So, I thought I could raise the dead…
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado
Several years ago, coming home from church one evening, I was about a half mile from our house when I saw a young woman, with a baby on her hip and cell phone to her ear, pacing back and forth in the road. I was hesitant, it was dark, and the road was out in the middle of absolutely no where with not too many houses around. I had my son with me who was about 15 at the time so I felt a little safer and yet didn’t want to put him in danger either.
But I stopped.
When I pulled alongside her, I could make out that she was talking to a 911 operator. Screaming, cursing and lamenting, “Where in the ******* are you?!” She disconnected the call and tried to tell me the story in a nutshell. Her boyfriend’s father was in the house dying. He had been in a fight with his girlfriend and she had kicked him in the chest. He came to their house in extreme pain and then sat down on the couch and stopped breathing.
I pulled into the driveway, told Korey to lock the doors, call his dad and tell him where we were and I would be right back. “Mom, this is crazy, wait for Dad, wait for the ambulance, wait for somebody!”
The trailer-modified house was definitely not inviting. In fact, it was a little scary, hidden back in the woods and not very well kept at all. A couple of dogs roamed around but I made my way to the steps where another little girl, about four or five, sat crying. She looks up at me with the most pitiful eyes and says, “Don’t go in there! Please, don’t go! It’s awful in there!” I assured her everything would be alright even though I could hear screaming, more cursing and horrible grieving coming from the open door. Once more she tried to keep me from entering, “It’s dirty in there!”
Have you ever felt that you had been sent somewhere? Sent by God, to be His hands and His feet in a situation? That is the way I would describe myself at that moment. I was sure the Almighty had sent me, not that I was anything whatsoever, but that HE was EVERYTHING and He was about to do something miraculous. I was terrified, anxious and expectant all at the same time.
On the couch sat a man about 55 years old, over six feet tall and probably 230 pounds. His head was lying on a pillow on the back of the couch and he was NOT breathing. On either side of him were his two sons, early 20’s at the most. They were hysterical, cursing one minute and praying the next when I walked up beside them.
I knew their father was dead.
His color was gray, almost white, there was no breath whatsoever coming from this man. One of the sons grabbed me and fell on my shoulder sobbing, “Please pray for Dad! Tell him to wake up!”
I begin to pray. I had faith to believe that God was going to raise this man from the dead! Or, if there were any chance that the EMT’s could revive him, if they ever arrived, we would praise God for that as well. Either way, we needed a miracle and fast.
I kept praying for him and for his boys. They were screaming at the ambulance, which wasn’t there. They had called over a half an hour earlier and the girlfriend was still out in the driveway trying to give directions. Even in the midst of chaos, I was wondering why their GPS couldn’t find this house!
It seemed an eternity, and found out later it was over 40 minutes, before the emergency team arrived. I moved out of the way, out onto the porch with the little girl and held her while they worked on the injured man. By then, The Sweetheart had arrived and was trying to comfort and pray for the boys. They had both been drinking so they had enough sense to know they couldn’t drive so he drove them to the hospital.
And that is where they pronounced him dead.
They told us later that he was definitely already deceased at the house but they took him to the hospital for the boys sake.
The Sweetheart stayed with them until the wee hours of the morning and then we attended the funeral a couple of days later. They were so appreciative and when we walked in they both hugged us and thanked us for being there.
So many thoughts were swimming in my head those few days but I hadn’t expressed them until we left the funeral home.
Why, when I prayed for this man, stepped out in faith and believed, did he not come to? All things are for the glory of God and this seemed like it would bring so much glory to Him!
When I felt for sure that He had me stop, had me enter that “scary place” as the little girl had said, why were my prayers not answered so that others could see His greatness and experience a true miracle that would have awakened them to the power of God?
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30 ESV.
I do not know why, but this I do know:
We don’t answer prayers, God does. We don’t raise the dead, God does. We are His hands and His feet and we go where He wants us to go, do what He wants us to do and do it all in His name. From there, HE decides what happens. HE decides who is healed, who is raised to life and who will see His glory and HE decides when that timing is perfect.
What I can’t see, what you can’t see, is down the road, the bigger picture. We only exist in the here and now and our finite minds are fixated on the why’s because we only know what we see.
I am trusting that the things that happened on that dark and gloomy night will some day come full circle for those boys. Or maybe for the girlfriend? Or maybe even for the little girl who was sitting on the steps who is now at least a teenager. I pray that when prayers were said in that place that those sons remember feeling the power of God and the peace that only He brings, even into chaos and confusion.
I pray that the little girl will remember the kind lady who held her and prayed over her while everyone was screaming, crying and saying things a little girl shouldn’t hear. I pray she remembers that while someone was whispering, “Jesus” that she felt safe and secure.
And even though I thought I was going in there to see the dead raised to life that maybe God’s purpose was totally different. Maybe He had something else in mind. Perhaps I will never know on this side of heaven what it was truly all about but I do know He called, I do know He gave me unbelievable strength, courage and faith to do the unthinkable because I knew I was not doing it alone.
Have you ever had a situation where you felt God was leading you to step out of your comfort zone and when you did, it was nothing like you thought it would be? That God didn’t answer the prayer that you prayed and you almost felt stupid? Prayer is never a bad thing, it blesses the one that you are praying for and it blesses you as well. And God is working behind the scenes preparing something greater for His glory, all in His perfect timing.
Don’t be afraid to be His hands and feet! We are called to minister to one another, to reach out to the poor, the needy, the sick and the lost. If we don’t, who will? But if we DO…HE will!
Sharing with Modest Mondays