Once upon a time, there was a family. This family loved the Lord. They raised their children in the Lord. They attended a church that followed the Lord.
But one day, the devil grew weary of their faithfulness. He set his sights on destroying their peace, destroying their family and ultimately destroying their allegiance to the kingdom and Lord they served.
He brought much turmoil. He went to great lengths to infiltrate their lives. He wove himself into the fabric of their church, their family and their hearts.
He knew that the father was weakened. His defenses were compromised. He was ripe for annihilation. And when the time was right, he struck his fatal blow.
He crushed his spirit. He beat the father over and over and farther and farther down until there was no fight left. The father simply gave up.
He gave up on being a husband. He gave up on being a father. He gave up on following Christ. For five years, he lived in his giving up.
His family faced challenges. There were trials and more trials but nothing provoked the father to life.
The climax of tribulation arrived in the form of a cancer diagnosis for his wife. She faced surgeries and treatments. She lost pieces of her body and her heart. She was the last obstacle to tear down.
But no matter how hard he tried, the devil could not get her to give up. No matter how much he took she refused to quit believing that her family could be whole again.
She took her husband’s soul, his faithfulness and his healing and nailed to the cross. Literally.
She wrote his name on a piece of paper. She walked up to a cross and nailed it there. She left her husband in the hands that were nailed to that cross.
Then one day, this wife found out the depth of her husband’s betrayal. Was this it? Would she finally break? Did all the persistence of the enemy finally pay off?
The devil knew this was it.
But he discounted one thing.
Through the hurt, through the tears, through the pain, she said, “You are forgiven.”
Today I watched that man stand before a body of believers broken and hopeful.
Today I watched that woman walk up to the cross and take off his name.
Tonight the family that almost wasn’t still is.