Captivity is the best word I can use to describe it.
At first, all you can think of is some version of “I want out.” Your escape plan dominates your thoughts. In our case, many prayers have been consumed by the plea, “Lord, please heal.”
We’ve been fighting an unknown disease/illness for 3 years. Every day I wake up and wonder how the day will go. The disease, like the enemy, comes to steal, kill, and destroy…our health, our plans, our joy, our communion, our fruitfulness…and although there have been glimpses of hope in the midst of the battle, we’ve grown weary of praying for healing. We’ve both admitted that we can rarely pray those prayers anymore.
For me, the place where I go with God in those prayers is too vulnerable, too ripe for disappointment. I would rather not entertain the possibility that He doesn’t hear. That He doesn’t care enough to respond. Those thoughts haunt me, even though I know they aren’t true.
But tonight, a glimpse. The spark of hope is back, and my prayers will surely take on a new significance, a new persistence, a new power, a new authority. He hears. He answers.
Today was just another average day in the Jackett household. Travel days have been, on average, difficult on David’s body. After a long day of travel, I called to check in — and heard what I expected to hear: “My body hurts. My back hurts.” I prayed for him over the phone for the pain to relent — for the sake of the message he would soon deliver. Oddly enough, my prayers focused more on the Lord helping with the pain so the message would not be distorted in any way. I’ve given up hope that He would heal because He is good, because He is able, because we are His children, because — Lord, your kingdom come. “If you won’t do it because you love us, Lord — do it for your people. Do it for the sake of the message you’ve put on our lips. Do it because you love them…not because you love us.”
But tonight, as soon as he told me what happened — I was reassured. He loves us. He has heard. And he still works on behalf of His people. In short, after being prayed over before class begun, the pain in David’s back went away. That was 6:00P. It’s 9:00P and still — no pain.
Granted, this is a small piece of the sickness that has plagued his body. But this small incident symbolizes something much bigger. He heals. He is healing. He desires to heal. As in Jesus’s day, the healing point to a day of Jubilee that has come…and is coming. Still today — he frees.
I had the pleasure of attending Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship this morning before setting up our Perspectives booth to promote for upcoming classes. And the thing that struck me the most about the service was the genuine JOY in the Gospel. They sung it. They preached it. They “amen’ed” it. The Kingdom is here — REJOICE! This renewed perspective of the overwhelming JOY and GLADNESS of the Gospel message was the perfect preparation of the news I received later in the day.
So today, I’m reminded that we need the body of Christ around us when we’ve stopped hoping for ourselves. Some burdens are too big to bear on our own. Sometimes we need the choir to start singing before we ourselves can join in! We need each other desperately.
Left to ourselves, this glimpse of hope — the healing touch of Jesus himself — would have been thwarted. His desire is to renew, to heal…and glory hallelujah – WE are the vessels He chooses to join Him in this work. We are the agents of reconciliation, the abolitionists. Together, we usher in His kingdom — together! And it is a glorious kingdom – full of healing, full of His goodness, full of hopes realized. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!