For anyone who has ever imagined that suffering only happens to the godless – they simply haven’t read the Bible. Find me one character, one person in the Bible who did not suffer for being righteous. Every major player did. Today I was caught up in Jeremiah – known as the weeping prophet. Called at a young age, God equipped him to serve him faithfully as a prophet. Jeremiah obeyed – and Jeremiah suffered enormously. He was taken through such agonizing stress – enduring animosity and hatred from every corner till God was quite literally all he had left. No surprise then that I would close that reading with a prayer only to be interrupted by a phone call and a report of suffering on the other end of the line. Not suffering from sickness, or even from sin. But Suffering for doing the right thing. God is indeed awe-inspiring. He brought me where I needed to be – in order to minister to that caller and to pray fervently for God’s grace to sustain them even as they suffered. May it be that God will always do exactly that – in fact I believe that God always prepares one of his servants to minister and strengthen those that are hurting. It just happened by his Mercy and Grace to be my turn today.
Sunday we had just finished our the singing portion of our worship, and one man in our church began to have a heart attack. At that moment several things happened. An urgent call for prayer was shouted out. 911 was called. Someone had some nitro pills to provide, another had some aspirin. People prayed alone, the congregation prayed together, we all prayed. The ambulance came and whisked him away, and we returned to the service – changed – with a call on God for grace. When I finally got to the hospital, he was admitted. The nurse declared yes it was a heart attack. However the next morning blood tests revealed nothing. later tests were even more inconclusive. The heart attack wasn’t despite every single classic heart attack symptom being there. We have only one conclusion – in keeping with all of this, God must have healed and restored. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. Yes diagnostics change things, and yes there is a hesitancy sometimes to make a declaration of one type of illness over another – but to the untrained at least – God healed this man. Even if that’s not the case, God still gets the glory because we were trusting Him in the time of turmoil.