We have a dear friend who is an interim college minister at Auburn, and he is heading off to seminary in May. He is talented and going to me an amazing preacher man. Our church is currently going through a lot right now, and he had the privilege of preaching at a very emotional service this past Sunday. I honestly felt sorry for him having to get up there, but I can tell y’all, he knocked it out of the park! Thank you for your teaching of God’s Word Joe, you rock.
I was honestly a little mad at him as he began his sermon from Matthew about Jesus healing a leper. I mean come on friend, it is the day before my birthday, and you know that our baby girl was not healed, so you could have been a little more sensitive. Props to Joe for not consulting my selfish heart for his sermon prep, but for listening to Christ alone.
When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
As he read this passage, prayed, and began to speak of the lepers faith to approach Jesus and ask him, “IF you are WILLING, heal me.” I thought to myself, okay really, I boldly approached your throne Jesus, and begged for healing for Mary Anna, and where were you then?
Jesus healed the leper compassionately, powerfully, and completely, states Joe.
As I kept trying to clear my heart and head to hear the Word that was being so powerfully preached, I truly was in a boxing ring with Jesus and Satan. Who should I listen to?
Satan tells me that Jesus can not heal anymore, that he does not love me or Mary Anna, and that I should let it all go.
Jesus quietly answers, “I do heal, I do love, and I healed Mary Anna compassionately, powerfully, and completely.”
See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
As I chose to listen to the Words of my powerful King, my heart began to transform, and sorry Joe, I am not mad at you anymore! And I wish that I could post his sermon, because it would change you if you heard it.
I have been praying through all of this confusion the last few days, and as I woke up yesterday on my first birthday without my baby girl, I began to get even more lost in my thoughts. I wanted to know why he heals some and why we are still walking through this fire. I do not get it most days.
I, I, I.
As I debated writing about this, I shared my heart with Dan on the way home from my birthday dinner last night all dressed in my new black dress and new necklace that were both sweet gifts from dear people. I cried, and I did not want the gifts or the cupcakes (which are usually my favorite), but I wanted my baby girl back. I wanted her to be healed like Joe preached about Sunday. I wanted to understand.
Jesus spoke to me again.
“Maybe,” I said to D, “Jesus did not heal Mary Anna the way that we thought he would, because he needed us to show the world how to keep walking and trusting him when it does not go our way.”
I am slowly learning my testimony and role for the gospel in all of this sadness.
So many times it is easy to keep praising, praying, and being thankful when things go our way, but truly are we ready to say to the world that Jesus is my King, he heals, he saves, and he is GOOD, even when things do not go our way?
Our story is raw, and at times I am brutally honest in my thoughts on this blog, and I do indeed proclaim all of those things that I just said.
Somehow, at times I can truly say, Jesus thank you for taking our baby girl home.
I am a lost cause that has HOPE only through the healing blood of Jesus Christ.
These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7