Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
(James 5:14-15, New Living Translation)
This morning before our worship service, I had the privilege of being part of something beautiful and filled with faith.
A young lady from our congregation has been struggling for some time with an ongoing, resistant-to-treatment illness. It has caused her consistent and severe pain, and it seems connected to a great act of service she gave on behalf of Jesus. Her simple hope: that gathering together with her adopted family and the elders for prayer and anointing with oil would bring healing.
There are few things more humbling and satisfying then kneeling with my brother under-shepherds around a hurting member of our flock and pleading with our Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the power of the Spirit, for her healing. I love these men. I love this young lady entrusted to our care. And with great hope, we prayed.
And tonight, I continue to pray. And worship...
You know, hope in the midst of suffering often does not come without wrestling with God. Tim Timmons, a new friend, has written a song, birthed from his own suffering due to cancer. He speaks in this video of his "wrestling songs." For those out there who may be faced with what our young friend has been facing, or who know someone struggling and wrestling with God (which is not a bad thing), maybe these cries set to song will bring the peaceful power of the good news of the kingdom of God, with all of its reward, to your soul.
Don't give up, dear reader. God is faithful, and good, and he loves his children.
Grace and Peace to you friends.