Sidelined. Alone. Fogged. Weak. Wanting. In the days and nights that ran into weeks, then months, as my body grew weaker instead of stronger, when no amount of trying would produce an alert mind to use “down time” for writing, it would have been easy to entertain self-pity. To give up. Or blame God. Wasn’t he listening? Didn’t he care?
When nothing else could stir my body or stimulate my brain, he woke me to pray for a warrior in danger on the other side of the world, or a single mother struggling to provide love and nourishment for her sons, or a young woman who lost her child to a brutal death, or for the one who wanted so desperately to mother a child. I prayed for friends whose mates suffered from physical or mental ailments, and whose hope was close to evaporating in the morning light. For struggling families, and for those alone. For widows, those who lost loved ones, young ones waiting for forever families, and for adoptive families climbing mountains.
As I lay in bed and prayed, following the urgency, I entered a rarely trod pathway of heart ache that held me with the Peace that passes understanding.
Odd, unexplainable, I often felt the pain of the one pictured before me. I agonized with that person and prayed as I felt encouraged to do. Then, as the compelling to pray lifted, I knew peace was restored to the one I was interceding for, that my work, for now, was done.
And I, too, was wrapped in that peace.
So, when friends wrote or called to encourage me from discouragement I was often surprised.
Somehow, not being physically healed was okay.
Sometimes we have work to do that does not involve mind and body. No hands. No feet.
Simply a willingness to listen and pray. Sometimes for minutes, at times hours. One session continued almost non-stop for a week, as I felt a dear life hung in the balance.
Certainly I missed participating in activities with my family and friends, and was sorry to have to pull back from church, leading Bible studies, from writer’s groups and social events.
But I was not alone.
And the more I responded to the call to pray for others, the more my room filled with a holy presence, with sustaining grace.
It runs in the face of the Western way of life, especially for Americans. We must be active, work hard, try harder.
Some even see unrelenting illness as a sign of sin or lack of faith.
But, I’m sure if you go to Christian refuges from Syria or to persecuted Christians in Pakistan or Cambodia, they will tell you a different story.
This world is not our home.
We were created for eternity with God.
And anything in our lives that drives our hearts to Him is worth it.
Now that some functionality has been restored, every time I hear this song, I have to stop and listen.
Take it in.
What has driven you closer to God?