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

Growing Older Praying

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Luke 1: 13 We often forget as we read Luke chapter one about the life of John the Baptist’s parents, that God was concerned for the needs of this elderly couple. Maybe in old age they had all but forgotten their prayer for children, but God had not. God had heard their prayer. God was still working on the answer. They didn’t have to follow some special formula. Zacharias and Elizabeth simply needed to remain faithful to what God had given them to do. In the same way we who have grown older without seeing the answer to things for which we have prayed can be encouraged that God also remembers us. Neither age nor weakness alters the power of God to answer prayer . It doesn’t matter how many years pass, if we are praying something in God’s will for our lives He hears us. He delights in answering the prayers of we who the community and sometimes sadly even the church consider past our time of usefulness. But the good news is that we are never out of warranty! Miracles can still happen because God never gives up, never forgets and never forsakes us. Don’t be afraid. He has heard your prayer!

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Caligiuri, Peter (2018-03-07). Reflections of Hope (p. 3). Kindle Edition.

Devotions for Care Givers

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

This week the head of the volunteer network at our facility said that everything she learned about life she learned from her brother who had been born with Down’s Syndrome. We usually think of people like her brother as the care receivers and we the givers. But in God’s economy we find that often people like her brother are the greatest givers. I also have discovered as a chaplain at a long term care that I have become a member of a community. This community is not based on racial or economic characteristics but on our shared experiences. Our days are not only measured by hours nor is our calendar neatly divided into seasons. One phone call, a doctor’s diagnoses or a night of pain can change what we are facing today. I wrote Reflections of Hope to be a healing balm to help strengthen our faith as we together struggle to love and serve. Our souls sometimes limp through the valley of death but our greatest hope is that He walks with us!

If you are either a care giver or receiver you may find this small book to be a help. The softcover is available now and the E-book releases on the 7th. I have it set up for free lending and for those who purchase the soft cover the E-book will be free. Thank you for following this blog. I will continue to share the highs and lows with you of our community and it is my prayer that together we could learn when to give and when to receive. We know that what ever end of the equation we are on today, everything we have comes from the Lord Jesus!

Reflections of Hope

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