By: Cheri Fuller
"Prayer, even prayer for what God desires, releases
power by the operation of a deep spiritual law;
and to offer up what one loves may release still more."
Oh, how we wish we could control things so everything would go smoothly for us and our kids, so they wouldn’t have problems and neither would we if we could just manage it all! For years, my friend Dana had prided herself on being organized, self-sufficient, and “in control” of most aspects of her life. Although she knew God, she didn’t trust Him but in her ability to keep everything together. And then, she began to experience a series of adversities.
Within five years, their home was threatened by the five-hundred-year Red River flood. Her daughter fell twelve feet from the balcony of their home. Dana experienced acute health problems related to a diseased gallbladder, and her husband’s business was threatened by a weakening economy. During this time they also had some uninvited visitors to their home, a home she’d kept immaculately clean. Lice! Twice! It’s amazing how quickly something so small can disarm a woman who believes that she is in control of her life.
Any peace that may have come from her organizational skills and self-sufficiency soon melted away as Dana realized she was in control of absolutely nothing. She came to the end of herself, however, when their three-year-old son, Soren, began experiencing unusual spells of abdominal pain followed by lethargy and unconsciousness.
At the same time she was grieving the loss of her only son’s health, she was beginning to experientially understand that the Lord cared about her, that He alone knew what her needs were, and that He would provide the exact measure of what she needed to get through each day, minute by minute. One of those provisions came in the form of a gift from a friend who gave her a first edition, original version of this book, Trading Your Worry for Wonder. As she read of my experience of placing my son in God’s strong hands and the truth of Philippians 4:6–9, she began to see that in all things, she could:
· Pray about what concerned her and consciously give it to God,
· Praise Him for what He will do in the situation,
· Receive God’s peace, and
· Focus her mind on thoughts about God.
As they received the news that their little son had a rare vascular malformation of the liver that was virtually undocumented in the history of medical literature, Dana was driven to her knees in agony and despair. At this point she realized she had to make a decision. Was she willing to place her trust in the Lord? Would she confidently entrust Soren to the Lord?
As she prayed about her concerns for Soren, praised the Lord for His power at work in his life, received God’s peace, and focused her mind on the greatness and sovereignty of God, she was filled with an overwhelming sense of peace, confidence, and hope. That enabled her to confidently release her son into the Lord’s hands. Little did she know this would be the beginning of a journey that is now more than five years in the making. Has God delivered them out of the adversity? No. In fact, just a few weeks ago Dana received a call at 9:30 in the morning from Soren’s school saying he’d become listless during his gym class. Dana dropped what she was doing and drove twenty minutes to the school. When she arrived, Soren was stable. As he was leaving the school office to return to class, he had another spell of lethargy. By this time, it was 11:00 a.m., and Dana was about to take her husband to the airport as he was leaving the country for a conference.
It seemed best for Soren to spend the afternoon at home. As Dana was driving, her mind was flooded with questions. Should I take him to the emergency room? How serious is it? Should Thor leave for this conference today? Then she remembered she was scheduled to leave town in less than forty-eight hours to assist in a weekend ministry event in Tampa, Florida. How could she possibly get on a plane and leave Soren in the hands of friends while both her husband and she would be out of town?
As she confided her fears about leaving to her prayer partner, her friend told her, “You really need to hear from the Lord on this! I will pray specifically that you will hear from Him as to whether or not you should go to Tampa.” As Dana came to the Lord in prayer and continued reading the Word, she was assured God would show her what to do.
The next morning as she meditated on Psalm 102 from her daily readings, the last verse of the chapter touched her deeply: “The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence” (NLT). Although this verse brought comfort, she was still not sure that she had definitively heard from God as to whether or not she should go to Tampa.
Later that morning in Bible study, the teacher leader spoke from the fourth chapter of John. Dana had completed the study earlier in the week prior to Soren’s spells so she wasn’t prepared for the amazing new way the Lord spoke to her during the lecture. As the leader read John 4:50, Dana was awestruck. In this verse Jesus is speaking, and He says,
“Go. . .your son will live” (NIV).
It was immediately apparent to Dana, and to her prayer partner sitting beside her, that the Lord had clearly spoken and she was to go to Tampa. And go, she did. Soren had a wonderful weekend with their friends and not one health problem while she was gone. Five years into this journey with her son’s health problems, Dana is still learning to trust in the Lord with all her heart. Time and time again she is learning that it is only as she practices praising, focusing on the Lord through prayer and the study of His Word, and receiving His peace that she has the strength for each day and hope for the future.
© 2015 by Back to the Bible.
“From Replacing Worry for Wonder, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.”