Four people stepped forward to where I was standing with other members of the prayer team following the morning service. One of the women introduced herself and then drew another woman forward. "This is my friend who is visiting our church for the first time this morning. She has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Would you please pray for her?"
I looked at the woman and softly said, "I am a six year breast cancer survivor."
In that moment, something changed. I could see it in her face and in her physical bearing. A light came into her eyes and she stood a little straighter as she said, "So, you know... "
"Yes," I said softly, "I know."
"They say I will probably have to have chemo."
"I have gone through chemo."
After talking for a few moments, my prayer team partner and I together with the four people in front of usstarted to join hands to pray but before we began, the woman switched places with her friend who was standing next to me. She reached out to take my hand as I reached out to take hers. We gripped hands tightly as I began to pray for her and continued to do so as others prayed for her as well.
The support of family and friends is wonderful but there are times when you simply need to talk to someone who has faced what you are facing and experiencing what you are experiencing. Yesterday was one of those moments.
I attend a large church with several campuses. About 3,000 people go to the campus I attend and there are five weekend services. Was it a coincidence that a woman diagnosed with prayer cancer came to that particular service and walked up to the particular prayer "team" that had a member who was a cancer survivor? I don't think so.
In the bad times as well as the good, we must never forget that God guides our steps. We must remember that when God requires us to climb a "mountain" instead of removing that mountain for us, it is for a reason. He has a purpose for every dark valley we go through as well as every bright and sunny path.
The question we must ask ourselves is, are we willing to go where God wants us to go, even if the path is difficult and unpleasant? Are we willing to endure hardship so that we are better equipped to minister to those who suffer? Are we?
Jesus is sometimes referred to as "The Suffering Servant". The Bible tells us He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Are we? Or are we too busy attempting to erect ivory towers from which we can look down upon humanity and cluck our tongues at?
The next time your experience "suffering",I challenge you to try this. Take your eyes (and mind) off yourself for a moment and ask God to turn your suffering into a blessing. Ask Him to take that suffering and somehow use it for His honor and glory. You may be surprised at what happens next.
I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chatted all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!
--Robert Browning Hamilton
[quote]Was it a coincidence that a woman diagnosed with prayer cancer came to that particular service and walked up to the particular prayer "team" that had a member who was a cancer survivor? I don't think so.[/quote]
An example of God at work. If only we could discern such. Such 'windows' of Gods planning are all around us.
[quote]The support of family and friends is wonderful but there are times when you simply need to talk to someone who has faced what you are facing and experiencing what you are experiencing[/quote] - Very True sister...
Awesome blog.Im sure this blog will be a real blessing for so many people ...
Wonderful K. - Thank you for sharing how God brings us and other across the paths which He knows need to intersect! Les