Friday, March 18, 2005


I have a person very dear to me, (my sister-in-law, Michele) who is going through a difficult time right now. She is having a really tough time with her health, and, as she is the mother of four children (three under the age of five), it has been especially trying. Please pray for Michele, Steve, and the kids.

There such a feeling of desperation in wanting to help in some way, yet there is so little I can do, especially when they live so far away. (They live about three and a half hours away from me.) It's not as though I can pop over for the afternoon and do the laundry or make dinner to help out, or even spend time with the kids so Michele can have time on her own. It's a blessing that Steve, my brother, has a job only blocks from the house and can come home when needed, but it's still extremely stressful for each of them.

I've been thinking about how much harder it is to watch someone I love go through pain and suffering than it is to go through it oneself. I wish I could take on some of the suffering myself, just to give Michele a break from it. God doesn't work in that way, though, except for two thousand and five years ago when He gave us His only, well-loved, Son to take our place on the cross. In general, we are left to pray for those we love.

Praying is such a powerful tool, yet I find myself diminishing it's importance (and power?) by demeaning it. I say things like, "All I can do is just pray". Well, it's not JUST praying, and how blessed it is that it's "all" we can do! Scripture tells us that faith, expressed through prayer, can move mountains. I remember a poem by John Nelson Darby which contains the words, "Prayer can attain anything. It can open the gates of heaven and shut the gates of hell." I can't remember the rest of the poem, but this what I know to be true, from the word of God.

We have truly been blessed by the link we have with the Father through the gift of our Lord Jesus. His death on the cross made a bridge so that we could be for ever at rest knowing God is in control. Sometimes the hardest part is giving up this control, though! Most importantly, we've been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, as the Bible calls Him. I know from my own experience, when I'm feeling overwhelmed and lost, I have instant peace when I cry out to God, either through prayer or by singing hymns of praise. This is the gift we have in the Holy Spirit. Just writing of this has given me peace and hope, knowing "Our Times are in His Hands" as the old hymn says. My longing is for Steve & Michele to have this same peace.

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