I have this daily devotion book. It sits on my nightstand collecting dust a lot of days. The days that I do open it up, that day’s message are usually profound and exactly what God needed me to read THAT day. I love how the Spirit works in me. Yesterday’s message hit me hard. I wanted to sit and write what I gleaned from it to encourage anyone reading the blog, but it just didn’t happen. Today, it was on my schedule to do. But 2 hours had already past by this morning, I was still going full speed toward unimportant tasks. As I read today’s message in my book, it pricked my heart as well. It was based off of Luke 10:33 when the Samaritan stopped to help a man in need, a man who was his enemy, a Jew. My book states that God is at work in the lives of my friends, my family, my neighbors. He may ask me to interrupt my day long enough to join Him as He ministers to those around me just like the Samaritan helped the hurt man. In other words… Julie, sit down and write.
There is a lot going on. For over 7 months, we have walked this journey of cancer. We have learned new information every step of the way, most of it not any better than what we learned the step before:
It’s back. It’s changed. It’s aggressive. It’s spread through the skin. It didn’t respond. It is hard to remove. It’s probably going to come back.
Don’t think for a second that before those statements came true that I was not covered in prayer. That all of us did not bring our requests, our pleadings to the Lord Almighty. But please don’t confuse that with He did not hear or He did not answer. Isaiah 58:9 says, “You will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and He will say; Here I am.” Sometimes, the answer is just a simple, quiet “Here I am.” Is that enough for us? It has taken many “no’s” for Ethan and I to change our thinking, change our prayers. Prayer is not meant to be us telling God what we want or how we think it should be. As a friend described it, it is not a remote control that we can point at God. Prayer is communication. Prayer is putting myself in His control. Prayer is trusting that his answer is enough. Yes, we submit our requests to the Lord but then it is not our job to say if He answered correctly. As I begin to trust his answers, I begin to ask less for healing. I am asking more for Him to use me. Through that comes his grace. And His grace is a beautiful thing when it is all you have to hold on to.
So, yesterday’s message was from 1 Kings 19 when Elijah, a prophet of God, is discouraged. The Israelites had turned away from God, killed the prophets and Elijah was left alone and fleeing for his life and prayed that he may die. Then the word of the Lord spoke to Elijah:
“Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by” (paraphrased) …a great and powerful wind tore through the mountain and shattered rocks, then an earthquake, then a fire. But God was not in any of those things… “After the fire, came a gentle whisper.”
Enlarge my photo above. It is from Pike’s Peak in Colorado this summer. I wish that I could stand on that mountain right now, stretch out my arms and just feel God’s presence. The the wind, the clouds, the storms, the fire… that is not always how God responds. We want him to send the earthquake of healing. The miraculous, supernatural, instant, unmistakeable healing. We want the powerful wind to blow through this journey and in the end be healed and whole. Be honest, we want it big. And I have seen big. I have asked for big and asked God to SHOW UP, and He does. But also be prepared for the gentle whisper. The grace. The everlasting love that can never be taken away. Be willing to hear his answer be “Here I am” and let that be enough.