One Sunday many years ago, as I was walking across this large hall, a lady softly called my name. I stopped and looked in front of me. There she was, a familiar face. She was smiling, and she asked me, “Do you remember me, Cata?”
I replied, upon instantly recognizing her — “Yes, of course!”
I made sure I said her name so that she’d know I wasn’t pulling her leg. Yes, I remembered her.
She motioned to the man beside her. “Do you remember him? My husband.” And I said, “Yes, of course! I remember. I met him before.”
I had to ask — “Are you back together?”
She said, “Yes! Yes. We’re back together!”
So I asked her husband, “Do you worship here, too? With your wife?”
Very shyly, he nodded yes. Goodness gracious. I couldn’t believe my ears.
I smiled and must’ve said, “Wow. Great! Oh, I’m so happy to hear that!!!” Or something to that effect. Because that’s exactly how I felt. But sometimes, words escape me.
Meanwhile, people were lining up around us to be prayed for, so we had to hurry off and say our quick goodbyes. I was practically jumping for joy as I went up a flight of stairs!
You see, around 12 years ago, I counseled that lady. She was referred to me by a friend from Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF, our church). I didn’t know her at all. And she had never heard of CCF. But she willingly went to see me for counseling. CCF offers Biblical counseling for free. It’s one of the ways we help others, and give back to God.
When she’d have panic attacks, she’d call me. When they had fights, she’d call me. When she needed prayers, we’d pray together. I suggested that she attend Bible classes to keep her grounded and strong. She did.
One time, I asked her to bring her husband to CCF to talk to my husband. (Well, that’s how we do it in CCF — women counsel women, men counsel men.) In fairness, her husband came to see my husband. But it didn’t work out. Her husband didn’t want to go back for more counseling. He didn’t want to give up what he was into. I think he didn’t like what my husband had to say to him.
But I continued to counsel this lady a bit longer. Then it came to a point when I already ran out of things to say — but she and her husband still hadn’t reconciled.
However, in the course of our counseling, I shared with her something infinitely more important than saving her marriage.
I shared with her how she could first save her own life — by making Jesus Christ her Savior and Lord. By surrendering her life to Christ. By obeying Him for the rest of her life.
She had to bridge the chasm between religion and relationship. Between ritual and reality. Between mere lip service and true obedience to Him. And she did. She did.
Many Sundays after, I’d see her in church, attending worship by herself. I’d also bump into her sometimes, very early at 6am, when we still had Dawn Watch. And over the years, even if we never met again for counseling, I’d see her in church, and she’d say “hi” every time she saw me.
I was always glad to see her — and I saw this quiet, new peace in her that I never saw before. Over the years, we lost touch. But apparently, Jesus never lost touch with her. And apparently, she also never lost touch with Him.
That Sunday, many years ago, God gave me the privilege of seeing His quiet but magnificent handiwork: a marriage restored by His own hands!
God honored this one wife, who was willing to do the right thing, all by herself, for years. However, not all marriages get restored even if one tries hard to save it. But one thing is certain: the one who did the right thing, the one who surrendered his/her life to Christ, will always be saved — for eternity. Which is infinitely more important.
Truly. I am privileged and deeply grateful that He took the time to show me what He can do if we’re just willing to believe Him. Really, really believe Him.
Thank you, Lord, for your love that never, never fails.