You’ve got to admit, we’ve all had good first impressions, and BAD first impressions. Sometimes, rarely, there are amazing first impressions, the kind that you will likely not be forgetting anytime soon, that make you want to spend the entire day with those people. It’s like you’ve always known them. And sometimes, those kinds, that just make your day brighter, can also make the way you view life brighter.
Every Sunday morning our church does a time of prayer for healing down at the alter. There is a prayer team lining the bottom of the platform. People with illnesses or other problems/needs in their life who walk forward are thoughtfully placed with an appropriate couple (I.e. if it is a woman coming forward, she will likely be placed with a set of two women, a family with a married couple, etc.) They are then anointed with oil and prayed for following the example set in James 5:14-15a, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will heal the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” (I should clarify that we are not in the belief that the oil heals, or that the person will be healed right away. God will heal in His timing, though not always in the way we would want. But, He DOES heal.)
My parents are on this prayer team. Every Sunday, they pray for all sorts of requests, bringing them before the Throne of God. They have a had a couple coming forward for a while now, both with terminal cancers. They have been unable to make it to the church recently, so, today we went over to their house, with a copy of today’s incredible sermon on John 5. We decided that if they couldn’t make it to church, we would bring church to them.
When we walked into their home there was a very warm and inviting welcome. It was truly incredible to hear their stories. Although they’re both in pain, more often than not, excruciating pain, such a countenance of love and joy shines on their faces. They both wore constant smiles.
You know, we all have to die. It’s part of life. Sometimes, though, it comes through much harder circumstances, such as cancer. But God uses EVERYTHING for His glory, and this couple knows that. They are using their pain as a tool, an opportunity, to do God’s will, to bring people to Him. They’re witnessing in the hospitals! They are choosing to see past the pain to the plan God has for them and the people around them. I’m sure it’s not always easy for them, but what they have done will surely be counted towards them in the end.
We went there to pray for them, but we/I got so much more out of it. I don’t believe I have honestly met a more godly couple in my life. I believe this is because they are simply trusting God for His plan for their future, whatever it may be.
If you would, join me in praying for this couple.