I’m somewhat thankful God’s ways are not my ways. Let me unpack that. I’m praying that my father-in-law will be completely healed. He’s been in the hospital now for over a month. He has bacterial meningitis. God took his cancer away that he was diagnosed with in 2013, but last January he contracted this new disease because his immune system was way down.
We have the why it happened, but the end may not be what I want. I pray for healing in the sense that he comes home to live to be 100. He might not make it out of the hospital. I hate typing that, but sometimes you have to prepare for the worst.
Death is the worst in the human experience. Even when someone is old and gray we grieve their passing. I still grieve for my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who have passed away. I’ve not lost either of my parents or any of my brothers, but I have experienced the loss of friends. If my father-in-law doesn’t make it that would be a serious loss that will heavily impact my wife, daughter and me. I pray everyday that God will heal David, and I will not stop. I know He can. He took his cancer away. He can take this bacterial meningitis away too. So far He hasn’t, but that does not deter me in anyway from asking over and over.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now. Well, I know what one of you is going through as you shared with me just earlier this morning from Tokyo, and know I’m praying your request. I’m dealing with the same thing dear friend. I’m afraid Satan knows you and me because we are serious threats to his destructive agenda. I don’t want to be afraid. You don’t want to be afraid, but if we’re honest we are afraid, and I think we are afraid because Satan’s power is great. It is not greater than the Father who knit us together in our mother’s wombs. It’s hard to pick a favorite verse, but here’s one of mine.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4.18
I will walk out of this house in about 3 hours to take my daughter somewhere. Nashville traffic has a way of bringing out the worst in me because my anger is present the way David’s illness is present. I am sometimes not able to manage it. Fear and anger are companions I am trying to jettison, but that statement in itself is a lie. Fear and anger are not strings controlling me like a puppet, but I am not able to get rid of them. They control me, but I can battle them with the grace and mercy the Spirit provides. I am constantly praying God’s angels around my family and me, and I know He sends them. They might be delayed like Michael was with Daniel, but they always come. I will not believe that trying harder is the answer because trying harder does not factor in the account that my struggle is not against flesh and blood, nor is it in my battle with Nashville traffic. I can return good for evil, not because I am able, but because He is through me.
I just finished my second cup of coffee this morning, but I want to live a life that doesn’t need coffee because it is in Him I live and move and have my being. The Father blessed me with those two cups of coffee, and I have the health and mind to write this post. I thank Him for those things, and may I never tire or yawn at the “small” blessings those are. God is in and around our entire planet. He does not always work in the ways we think He should work, and sometimes He says no to our prayer requests. I pray diligently that the illness my father-in-law is facing now is not one of those times, but if it is He is no less my Father. He sees things I don’t see, and I trust Him. Trusting Him in good and bad times is called faith, and I long to do that, but sometimes it’s hard, if not impossible. But what is impossible with man is possible with God. He turned water into wine. He raised the dead. He single handedly saved mankind 2000 years ago by raising His son from the dead. He infused my heart and mind with the power of the Holy Spirit years ago in a little Kansas town when my dad baptized me in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit. That’s why I pray that He heal my father-in-law because I know he is more than able.
I am not the only one praying this. I know a remnant who will be praying just on Wednesday at a church here in Nashville. They miss my father-in-law the way I do, and they are not ready to say goodbye either. David is a Godly man who is not afraid to die, but from my limited perspective he’s got more to bring to the table for a world who needs to see Jesus through him. He’s suffering and in pain, and I know death would bring relief, but my God can relieve that pain, heal him and send him home.
A former pastor said God has a broad chest on which to beat our fists. He knows keenly the suffering we go through because He was fully man on this planet. He identified with us in every way even through death. We can yell, beg and question why He lets bad things happen. He did not create this world with this shit in mind. He created it to be a place of perfection and love, and I know that place is being restored as I write because I believe that the New Earth will have no illness or death. There won’t be fear, anger, hate or indifference. The lion will lay down with the lamb, and the idea of nuclear war will not cross our minds. I won’t have to confront a neighbor for threatening my wife and daughter, and I won’t have to distrust a single human being.
I long for a place of safety and security, not because I’m afraid to die, but because I know a God who is love. The Bible illustrates that over and over. His presence brings that truth into real-time, and the God of the Bible is the God of my life.
God can heal my father-in-law. Will He? I don’t know. But I do know that as I pray for that I also pray for my father-in-law’s comfort as he lays in that hospital bed. God is sustaining him. God is listening to my request. I know He hears and listens, and as the days turn into weeks I wait patiently for His answers.
You are a beloved child of God. That is first and foremost who you are. We all are in different geographic places. One of you is all the way across the world wishing the voices of evil were not so loud. I offer a prayer in closing.
Silence the voices of evil in our minds dear Father. The father of lies leverages our situations to his favor, but You can block those. Do it. I don’t ask you for help. I ask you to do what I and those who read this can’t. We are helpless without You. We deserve death, but instead You give us abundant life. That takes my breath away dear Father. You are creating a revival in this city of Nashville that will ripple all around the globe. May we be reflections of Your Son Jesus Christ who is not afraid of anything. Restore us Father. Strengthen us in our weakness. Make us strong. Where there is despair put hope. Where there is hate put love. In Jesus name amen.