A Mother’s Faith – Part 2

But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” Matthew 15:23-25 ESV

I confess that I left you hanging yesterday in the middle of the story of Joey and his mom. I meant for it to be a single post, but to give even the most minimum of details ended up a bit long for one day. Yesterday we left off with Joey lying in a coma, due to a drug overdose. Today let’s follow how Evelyn’s faith was tested. Just like the woman in today’s Bible verses, Evelyn, wouldn’t quit. Even when it seemed that God seemed silent, and others couldn’t understand she desperately asked for a miracle. When no one else had hope to give, these mothers just kept believing.

Then one afternoon I came in the room and Joey’s eyes were open. He couldn’t speak, but he was looking around the room. That day as we prayed for Joey, it felt as if God was on the move! When I returned the following week, Joe was sitting up, and both Eveyln and his dad were there, getting Joey ready to go home. As I walked in with a big smile. Evelyn greeted me enthusiastically, Joey’s dad shook my hand, but Joey looked perplexed. “Oh, this is Pastor Pete,” his mom said. He’s been coming and praying for you every week. Joey smiled and shook my hand.

“Mom’s been telling me about you. Glad to meet you!” Joey told me.

“You really don’t remember me at all?” I asked in surprise.

“No, sorry. I just heard about your visits from my parents.”

As I write today’s story, I am reminded that what matters most to God is faith. You see these two stories are really not just about two young people who experienced a miracle. These stories are about the miracles of the faith of two mothers who were tested in the fire and found their prayers answered by a God who never gives up. From them we find out that no matter what things look like and no matter what anyone says, God is listening, He is near, He cares, and He still answers prayer!

A Mother’s Faith – Part One

But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Mark 7:24-25 ESV

It might surprise you to learn, that in long term care facilities, there are also teen-agers in diabetic comas, twenty-somethings, who have suffered strokes and young people with lifelong disabilities who can no longer be cared for by their families. One of these I met in the respiratory ward of a large facility where I volunteered. I was going to visit a friend when I happened to glance in the open door of the adjacent room and saw a teenaged boy lying in the bed. He lay silently with his eyes closed. A lady was sitting quietly by him holding his hand so I paused for a minute, cleared my throat, and introduced myself as a volunteer chaplain.

She turned to smile, then looked back to the boy saying, “Hi, I’m Evelyn* this is my son Joe. Joey’s just seventeen.”  With that she fell silent. So I walked in and sat down. It wasn’t long before she poured out the story of how Joey had gone from being involved in church, being an eagle scout, to experimenting with drugs. One thing had led to another until the night she and her husband got the phone call that Joey had overdosed at a party. After a few weeks in the hospital, Joe still hadn’t regained consciousness and he required a machine to keep him breathing, and so he had come to the room where I met him that day.

While we sat quietly, I asked “Does he like music?” pointing to my guitar.

“Oh Joey loves music!” she exclaimed happily.

“Well he might not know the kind of songs I play, but let’s give it a try.” I suggested.

That afternoon when I played a couple of songs and prayed, was the first of many weekly visits. Though Joey’s condition didn’t change, his mom, just like the woman in today’s passage never gave up and never stopped praying. You see, the story in the Bible is not really about a little girl who needed help and today’s story is not about Joey. The lesson we all need to learn is how to have the faith of these mothers!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of this story!

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Hope For Answered Prayer

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

In spite of my wife and I being both vaccinated and careful, this most recent strain of Covid finally caught up with us and for the last two weeks, our lives came to a screeching halt. From doctor’s appointments to church, almost everything we had planned was put on hold and that experience gave us a tiny insight to what life is like for our friends who live in long-term care. But whether we are facing life from inside the four walls of a nursing home or the four walls of our own home, our need for God’s help doesn’t change. There are hours we all pass through when we lose patience, tears of frustration fall, and hope seems far away. But God’s presence and His promise to take care of us and provide for our needs has not changed.

At that very moment when we can feel the dark shadows closing in around our world God stands close, waiting for us to leave our anxieties and needs at His feet. He will not force us to release our worries or pry our fingers loose from what is troubling our hearts. But He also does not stop caring for us when the cares of life press in. He will not abandon us when we feel alone. He is listening to our prayers, ready to come to our aid. He has not failed, forgotten us or written us off. His promise remains, that when we give our cares to Him, His peace will guard our minds and give hope to our hearts no matter what lies ahead!

Praise Him When the Sun Goes Down

From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised! Psalm 113:3 ESV

My friends at Life Care Center remind me by their presence, that no matter where we are in life, that we can always praise the Lord. They come in their wheelchairs, though some cannot hear well, some cannot see and few of them ever leave the building anymore. Yet when it is time for our 11 AM Friday service, they come, they sing, and take time to praise God!! Just as today’s verse reminds us: It doesn’t matter what time it is in our lives. It is always time to praise the Lord! I hope you will enjoy this simple rendition of the old classic chorus, “Praise Him When the Sun Goes Down!” Have a blessed week everyone. Let’s all try to keep up with my friends at Life Care and tell our hearts it is always time to praise God.