Last week marked a year since my husband and I spent a frightening evening in the ER with our oldest son. Tears still threaten when I recall the story. But wonder of wonders, I don’t look back on that night as a terrible memory. Grace made it one of my better ones. Because God showed up and taught me an unforgettable lesson about the power of prayer.
In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6
It’s the unexpected things that send us reeling. Extraordinary circumstances that reach into an ordinary day and make it anything but.
Like when a few hives decide they won’t respond to Benadryl. Or steroid shots. Or IV antihistamines.
And you watch those hives cover every ounce of your child and set his skin on fire. And he develops a fever. And he swells so much it takes two nurses and two technicians thirty minutes to find a place on his body where they can insert a needle to draw blood.
And you hear a doctor say words like, “He may have Steven Johnson’s Syndrome, which is very rare but very aggressive. If that’s what this is, we’ll be sending him out to Hopkins or Hershey for treatment.”
When a mother hears words like that, tears burn and threaten to fall. But they don’t. At least not right away. Because those eyes need to look into the eyes of her son and let him know it will be okay.
But when she slips into an empty room in the ER and shuts the door, that’s another story. There strength crumbles, and she gasps for oxygen.
At least that’s what I did. I cried out to my heavenly Father, begging for His breath.
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4
God has such beautiful ways of providing, dear one.
Like sending a friend and prayer partner to wrap me in her arms and let me know I am loved. And that I wasn’t fighting for my child alone.
She held my hands in that ER prayer closet and together we ran to the throne of grace. Hearts merged and tears fell while prayers reached heaven on behalf of my son.
And heaven moved.
My heavenly Father answered with an amazing sense of peace. I felt it wash over me and settle. Fear had no place in that room. Only power. Love. And a mind at peace.
Then the Spirit swelled within me, stirring my heart to pray in a way I hadn’t before—with the authority of one who is seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). I prayed from my identity in Christ, as one who sits “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21).
I told the destroyer he would not have my son. And he didn’t.Spirit led prayer moves mountains when you pray from your position in Christ. #knowwhoyouare Click To Tweet
Sensing that this was a spiritual attack, I proclaimed that my son was covered by the blood of Jesus and I would not permit this enemy to advance any further. And the blisters and burns that follow a Steven Johnson’s diagnosis never came. Instead of two months in a burn unit, Austin returned to school in just three days.
Yes, dear one. Heaven moved.
The Glory of Suffering
Few things shake a parent like watching a child suffer. We do what we can to prevent it. And when suffering comes, we’ll do anything to end it.
But that isn’t what God did, beloved.
God surrendered Jesus—His only Son—to suffering.
Unfathomable. Ridiculous. True.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10 NIV
God chose suffering for Jesus. Willingly. His love for us compelled Him. His love for Jesus didn’t stop Him. Jesus suffered, dear one, so that He could redeem ours.
He knew it wouldn’t end in death. No. Jesus’ suffering resulted in glory.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that unimaginable choice. Because Jesus’ suffering released the power of resurrection life.
For you. For me. For my son.
And regardless of how things appear or even how they play out in this life, when we are in Christ, death can’t win.
Because Jesus already won.
And sometimes we get to witness His resurrection power right here in the midst of our suffering. Like when doctors can’t explain what happened, but you know. Because you ran to the throne of grace and watched heaven win.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16