Younger boys and Older Men
There's a story in the Mark that I love to preach on. It has captivated my imagination completely. And yesterday I lived it out in a way.
The story is of four buddies (I always imagine 4) who grab their disabled friend one day. They have a plan. They've never tried the plan out or done it before. But they're willing to give it a go today. In fact, they've set some time aside and gathered together and went to their disabled friend's place to pick him up. "We're going to get you to Jesus". That's the plan. "We've heard good things about Jesus and we think that if we can just get you to Him, He'll fix you up."
Maybe the disabled guy liked it, maybe he didn't. Doesn't say. Just says they picked him up and away they went.
But the traffic was so bad and the crowd so big that they couldn't get through. So these guys go up on the roof and pull the roof apart getting their friend to Jesus. Who, of course, heals him.
Yesterday, I had some friends who came to pick me up to get me to Jesus. They were on a mission. Purposeful. Intentional. Jesus was in North Battleford at a revival-camp type meeting and there were people there with the power of God to pray for healing. Jesus was there. So whether I wanted to or not or was ready or not - they were going to get me there. (I was)
At the very beginning of the meeting they had some prayer requests from people for healing and they prayed fervently for them. I nearly bolted from my seat to run up and ask for prayer. I didn't though. I sat through the service wondering if I should have. Maybe a little desperation is called for at times. A sign of faith. But at the end of the service they called for people to come forward for prayer. I was the first one up.
A great thing happened. A number of older men surrounded me. I noticed that. Because at our church we don't have men of this age. 70's and up. Elders in a age sense. Men who've walked with God for a long long time. These men surrounded me and prayed. Fervently. Passionately. Out loud. With their microphones on. Leading the congregation in prayer. Many hundred people. For me. Then they implored the congregation to pray on my behalf. Explained who I was and why I needed prayer. Wow! Blew me away! I felt my pain subside. I felt my energy renew. I felt the power of faith to believe God for great things!
After their prayers I stood up (I had been kneeling). I thanked God! I praised God! I worshipped God! And went back to my seat. After the service, we visited with a number of people and headed for home all praising God for our time there and the blessing that it was to us. What amazing friends!
Was I instantly healed? Am I free from cancer? Right now? I'd like to say "Yes!" But I still have some of the symptoms. So I can't really say that it was a completed healing. Maybe the first part. Maybe a beginning. Maybe a blessing to my faith and the faith of my friends.
But one of the stories that we talked about was from a younger boy. He was reminded of the story of Abraham and Isaac - the sacrifice. Remember that one. Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his one and only son. His highest treasure. Absolutely crazy! But he does. Goes all the way to making the alter, binding the son, raising the knife, ready to plunge it deep. Before God stops him and provides the sacrifice in his son's place.
This younger boy realizes a profound truth in the story and asks the question. "Why did Abraham have to go all the way?" Great question. I've been thinking about that question. Maybe God has more for me to go through first. Maybe I have to be willing to go further before my healing is completed? If you have more for me God, I'm willing. I'll go all the way ready at any moment for you to provide a way out. But I'm willing to walk this painful road with You.
Life is an adventure, a journey we travel. And God walks it with us - hand in hand if we let Him. Guiding, shaping, and molding us through the circumstances. I seek to journey more intentionally here.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Younger boys and Older Men