|(c)Photo by Carole Amateis-Lebruska 2011|
When one experiences a personal crisis, God is always at work. You can count on it. Such a struggle is kind of similar to climbing a mountain like this. Seemingly almost impassable. But, with one step at a time, prayer helps us to climb onward.
God is constantly active, not only in the person who is living through it but for those brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying fervently. He has a message for everyone - even those watching from a distance.
During the last two and half months, I have been in a struggle - recovering from surgery, the unexpected and sudden end of my marriage, and literally having no place to call home. I am still working through the shock of it all. Each day I think I get a little stronger. And since the beginning - from the days leading up to my surgery to now, I have felt the prayers of God's people.
It is as if the Lord has literally carried me at times. I do not even know how I got through some days - it is somewhat of a blur. But every day - I mean every day, the Lord walked beside me. He knew exactly what was happening - it was no surprise to Him.
I could probably write a book on the marvelous ways God has answered prayers in just this short time. But here are just a few examples of how God was a part of every day life.These happenings are what I call a "God thing" -that is to say, He was very much involved :-)
In July, I canceled a surgery that was to be done in one hospital and went to one far from home. It was good that I did; not only did I have a hiatal hernia but further tests ordered by my doctor showed that it was large and it was twisting and could cut off my air supply. The day I was to have that test, I woke up with a massive migraine - but I had to fast for 12 hours and could not take any medicine for it. Somehow - through the power of prayer - I drove myself through heavy traffic to the medical imaging facility and got through the test, then drove back to my son's apartment where I hit the bed after taking meds for the nausea and excruciating pain. Thank you Lord for getting me through that one.
The surgeon saw me on one day and the procedure was done the next morning. He said it would probably take about two hours or so and I may have a tube inserted in my abdomen. It took just a little over an hour and no tube had to be inserted. People were praying. Four days later, I drove myself home - across the entire state, stopping to walk about every hour or so to prevent blood clots. I made the trip just fine. People were praying.
I was on a liquid/soft diet for six weeks. I was supposed to have trouble swallowing but have not. I have healed much more quickly than I ever imagined. God's servants have been praying.
When my marriage began to fall apart, the phone rang - family and friends were there for me - their prayers and counsel got me through some really painful and difficult days. I did not know what to do and I was still not well.
Through the power of the Lord, I had the strength to move when my marriage collapsed; I was advised to take things with me if I left. Not that I did it alone - in fact, the Lord sent wonderful Christian friends and family to help me - I mostly directed them as they packed my belongings into a storage unit. I felt rather helpless - it was hard not being able to do much. But they were so loving and caring - often reminding me to go rest and not lift anything heavy so I would not hurt myself or undo the surgery.
Still in shock, I left the storage unit. Leaving my belongings and the life I had known behind, it hit me. I have no home. I have no job. My husband had told me I did not need to work outside the home. I had little savings. The Lord brought to mind that Jesus had no home during a time when he was on earth. He did not fret - He knew His Father would take care of Him. That knowledge was a comfort.
A longtime friend and dear sister in Christ and her husband opened their home to me. Another answered prayer. I stayed there for almost two weeks looking for places to live, swallowing my pride and lining up at the Health and Human Services for assistance. It was there that I saw others - so many other people who needed help. It was an eye opener. As was my time at the job service agency. People from far and near looking for jobs. It was something I needed to experience. I know God will use it somehow in my future - hopefully to help others.
Even though my husband agreed to take care of me for one month, I knew I had to find a source of income soon. For days, I searched for work and a place to live. Family and friends continued to tell me - I am praying for you. I knew it - I felt it. Friends, former classmates and family across the miles called. Cell phones and the Internet can be wonderful tools to bind hearts and lives together - another blessing from the Lord.
Then one day I walked into a job agency. I was put to work that afternoon as a medical records clerk. It was temporary but I was thankful just the same - another answer to prayer. Could my body endure the work? My doctor gave me the go ahead.
The same day my wonderful Christian friends who had previously been my landlords said I could rent the very same apartment I had six years ago. It was a miracle! And the power of prayer in action again. I praised and thanked the Lord.
Today, the temp job has ended. I continue to search for work and to unpack boxes - which were moved by another group of Christian friends while I was at work (some the same as who had moved me the first time). Can I ever repay them for what they have done? I will pray that the Lord blesses them in special ways, for one thing.
One of those dear friends, a pastor, shared some of his earnings with me when my marriage first ended. The money had been a gift to him from another Christan - he just passed it on to me. A true blessing from the Lord. I spend it very decisively - for I look upon it as from the Lord Himself.
Another dear friend has hooked up my washer and dryer and done numerous things for me around the apartment that I could not do myself. This friend has added a lot of joy to my life through humor and other friends have invited me out to eat with them to ease my loneliness. Answered prayers.
All are God's servants. All a part of answered prayers.
I do not know what the future holds but I know Who holds my future. I am trying very hard to listen to the Lord's leading. I have music to share and writing skills to put to good use for Him. But I also have to make a living and I am no spring chicken!
And through this all, as God has taught me much about the power of prayer, I have prayed for others and continue to. Because I know prayer has power and is one of the truest expressions of Christ-like love.
If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to pray for someone, do it. And keep praying as He told us to - without ceasing. God always answers - in His time. He may answer in ways you do not expect or say "wait awhile" or perhaps His answer may even be "no" - but He will answer, according to His divine will.
And if you need prayer - ask for it. Do not be ashamed or too proud to ask for help. God has provided this gift to us - receive it and be thankful.
Have any of you had the opportunity to see prayer at work in your life?