Joel 2: 12-14 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?”
Have you ever found yourself in the far country, like the prodigal son, wanting to return home to the Father, but afraid that He will not accept you? Well, I can say that I have. In June of 2012, I almost threw away my marriage of 10 years. I moved out, asked my wife for a divorce, and even started seeing another woman. I found myself taken captive by the enemy, deceived into thinking I was doing what was best, all while walking a path of destruction. I knew the truth, but the enemy had so deceived me that I thought my circumstances changed how it applied to me. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and asking myself how did I ever get in such a mess. On August 8, 2012 I returned home to a praying wife that was standing for our marriage, and to the Lord. I remember the struggle with my flesh as the Holy Spirit dealt with me, but when I submitted in repentance and came home that night it was the most peaceful night’s sleep I have ever had in my life. One month later, after 10 years of infertility, we found ourselves pregnant with our first child, a son. We named him Ian, which means “God forgives”. Today, 2 years and 10 days later, we are pregnant with our second child, a girl. Her name will be Ariel, which means “lion of God”. This was a name given to my wife during her stand by the Holy Spirit which she promised to give her daughter one day. The irony is that one of the reasons I left was because I wanted my own children. When I returned home, I thought I had to give that up in order to be obedient and come home to my wife. My gracious and merciful Father not only received me back and relented from bringing disaster on me, but He blessed me beyond measure with what I desired most in life: A family. Wherever you find yourself today, return to the Father in repentance, and He will receive you. Who knows, He may leave behind a blessing!