We need to feel helpless to appreciate and recognize our need for God.
The problem with that is: I don’t want to! I want God to empower me to be fruitful for Him! I want to have such amazing faith that I don’t stumble over my own inconsistencies! I want to pray and see Him work, instead of to do all that and watch as nothing changes. Sometimes I feel like I’m sitting alone in a big empty bubble, just watching others in their bubbles struggle. There’s no escape, nothing I can do. I cry out to the Lord but my voice doesn’t project. Where does our help come from? When will it come and who will it reach?
This week, an amazing woman of God died. Her name was Jessica Marie Hehn, and she was the first person I ever prayed for who was healed…and now she’s dead.
Jessica was extremely young and healthy. She was actually a very successful vegan health guru, who was newly married and excited to have babies. Out of nowhere she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Can you imagine a more insulting diagnosis than lung cancer for someone so healthy? Right after I was healed she called me and I boldly told her about Jesus. I boasted about The Lord Who Heals and when I paused to take a breath I was surprised that she responded,”Oh, I know He will heal me.” She had the faith I was sure no one else had. The faith that took me months of sleepless nights, hundreds of desperate prayers, thousands of mental debates, to grow to the size of a mustard seed. Since then I’ve talked to many more ailing people and she is still the only one so certain of her earthly healing. And she was right! That is, until she wasn’t.
It was pretty quick that Jessica was healed and she praised the Lord for it. That was a few years ago now. I don’t know when it came back or any other details, but a few weeks ago she got sick and couldn’t recover. I’m very sad about that, but I’m more devastated by the last post I saw by her husband, right before she died. He faithfully declared that he knew the Lord would heal her. I know, I know that she was healed in heaven–that’s what we say to him when we hug him in the receiving line. That’s what we say to each other so we don’t have to evaluate our theology or dare to question our own faith. In truth, Jessica and her husband did it all right. They prayed and believed He would heal her. They gave the glory to God. They boldly fought off all desire to water down their beliefs to match up with the world’s expectations. And, then…she was rewarded by going to heaven, and he had to stay on earth. Without his wife. Without proof to support his faith. Without a reason to keep believing.
Oh, the agony of defeat! The heartbreaking ache of emptiness that comes with this helplessness! The anger from recognizing there is no one left to blame. This is the state of mind we often must embrace to recognize the Lord. The graver the despair, the more clearly we see our surroundings. The more we appreciate when He moves. I’m ready to appreciate Him! Ready for what He will show the whole world when He finally deals with all this cancer and pain. Ready.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: First to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16