Nobody wants to admit failure. In a society that bases success on position, money, friends, possessions, status….you never think you will end up in the same position as the Prodigal Son. Sittin’ in a pig pen realizing…..I’ve come to the end of myself! I’d really prefer to talk about my athletic conquest, my master’s degree, or even all the important positions I’ve held as a platform for a testimony…..but that’s not what happened. It’s not to say God can’t use people like this; in the big picture I squandered those opportunities, I was too busy enjoying the limelight. If I had used them, I probably would have taken credit for that success; God won’t share the spot light with anyone.
Two words I hear used almost exclusively together….divorce and alcohol dependence. Don’t ask how a “health nut” and drinkin’ go together…..that’s a whole testimony in itself. I want to focus on the day Jesus spoke to me. Sounds crazy, something you would see on a Face Book post or a magazine at the grocery store check out….but it happened. I don’t care what you think.
My ex-wife had not spoken to me is 3 years. I had issues I was working on. I had not had a drink in about 3 years and had worked on sobriety, church, mission trips, choir in church, and teaching a 12 step class at the Rescue Mission. I was the problem so I instituted a sure fire make-over plan…and it was working! The notion hit me to call to see if she wanted to have dinner, so I did. The first miracle was her answering the phone with caller ID and all. I was stunned…she said yes. At this point I must ask you to digress to the days of your very first date with the girl of your dreams for the guys; ladies, think about the Captain of the football team, who also was homecoming King, asking you out. Excited and thrilled do not describe that moment. I set out to really impress her. A plain dinner would not do….a dinner cruise…yeah, that will impress her! Got to have a new set of clothes, washed and waxed my car…twice. Should I bring flowers or candy…both should fix that!
The day arrived. I was early…by an hour. Drove around, washed my car again…..then the time came. I knocked on the door and ….NO ANSWER. Maybe she was still in the shower! Thirty minutes after the appointed time, I called her. She had an emergency arise and had forgotten to call me. After the disappointment subsided….my first thoughts were about me, naturally. I worked hard, cleaned up, changed my life. This was just wrong. Returning to my old ways crossed my mind, but another thought showed up just in time. Pray about this. So with all my disappointment and despair I asked God…why do I deserve this?! At that moment a voice clearer than any Bose system answered. Jesus never wastes words….He cuts to the heart of the matter; it quickens your heart. He said, “How many days have I gotten ready for you and knocked at your door, only to no answer?” I suddenly realized, He’s gotten just as excited about my return to Him…everyday, Jesus had new clothes on for me everyday…for years. If He has a car….He has washed it every day waiting on me. Look up ‘conviction’ in Wikipedia…..my picture was there at that moment.
We were remarried in 2007 on the same day we were married on our first try. I married up, I out punted my coverage with my wife. She is a blessing and a gift. I prayed for God to return her and…He did. You see, my wife spent those 3 years praying for me and growing closer to God. We are two people that think each one of us got the better deal. That’s how God Works, miracles happen, lives are changed, prayers are answered. There are abundant blessings, but there are changes you have to make..