I received a phone call from an old friend that stopped me in my tracks. She has been a rock of a woman, caring for her husband who has had a health history related to his service in vietnam. Several weeks ago he had what initially appeared to be a stroke… but it was not. It was a brain tumor exactly like the one that took out Ted Kennedy. He has had profound impact to his speech and mobility due to this tumor. His prognosis is grim at best. And my friend, his wife, has been a nurse for years and years… so she understands the medical aspects that non medical people might miss. She expressed how sad and almost hopeless she feels to know he will not be with her for very long. His health had been improving enough that she had begun thinking they could go places and do things together. Since that conversation i have heard her words “Cherish every moment, because you dont know what waits” resonate in my every breath. This life does not always seem fair. Suffering and bad things happen to good people far too often.
Today a cousin sent me an email asking for prayer… her high school aged daughter had broken up with a boyfriend during the summer, and now he has come back as a stalker.. so much so that the high school is asking the family to get a restraining order. They are good christian people with strong morals… now isn;t that just like satan to challenge in ways we are not prepared to deal with.
This year has been constant reminders to me of how much prayer is critical. it is not that optional few words spoken in a bible study, or blessing before eating a meal. It is the life line cry for help – help that is beyond the capacity of any human to get us through these places, times and situations.
All around us there is a desperate earth groaning for redemption, and people struggling under the weight of this life. Perhaps i am getting older and it is more noticable, or perhaps it is just the world erroding faster and faster. Things that would have been unheard of a generation ago are common place today… like the school shootings. I think the worst thing that ever happend when i was in high school was someone dropping a fire cracker in a toilet in the boys restroom. And that was a big scandal. The world seems to be spinning faster and faster… and little by little it is becoming more dangerous.
But we are blessed to have the ear of the very creator who chooses to bend down and silence heaven so he can hear our cry.
So Lord, I come to you with the weights of those around me – for the caregiver of the dying spouse, and the nervous mother of a teenage beauty, and those who have struggles with life, health, finance, their weight, their mind, the bills, their kids, their house, job, their very existance. In me there are no answers, but you have told us to call upon you, to ask, to knock, to seek those answers…. I come, laying these great needs before you. Walk the halls of the hospitals, and fill hearts with hope and peace. Give nurses and doctors great wisdom and hearts of compassion. Offer strength to the caregivers. Walk the halls of our schools and protect our kids from danger and violence. Give teachers and parents wisdom and clarity to do the right things. And walk along side those who are out of control, speak peace and clarity to their hearts and minds to keep them from violence and strife. Walk through our homes and build them strong, as a shelter from the raging storms of this world. Unify families, give parents and guardians courage to parent with respect, create trust, develop and nurture their families, and slather everything with great measures of grace. And sit down next to that one who feels life is beyong their capacity. Be near the one who does not know what to do next, or feels the world has rejected them. Remind them you have a purpose and a plan for each life. And give them grace to accept the plan, and the next step. You know each of us better than we know ourselves. Go before us, walk us through the challenges, and remind us that this earthly existance is but a vapor, a shadow, and one day it will end as we step into your presence,and gaze upon your face. Thank you that your love is always there, your mercy is real,and your keeping power is beyond what our human minds can understand. We will trust you for these requests, knowing you have the best answers because you are good, and your mercy endures forever. Amen
Prayer is a moment by moment reality, a life line to heaven, and a cry of a desperate person to an all knowing God. I plan to find more times to get away and pray… i hope you will join me.