Waking Up the Sun and Being Overwhelmed with Grace
Recently I had the privilege of being the recipient of something that in the past I was part of the giving. While the role reversal was slightly and initially awkward, mainly due to my pride which I needed to and did repent from, I was tremendously blessed. The something of what I speak of is the prayer service specifically for me in that other leaders, pastors, and special friends were invited to come pray for God’s special healing hand upon my body, my soul, my emotions, my protection, my joy and that of my family, especially for my wife, Carla, who was also there. That in and of itself was a tremendous blessing given what she means to me and has endured during this journey. To that end, more than 80 people came and prayed with and for me. It was an incredibly special time whereby I am convinced God was glorified and His church was strengthened as it demonstrated what the church is intended to be. Just prior to the meeting, I was given an opportunity to say a few words which I would like to share here for I believe it will demonstrate the faithfulness, veracity, and trustworthiness of God. We say these things in hopes of them being true, but when we see them before our very eyes, we know well that they are!
Some of you know my life verse is from Proverbs 21:21. Before I jump into the actual text let me quickly remind you that a life verse is not to exclude the other verses of the Bible. Rather, as I read the other Bible passages it gives me an idea of what success looks like for me as in what, who, and why I am trying to become somebody more like Christ. They are helpful, but they are not “the solve.” It is way more important to have God’s Spirit working in and through us as we ponder and study God’s Word, thereby producing tangible fruit for others to see, taste, and smell so that they will be compelled to do the same regardless of circumstances, context, and challenges, including opportunities.
So, with that said here is my life verse, “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor” (Proverbs 21:21 NIV). It has been my life goal to pursue righteousness in that to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons—in short, to live a life that is worthy of God for we know that the source of all righteousness is Jesus. So, to pursue righteousness can never be achieved unless I am pursuing Jesus; thus, I do so to the best of my ability. As to pursuing love, one can say some of the very same things but to keep this short, we know God is love and that love cannot be fully defined without Him; so, just as in pursuing Jesus is required for righteousness so too is pursuing God in terms of love. This was the verse and thinking God impressed upon me as I went into this prayer meeting for I believe that God in part fulfilled this Scripture during the meeting itself. Here is why I feel that way and my hopes are that upon reading it you will be encouraged at how awesome and majestic our God is. First is “Life” —not only did the room stir with life, but also I did as well. It was tangible. My soul was strong and felt alive and strong. My body, while struggling, felt an inner peace as well as an inner strength that I cannot explain other than to say it was there. Secondly, is prosperity. Prosperity means way more than money and the meeting on Thursday declared me to be a blessed man given the sheer number of people who were physically present and others who sent letters, cards, and emails. I was overwhelmed or in other words very prosperous in terms of people who cared! It was overwhelming to have people from different walks of life, gender, demographics, ethnicities, denominations, professions, and even geography be a part of this. There were pastors from several hours away who drove from different states. There were groups in Africa, India, Bangkok, Argentina, Central America, and even Florida praying for me at the same time. How humbling that is!!! But as I said earlier, it was a tremendous demonstration of the unity of the Body of Christ declaring that there is one faith, one baptism, one Spirit, one Lord, one hope, one Body, and one GOD and FATHER who is over all and through all and in all. It was an incredible picture that I will not soon forget.
So, in sum this prayer meeting in my mind declared and answered my life verse while declaring and demonstrating what Paul stated in Ephesians where he exhorted the Body of Christ to be and do. It was overwhelming, and a time I will not forget. For those of you who were there and are now reading this—Thank you! For those of you who wished you could have been there, please continue to pray for my family and for me. We have much to deal with and our journey is fraught with many challenges. For others, I would ask you to look, listen and then obey the Spirit for opportunities to do the same in your context for those needing such prayer as these wonderful saints did for me. May God bless you all!