By Lisa FIscher
We had prayed for healing for ten months. Between the four of us, we rarely missed an opportunity to cover our loved one in prayer, to cry out to the Healer on his behalf, to whisper brave prayers in dark places. But he “got the cancer and died on a Tuesday.” (Forrest Gump)
Actually it was a Saturday. The text tone pierced the quiet early morning hours. He has passed was all it said. What more was there to say? Three little words carried the weight of our brokenness and suffocated our hope right there on our worn sofa.
We had been expecting it but we still sat stunned in disbelief. We knew his time was short. But I had held out hope that we could pray over him, that we could command healing in the name of Christ, that God would still show off here. When the doctors had given up hope, I was still clinging to the God of miracles.
The days that followed were a whirlwind. All the hoping and praying for strength to mourn with those who mourn, to be their rock in these moments, to offer comfort in the trenches of sorrow only delayed my own grief. In the wake of the gathering and the goodbyes, I was left wrestling big questions, reeling for answers, begging for understanding. And, I was ready to run. Go anywhere. As long as it ushered in change. Something new.
I was angry. Just flat out mad. My children. How would their faith sustain this? They had prayed every night for God to step in, to heal their grandpa. And my mother-in-law. How will we come alongside her to navigate such a void when we are a thousand miles away? Why couldn’t God show up on this one? Why couldn’t He display His power? Why?!?
This is how I came to the wilderness. Angry. Exhausted. And desperate for Him.
I remembered some Spirit-led advice I had given my mother-in-law in the thick of chemo treatments and blood clots and internal bleeding. “Shake your fists at God. He can handle it. Unleash it all in His presence. Our words don’t need to be polished and we don’t need to hold ourselves together. Even at our worst, He loves us. And still, He gives us His best. Coming to Him as a ranting two-year old is better than isolating yourself from Him. However you come, just come.”
Maybe it was time to take my own advice. At least, maybe I should try this before I sell our house and move to Nepal. So I brought my raw emotions, uncensored into the throne room. I spilled all my ugly right as His feet. And when I had nothing left to say, when it was all out and I was empty, I wept. At His feet, face down, I did the ugly cry. And when I couldn’t cry anymore, I sat in the stillness, leaned into the quiet. And I heard His voice. A faint whisper. For the first time in a long time.
Did I not heal him? He is here with Me – mended and whole. Was that not what you asked? Is this healing not the ultimate healing? To be with Me for all eternity. I heard your cries and I reached down and I answered.
The God of miracles. Displaying His power.
He didn’t need to say anything in that moment. That was a grace. And truly, by the time my temper tantrum was finished and I heard His voice, it was already well with my soul. Because I was in His presence.
“Even if our end of the conversation is wailing, whining, and negative, still, we have opened a door into prayer. This is the actual entrance into prayer, following a time-honored dictum: put yourself into the presence of God.” – (Emilie Griffin, Small Surrenders)
However you come, just come.