my head. I wasn’t familiar with the passage, but knew the Lord was leading me to his Word for a specific reason. I reached for my cell phone and hurriedly opened a Bible app. I searched the reference that had been given to me, Isaiah 46:11. Upon reading, I had a very real sense of comfort. It was as though God was speaking directly to me. In reality, He was. “… I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”
The next morning, I shared this encounter with a few others including my pastors. I had no doubt the Lord had chosen to answer my prayer and had used this divine encounter to increase my faith. I was challenged to not give up, despite what was coming.
Throughout the next several months, circumstances went from bad to worse. Our divorce eventually went through despite all efforts to postpone and delay. By worldly accounts, I had lost. But I never forgot the verse I was given that one night. I determined to rely on the Lord for everything and to live my life in such a way that would bring honor and glory to Christ. He challenged me daily to reach out in love to Amy by showing acts of kindness, humility and sacrifice; regardless of how difficult and painful it was. He was essentially teaching me to live and act the way He did when he lived here on this earth. This was the complete opposite of the way I had been for most of the ten years of our marriage.
I believed in my heart that the Lord was going to do something special, but I didn’t know when. Regardless of whether a reconciliation and healing occurred in this life or the next, I knew I was to be obedient and to continue to pray God’s will be done in the life of my family.
Fast forward six months. I was by myself and getting ready to go for a run. The sun had nearly gone down as I had just taken a few steps of my warm up walk. I looked ahead at the path in front of me and not 10 feet away came a magnificent owl gliding past my head. I watched it fly off into the sunset. Immediately, the verse the Lord had given me many months ago came to my mind. It all became very clear. “…Calling a bird of prey from the east.” The owl is a bird of prey. It flew in front of me from the east. “The man of my counsel from a far country…” I had been counseling with my pastor. He had been a missionary in China before coming back to the states to serve. “… I have purposed, and I will do it.” Two months later, the Lord worked His miracle and suddenly changed my covenant spouse’s heart. My prayers had been answered.
This passage was a gift to me and my family. It stands as the foundation of our ministry. Indeed it stands as the foundation for all of our lives as believers.
Dear friend, you may find yourself hurting and confused. You may find yourself in a marriage that seems hopeless to save. Perhaps you have even experienced the pain of divorce. Know this. God loves you and has a plan and purpose for your life. Keep your eyes on Him. Do not waiver. Pray that His will be done in your life and in the life of your spouse. God’s revealed will for all our lives is found in His Word. Trust in Him with all your spirit and strength. Allow the Lord to increase your faith by trusting in Him fully, and do not be ruled by the emotions that can so easily deceive and confuse our hearts.
May the Lord bless you and your family.