Children should not die from cancer. Children should not be chronically ill. Young men should not find their bodies are filled with disease and young women should not be having major surgery just so their bodies can be mobile. Marriages should not fail. Children should not have to wonder why their family is falling apart. Babies should not die in the womb. Our love for Jesus should never die, we shouldn’t fall out of love with Jesus. But you know what, all this stuff happens.
This just happens to be what is happening in my small first world. First world problems. Medical science can’t fix all, our bodies still die. Even if it’s a twelve year old’s body. Lord God. We need breakthrough.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
I believe this. We have studied Ancient History for the past year in our home schooling curriculum. A lot of this study has been the Bible and the prophets. The prophet Jeremiah lived through trying times. He watches his people being persecuted by a foreign land and he knows God’s heart for His people and it breaks. It was broken. He had to take away their freedom, even their identity. The people of God were eventually stripped of their Promised Land, driven away to Babylon. They were made slaves, and treated with cruelty. The Babylonians were mean folks. It took Nebuchanezzar four tries to completely conquer Jerusalem, and other prophets cried out to God and man about the plans that the Lord had for His people. I believe that His plans remain, to bring us all to Him even when we have heartbreak and pain and we see things crumble beneath us. We see and hear prophecies, and we choose to not believe them, we chose instead to live as victims of circumstances and become buffeted by the enemies plans.
But, Jesus loves us. We are weak, and He is strong.
I must say, I have never been comfortable as an intercessor. I like the idea of long prayer meetings, but I, like my children get wiggly and impatient at them. But I see that my role during these storms in my world is to be an intercessor. I pray when I wash dishes, when I drive, when I do my kick-boxing workout (which is a really good way to make fighting through something physical all about the spiritual instead). I pray with my children, we talk about what we can, and I do a lot of staring out the window. I’m really not that deep, I just have to stare out the window. It’s a form of center for me. God has given me a gift. That gift is out my windows. The days that carry bad news, or days that are unbearably long, there is a bit of a reprieve out those windows, even on the greyest winter days. The light shines through the empty branches. Birds bop from branch to branch and back and forth from the bird feeder. The shapes that surround these woods are from Him. So I find I am brought to those places of prayer, worship and knowledge of God in what is around me. I joke with Joel that I’d lose my mind if we didn’t live in the woods, but I do believe that these days, I don’t think I could be more thankful for this gift. He cares about our needs. He will do as He has promised.
I also can never get enough of Isaiah (the 40’s especially)
The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.