Influencers Weekly Devotional
Friday, June 15, 2012
Last weekend, I witnessed a very sad event. A mom who suffered an aneurism in her stomach was fighting for her life at the hospital, while over 50 family members and friends waited and prayed and cried as news came that she would likely not make it. Her three sons clung to each other and wailed loudly as they faced the prospect of losing their Mom. Everyone was at a loss as to what could be done, except to pray. I believe in James 5:14-16, which says:
“Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
There happened to be 5 or 6 Elders from Debbie’s church in the waiting room, and I felt compelled to ask them if we could pray over her and anoint her with oil for healing. We all wanted to be respectful of the family, and we all recognized that James 5:14-16 indicates that the one who is sick is to request such a prayer and anointing. However, Debbie was unable to make this request, so we finally asked her husband, Greg. As we waited, I prayed silently, and I flipped through my Bible for answers and for courage. The Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 116, which seemed very appropriate to this situation:
“The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then, I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’” Psalm 116:3-4
I believed with all of my soul, mind and strength that the Lord could save Debbie. If he wanted to use me as an agent for a miracle, I was available. The family decided they wanted to have the prayer of anointing, so we all walked into her hospital room. As I walked in and greeted Greg, he said, “She’s gone.” Debbie had just departed. We all stared at Debbie’s fleshly remains in disbelief and silence, until finally Greg asked us if we would join him in prayer. This brave man of faith said the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard, choking through tears of grief, as he gave his wife to the Lord. I grabbed Debbie’s lifeless hand, still hoping and praying for a miracle. It was not to be.
The next several minutes were in slow motion as the news spread of Debbie’s passing. So many tears, so much anguish, so much love. As I was about to let the Enemy tell me it was my fault for not acting quicker to ask to pray over her, the Lord prompted me to keep reading further in Psalm 116:
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For You, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains.” Psalm 116:7-9, 15-16
Whereas I was reading Psalm 116 with hopes of a physical healing, I came to understand that this passage was talking about our soul being delivered from eternal death to a place where we walk before the Lord with no more tears, no more stumbling, in the land of eternal living. This is a precious event to the Lord. This is when we are truly free. The Lord knew it was Debbie’s time. She was free, in a way that she never would be on this earth. I found peace in knowing that.
Later in the week, my thoughts traveled back to some words I wrote a few years ago, which seemed to ring true to this situation:
The other day, while walking into the hospital, and seeing all the people coming and going, a simple thought entered my spirit. “This hospital is like an airport.” I began to think about how the hospital is the final departure point for so many people. Family members gather around to see them off and there are tears of sadness. However, there is also a sense of adventure in all the journeys. People from all walks of life are coming and going. We rarely stop to think about where they are going. If you took the time to talk to each of the passengers, you would find so many different stories about how they got to the airport. You would find so many different viewpoints of where they are going when they depart. Some are excited about their trip. Some are not ready to leave. Either they are afraid of flying or they are too heartbroken to leave their loved ones. Many times there are unforeseen delays in their trip, and people find themselves hanging around the airport much longer than they like. Sometimes flights are cancelled, and people are forced to go back home. Of course, there are not only “Departures” but also “Arrivals”. Oh, what a joyful experience as people welcome their loved ones back to home. Some have been given new life by medicine and some are fresh arrivals to this life, straight from Heaven. Yet, we tend to dread the “Departures”. Once, it was conveyed to me the thought of our final journey as a special trip which we’ve been planning our entire lives. Yet, when we get to the point of departure, all those around us are trying to keep us from going. They don’t understand that we’ve been looking forward to this for a lifetime. Oh, that we would understand the beauty that awaits all of us on our final journey. Oh, that we would put our trust in the pilot, Jesus Christ, who promises us safe passage. There’s no reason for sadness when someone departs. We’ll meet up with them later. They’re just going out early to check things out before we get there. Oh, that we could embrace our “Departures” with the excitement of a great journey…that we would lament delays…that we would long to be in the first boarding group. Oh, Lord, there is so much we don’t understand. Give us Your wisdom and Your peace in the midst of the unknown. Lord, help us pack and prepare for our trip. Thanks for paying for the ticket. Thanks for working out the itinerary. Thanks for upgrading us to First Class. One more thing…can you give us a ride to the Airport.
Category: Influencer's Weekly Devotionals
Links & Resources
Influencers- Bakersfield, CA
Influencers-Bayside Church, Northern California
Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"
Tulsa Men of Christ
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