Me, Kelli & Addie (that's our dog) moved to Washington state five and a half years ago. I cannot believe it's been that long. We crammed ourselves into our U-haul and made the LONG trek across the country battling snow & sickness the whole way. We arrived in Snoqualmie naive enough not to be scared and excited enough to press on toward the calling God has placed on our life.
While we were in Snoqualmie we became really good friends with a young couple who ended up getting married a short time before we left. They were in our small group, lived down stairs from us in our apartment complex and became good friends in a short time. Some time ago we got word that they were separated and that he had made a lot of bad choices and was running away from the marriage. She left the state for a few months to try and "recover" from all she had been through and to be honest, we prayed for them, but I was sure their marriage was over. I chalked it up to another marriage down the tubes... a small battle won for the enemy.
This past weekend our church did not gather for worship on Sunday. Some of our Intentional Communities gathered together for bbq's and some informal fun, but we encouraged everyone to spend Sunday resting, relaxing and investing in their families. Since we had the morning free, we decided to visit with our old church in Snoqualmie but we had no idea what we were about to witness.
We had heard rumblings that this couple had encountered God in a radical way and that they were trying to work on their marriage after months and months apart and divorce papers on their way to be filed. But we hadn't talked to either of them or seen them in a long time. But just as the gathering was beginning to start they walked in. It was amazing to see them together. At the end of the service the husband went to the front of the congregation. With sincerity and strength he confessed his sin to the church, professed his love and gratitude for his Savior Jesus and his love, devotion, remorse and thankfulness for his wife. He shared Scripture, got down one his knees in humility as he expressed gratitude to the church for their love and grace during his rebellion. He stated in no uncertain terms that it was the power of prayer and the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit that had reconciled his broken marriage.
As much as I could not believe their marriage had fallen apart I was even more astounded that it has been restored. But why? Why am I amazed that the God of the universe, the God who is completely invested in the business of reconciliation, why am I surprised that he could... that he would restore my friends marriage. The brokenness, humility, love and grace on display in that room was a perfect picture of the gospel. I was so thankful to be abel to witness that.
The service closed with the church gathering around this couple and praying for them together. United against Satan and his schemes, acknowledging the long road this couple has ahead of them, the church took a stand for love, took a stand for marriage, took a stand for the glory of God and his ability to bring reconciliation and life change any time, any where.
The husband shared a passage of Scripture from James that I will close with. I hope this is an encouragement to you that hope is not lost. There is hope for the lost. There is hope for the broken. There is hope for anyone reading this whose marriage is broken or life is falling apart. I believe there is hope for Tacoma. Hope is found in the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.