“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Years ago in the early stages of my marriage stand, doubt and uncertainty would frequently enter my mind. The targeted thoughts that were cast upon me questioned the rightness of my position and whether or not it would be wise to consider counsel that was not based solely on Scripture. As I wrestled with the difficulty of staying the course, I would ask the Lord for signs to encourage me and to increase my faith. I can say that on occasion God would give me visible glimpses of hope. In some cases, he would provide clear and unmistakable pictures demonstrating that He was at work and listening to my prayers.
I recall one distinct moment after a time of prayer that instantly spoke to my heart. I had just left work and was headed to the car. Just before I opened the door to get in, for whatever reason, I looked straight up into the sky. I observed a passenger jet flying high and off in the distance. I watched it for 3 to 4 seconds, then all of a sudden it made a complete u-turn. I had never seen a plane make that drastic a maneuver in person. It was headed one direction, then a moment later, it was headed in the complete opposite direction. Tears began to flow from my eyes as I realized the Lord wanted me to witness this. You see, just minutes earlier I had asked God to provide me with an assurance that He was at work and that the direction of my relationship with Amy would change. To see the plane fly as it did, I sensed the Lord impressing on my heart that marriage restoration was coming and the change would be sudden. I didn’t get the sense that restoration would happen right away, rather I believed Amy’s heart would be quickly transformed. Some time later, these thoughts were confirmed.
I share this story not to encourage others to seek visual confirmation of God’s will, but rather to express the truth that God is always in control of our circumstances despite our fears and disbelief. A sign or assurance from God didn’t change the fact that I was to obey His word and live by faith. The fact that I longed for a sign demonstrated the weakness of my faith. Was it not enough for me to just simply trust and obey the Lord? Why couldn’t I take Him at His word and know that He was working all things together for my good?
Friends, I want to encourage all of you standing for your marriages to believe in your heart that God is hearing your prayers. Do not be discouraged by painful realities of life being played out before your eyes. Yes, God can give us signs from time to time if He chooses. Be grateful and humbled when He does. But please know that it is not these signs that should determine our level of faith. Our steadfastness and obedience to God’s word during the hard times is what will strengthen and equip us to persevere. This will ultimately glorify God.