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What is life really like for a prodigal spouse? Tuesdays Bob shares
from the prodigal’s perspective, after being remarried to Charlyne
for 19 years. Read more from Bob in some of his favorite books –
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"DID YOU KNOW THE LORD WAS WORKING IN YOUR LIFE?"
My reply could be titled, "Ten Tales From The Far Country."
time, I really did not know if God was working in my life. Summing
it up, I knew I was not living as I should, plus some very odd things
happening to me equaled something, but I was not ready to say it was
God. Had I admitted it was Him, I knew enough to realize that I
would have had to make some major changes, including going home.
Allow me to share ten events from my prodigal days, and you can
decide if God was at work, as Charlyne stood for our marriage and
prayed for me, but saw no results.
The first Christmas I took a female, not the other
woman, but another
other woman, (can you relate?) to the Fort Lauderdale Christmas
Pageant. I was proud of the seats I had gotten us for that large
production. Right in the middle of the Christmas story, the Parable
of the Prodigal Son had somehow been worked into the presentation. Of
all the aisles in that huge auditorium, when the prodigal returned,
with a spotlight following him, he happened to walk right by our
seats. The female accompanying me was not in the picture after that
Second example: I was working late in Miami during
a major tropical
downpour. After 10 P.M. I
started for my efficiency apartment, only
to have a radiator hose blow out. I ended up standing in ankle deep
water beside my bone-dry old car. As I dipped water from the street
into my radiator, so that I could go a short distance before
repeating the process, “Something” reminded me this scenario
my life. Love abounded all around, just not where I needed it; on
Jump months ahead to example number three: In an attempt to get
from all that was happening to me, I moved 100 miles to the small
town of Okeechobee and went to work
for a funeral home. Until I found
an apartment, the funeral home owner invited me to stay with he and
his wife in their large home. On the first evening, my boss told
me, "I’ll have the coffee ready at 6:00 A.M.
That’s when we all get
up to watch ‘Praise the Lord’ together." I knew Charlyne watched the
same program, at the same hour,
because she had invited me to watch
it and I had scoffed at her. Now I had no choice. By the time I
moved into my own apartment, I had begun to appreciate this program
as a great way to start my day, and continued to watch it on my own.
Something deep inside me felt good, knowing Charlyne and I were
witnessing the same things at the same time.
Satan had me so blinded
that I continued in sin.
Number four: My girlfriend would come up every other weekend. One
weekend, as she backed out of her garage, her vehicle stalled
directly under her electric garage door. When she attempted to
restart her car, the door came crashing down on top of it. My buddy,
who owns a garage door company now tells me this was impossible, but
somehow the door remote sensor was reacting to her car’s electronic
ignition. Time and time again, she would attempt to start
and each time the garage door banged into her car’s roof. When
managed to drive from under the door, the message I received
was, "Someone’s telling me not to come
Speaking of weekends and the other woman, here is example number
five: One Saturday morning she was at my apartment and I was at the
funeral home. She called to tell me it was all over, and she was
packing to go home, which she did. I called Charlyne and unloaded on
her for causing this. She had no idea what I was talking about, but
later I learned how she rejoiced when I had blasted her because the
other person was gone. When I reached my empty apartment, I found a
note and the evidence of what had happened. My day planner had
fallen off of a closet shelf by itself, (with the Lord’s help) and
opened to a page where I had noted seeing Charlyne. These other
people do not handle that very well. Sadly, a few weeks later she
was back in the picture.
Number six: I had planned a New Year’s Eve at the other
home. At 10:30 P.M. I was
called back to work. During the two hour
drive back to Okeechobee, my alternator failed. I ushered in the New
Year sitting in a car with no lights, beside a two-lane road, with
only cows for miles around. I finally reached Charlyne and asked her
to come help me with transportation.
Are you convinced God was working in my life? I wasn’t, so here
example number seven: One of the popular radio stations in
Okeechobee was a Christian station from Belle Glade.
Whoever drove a
funeral home car could change the radio station. A thousand and one
times, when I would run an errand, the last driver had left the
station set to that Christian station.
One of the top songs of that
day was about "rejoicing" over a prodigal coming home. I
in a car, thinking about what I was doing, and "prodigal music"
would be filling the car. I began to like the song, and finally
stopped changing the station.
Number eight example: Funeral directors have to be nice to everyone,
especially in a small community. Time and time again, I would meet a
minister at a funeral service who could read my mail. A co-worker, a
retired cowboy, was a member of Gideons International. In his sweet,
but firm way, he would attempt to witness to
me, after observing how
I was living. I dealt with families where there had been a
remarriage. Was God dealing with me?
Number nine was the ongoing example that helped bring me to my
senses. I was under so much conviction, and in yet another attempt
to run from God, I moved to Fort Piece and went to work
for an organ
transplant program. The program was statewide, and they flew staff
around in their own plane. I enjoyed the job, but began to be aware
of plane crashes.
Number ten took place one Saturday afternoon. I was driving by a
cemetery and noticed a graveside service starting. I looked at my
watch and it was 2:00 P.M. The
Sunday paper reported a plane had
crashed into several cars and the wall in front of that cemetery.
The accident occurred at 2:05 PM.
Had I been five minutes later I
could have been involved. The company plane was sold, and the new
owner crashed the plane on the way home. I took my girlfriend out to
dinner at a theme restaurant located adjacent to an
airport. I asked
our server what the lights were, far across the
airport from us. "A
plane crashed this afternoon," he informed us.
I have shared only ten examples out of about ten
and I were remarried within weeks of event number ten. I had to
acknowledge that God was working in my life, and He was talking to
me. I knew that if I did not stop being an embarrassment to the
cause of Christ, God could take my life, to get me out of the way of
His Kingdom work, and it might be in a plane crash.
Charlyne and I are burdened when a stander writes us about how they
are giving up, because nothing is happening. These email always
attack God because He did not move according to their timetable. If
that person could only be where we have been, and know that God is
dealing with their prodigal every day, they would never give up.
Our Lord God is moving mountains to get your prodigal’s attention.
You have no idea what is happening in your prodigal’s heart today.
stander giving up is always based on a combination of time and
circumstances, not on what God has promised. The quitting stander
attempts to play God, as they decide the timetable deadline for a
specific action. Praise God that He does not work that way, or we
would all be on the outside of having life eternal.
The hand of God is not too short to reach
the one you love. He only
asks that you stand firm, pray, and leave the rest up to Him.
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of
you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little
while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But
righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I
not be pleased with him.’ But we are not of those who
back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are
Hebrews 10: 36-39
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.®
Post Office Box 10548
Pompano Beach, FL 33061 USA
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quoted by permission and are from
the Holy Bible; New International Version® Copyright© 1973, 1978,
1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan
Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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