I have a sister with a curious coupling of health and gifts: she is one who suffers and one called to intercede in prayer for others.
Yesterday I sat with her and quizzed about how these work together in her life. I believe if I was suffering, my prayers would likely be for me!
I’ve wondered through the years if some might say she lacks the required mustard-seed faith to be healed. But she and I know her faith has been her absolute foundation for 54 years.
Would some think less of God for allowing her suffering and also that of millions of others? Would they question His goodness or His power? In my heart I know He is both, but this suffering way of life… well, I’d admit it's a mystery to me.
“What do you think other people see when they look at your life-long pain?” I asked it gently.
“They’ll look at me and say, ‘She had more time with Jesus.’” Her answer came quick and sure.
And then I asked how she could selflessly use her time with God as a plea for others, not for herself.
“I don’t need an invitation to pray because I do it all day long to live. He and I don’t need to talk about me.”
As the day ends and I find my way to the guest room in her snug home, I pick up her Bible. Tucked inside is a piece of paper dated, “Sunday, May 6th, 2018; 12:10 a.m.”
She highlights 2 Peter 1:3-4 in The Message:
“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.
The best invitation we ever received.”
And on the paper she had written:
“Imperative to stay next to Jesus.”
“PRAISE. Then listen for the health of those
God has made your sphere of influence.”
Greatness comes in many colors. I had just spent time with one of God’s least of these – who is, in my eyes, one of the greatest of His.
(NOTE: I’ve written several times recently about my sister, Annie. Her fragile health has taken a dive over the past month. I share with you, trusting you will receive my vulnerability with grace. And maybe join me in saying a prayer for Annie today.)
Pull up a chair and sit still
Do Annie’s words tug at your soul to sit still for a few minutes?
Stay right next to Jesus.
Praise. Then listen for the health of those God has made your sphere of influence.