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Be Still and Know that I am God
A few months back I received a phone call that rocked my world. It was my brother Greg. He was choking on his words as he tried to tell me his beloved had been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
What had begun as a pneumonia diagnosis turned out to be lung cancer and worse yet it had metastasized to her bones and glands. In the days that followed, after sharing the tragic news with my family, I grieved and cried and called out to my Abba Father.
The news hit our family HARD. Wendy has always been a very health conscious and active person. She is beautiful, kind and so sweet. It was a shock and my dear brother was devastated.
Prayer and Fasting
Later that week my daughter Renee asked me if I would join with her to fast and pray for Aunt Wendy.
My heart lept at the opportunity to draw near to God in prayer and fasting. We would lift up Wendy to our Father God together.
The night before we met I quickly whizzed through my Facebook friends and chose 50 whom I believed would join with us to pray.
- My first request was for assurance of salvation for them both
Secondly, I asked for prayer that God reveal Himself to Greg and Wendy; that there would be NO question in their minds that it is God himself who reaches out as Savior, Rescuer, Lord and Provider.
Many of these dear praying friends wrote and pledged their support and prayers. Some even wrote out powerful prayers. Most simply told me they would be praying and because I know them ... I was assured that they would.
Manifest Presence of God
The next day we started early. As I share some of the details of that day, I pray you will recognize the Manifest presence of God.
The first miracle of the day was me waking up wide awake (mornings are usually rough for me) and Renee waking up with this song in her heart, "God Still Moves." She asked me where that song came from. I told her when she was younger, (20 years ago) I used to play music written by Steve and Annie Chapman - it was their song. Renee was amazed because she never remembered hearing that song, in all of these years, neither has she ever woken up with a song. We both knew God was preparing us for what lie ahead.
We began our day by sharing insights and encouragement from our own time with God. We separated to read scripture alone. We came back to share, read scripture and join our voices in urgent prayers. We played You Tube videos (featured in this hub) to lead us into worship. We separated again; in our prayer closets, as our desperate whispers cried out to God.
We came back together once more and used our Bible concordance to search the scriptures. We prayed scripture back to God.
"While I'm Waiting," is one of the praise songs Renee chose and God used to lead us into His presence. We joined our voices together in heartfelt worship to our God who hears and answers prayer.
Chills and goosebumps still form under the surface of my skin as I recall the desperate plea's and praises of our hearts to Father God.
I am Waiting on YOU Lord
Be Still and Know That I Am God
We had planned to spend this day in prayer and fasting; love moved us and Faith spurred us on. Our plan was to go until 5 pm. At 3 pm we were each in our (literal) prayer closets.
Now you'd have to know Renee to know how she ticks. At home she has her own spot - in a closet - where she goes to pray. She explained that when she talks to God there is something powerful about being separated from everything and everyone.
I smiled when she opened my closet and I discovered pillows placed strategically within. She had also placed pillows in her Dads closet across the room. Climbing in place, I had just begun to pray when an inexplicable peace washed over me. It was then God whispered in my heart, "Be Still and Know that I am God."
l opened my closet door quietly and observed Renee opening hers at the exact same moment. She said, "Mom, I was praying when I felt a blanket of peace cover me." She told me that God gave her a message ... the message was "Be Still and Know that I am God."
We shivered in the holiness of the moment - God had spoken and chose to manifest Himself to us. Our hearts were filled with big joy and we thanked Him for the assurance that He had everything covered.
Our hearts were bursting in His presence and we longed to worship Him. We played more worship music and allowed it to fill us up and open our hearts to express sincere gratitude to Him. The song we played was "Whom Shall I Fear," which is featured below.
After the music ended I heard another message in my soul .... It is Finished. I was perplexed thinking this is quite out of context ... isnt' it? ... but it was most definitely the message echoing in my soul. These words were confirmed when my daughter said that God had just spoken to her with these words: It is Finished. Once again God manifested Himself with a message to both of us at the exact same time. We knew that God was assuring us that we had been faithful and our part was done ... He would answer our prayers - He finished it.
A few days later my brother called me early in the morning. His voice was filled with emotion as he said, “Wendy woke me up early today and asked me to call you. She wants you to come and be with her.” I knew this was a door opened by God. I packed up my things and took off. I stayed with them for almost two weeks. I prayed that God would allow me to be the hands and feet of Jesus to them both.
Be Still and Know
God Answers Prayer
Renee and I drove together for a three hour trip to their house.
As we traveled we talked about the goodness of God. We drove with expectation and to be honest, some anxiety. We had never seen Wendy sick or my brother emotional. Our confidence was in God's calling and we sang worship songs and prayed together all the way.
God Answers Prayer. During my stay and afterwards I was blessed to experience many answers to prayer. I'd like to share some of the highlights here:
1. Physical Strength: I sent out a request for physical strength explaining that I had been fighting heavy fatigue and not sleeping well - arthritis and fibromyalgia had flared up.
- Answer: One friend Linda told me that she was praying for me and she reminded me that God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. This verse played through my mind all 12 days I spent with my brother and wife.
2. Lift the Pain: One night Wendy was hit with severe pain. I sent out a request asking my friends to pray.
- Answer: 30 minutes later I sent this report: Wow ... your prayers were answered - she has relief!
3. Assurance of Salvation: My greatest concern
- Answer: Now that the pain lifted Wendy began asking me questions about God. I told her of God's love and the gift of salvation through His one and only son Jesus. She asked more questions ... I explained that God's word is unlike any other book ... it is alive and it is God's VERY words to His children. I got my Bible and read key verses from Romans to her. We talked about why Jesus died - God's holiness, Heaven and even end times. In the end she told me that she had prayed to ask for God to forgive her sins and had accepted Jesus as her Savior. She just wasn't sure she 'did it right.' :) God works in miraculous ways. My intention was only to serve as Jesus would ... yet God prompted Wendy and this conversation sprang from her heart and her sincere desire to know. I am overwhelmed by His faithfulness, love, goodness, and very specific answer to prayers.
4. Reveal Your Love: I prayed God would reveal His heart of love to Greg and Wendy
- Answer: After learning Wendy must go through chemo treatment - an unexpected call came from the doctor. It was good news. Wendy did not have to go in for chemo because the test results revealed her type of cancer is treated with a pill (a non-chemo targeted drug) AND her chances for survival were now 40% better. We were both doing the HAPPY dance. I wrote my daughter, "Renee Lynn ... God answered your prayer for the Doctor to be amazed at the results... he is. Rejoice and be exceeding glad!" Thank you dear Lord ... thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
5. I need Your Strength: One night after Wendy went to bed I sent a request to my praying friends ... "It gets hard sometimes. I am here to serve and encourage ... but sometimes I just want to sit down and CRY .... Nite all. Your prayers are deeply appreciated." Afterwards, with tears rolling, I knelt on the floor face down,and told God I could not do this. In the quietness, I asked for His strength in my weakness. I prayed I would show His love for Wendy and Greg just as God loves them. I asked Him to use me to reveal the height, depth and breadth of His love for them. I asked to be the light in the midst of pain and confusion
- Answer: That night I slept like a baby. I also found this powerful prayer written in the face book chat called prayers for Wendy: Carols Prayer: "Lord, Infuse Susan with the strength and stamina that she needs to serve Wendy. Help Susan, in the night, to have that perfect rest. Counsel her as she sleeps to enable her to know how to pray, what to say or do. Comforter, let Susan be Jesus in new ways, so that as she ministers to her sister-in-law, You will shine greater. Be magnified, Lord. I ask also again that you comfort Wendy, ease the pain and give her rest."
6. Lift the Fear: Wendy had been tense and very fearful up until the night before she would take her first pill. I sent out this request: Wendy has been uptight today ... please pray for peace and calm.
- Answer: I marveled as I witnessed the fear lift as peace replaced it. The next morning was the day Wendy began her cancer pill treatment. The next morning I woke up that morning with a which I shared with Wendy: "This is the Day the Lord has made, I will REJOICE and be glad in it." She smiled big and answered, "That's Right!" then she added "I found your radio station" ... (I'd been unable to locate a Christian station though I'd searched since the day I got to their house.) The song that was playing right at that moment was "Whom then shall I Fear." The same song God gave Renee the day of our praying and fasting and then again for our trip to their house. God's grace covered their household like a blanket of love and peace. God hears, He has compassion and He answers prayer. God is good ... All the time.
7. God's Manifest Presence: I asked God's presence to manifest and for the Holy Spirit to use me.
- Answer: After returning home I talked to Wendy on the phone. She said she missed me and that she loved me. She remarked how I had been so uplifting to her. Those words were a revelation to me because I knew right then that God had manifested His presence. He had answered my request (to be the hands and feet of Jesus) just as He had answered so many other tiny details surrounding this situation. Here's the really amazing thing about my time with them; I did not feel uplifting, I was dealing with pain, my energy was very low and my heart was so grieved for them both. It was very clear that Jesus' love had shined through in spite of my own limitations.
Whom Then Shall I Fear
I left on a Friday morning with peace and thanksgiving in my heart. I got home in time for our Good Friday Service.
My greatest prayer request now is that the Holy Spirit leads my sweet sister-in-law and my brother into ALL truth and that they will learn to lean on the One who loves them most. I thank each of you who have lifted them up to our Father ... God heard our prayers and I am forever grateful for His grace, love and mercy.
It was a mixed bag - Blessedness, Thankfulness, Intimacy and Pain were held in my heart. But over all of it is the keen awareness that God showed up and His presence was manifested. All Glory goes to Him .... "His Love endures forever." Psalm 136 1-2