People forget the One who made them. The cares, pain, and busyness of this world consume our attention and God is forgotten. Whether or not we have a relationship with God, we can forget Him, and in so doing, we lose perspective and security, while gaining anxiety and confusion. God calls us back to Him, and it is only in conversational relationship with Him that we find life. It’s not a religion, a lifestyle, doing good works, or a social club He calls us to, it’s into relationship with Him. He wants to listen, He wants to spend time with us, He wants to speak to us and lead us. When we walk in conscious awareness of His love for us and His nearness to us, we are transformed and we taste the life He made us for. We then see that God is personal and is no longer a distant, nebulous, supreme “entity”.
We recently encouraged two women along these lines. Through Deanna, a woman with a newborn and her mother came to our house seeking health care advice. The mother (Aline, “Aleena”), delivered a beautiful boy two months ago and complained of persistent abdominal pain along with hemorrhoid pain. After some questions and a brief exam on the porch, we prayed for her and her baby and gave her some medicine that was likely to help. Her mother complained of back pain and insomnia. While interviewing her and asking some history questions, her real story unfolded. She has lived many years with an abusive, alcoholic, angry husband who is unrelenting in his daily, hurtful treatment of his family. She admitted to living in fear and anxiety, knowing no peace. Aline nodded in agreement to her mother’s conversation about her father.
Neither woman attends church, for fear of what this man may do to them if they did. Both “believe in” God. We were able to remind them that in the midst of life’s challenges (profound challenges, in their case), they had perhaps forgotten God and His dear affection for them. The one thing that has the power to heal and to change gets lost in the painful clutter of life. Aline’s mother admitted to feeling completely unloved. We reminded her that although there is plenty we don’t understand about her circumstances, we do know how profoundly God cares for her. We encouraged her to see God’s provisions for her in the midst of her current circumstances. A healthy church, for example, is a community of broken, incomplete, distressed lives that gather for support while pressing into Jesus and walking through their difficult circumstances. This family lives one block from the Mirante Vineyard, which has already distinguished itself as a genuine group of Jesus worshippers, living in such community. We hope to soon see them there, as the end of their eternal story remains unwritten.
We gave Aline’s mother some practical advice and some medicine and laid hands on her and brought her to Jesus’ attention in prayer. Both women received prayer tearfully and seemed genuinely grateful for our care. We saw them several days later and through beautiful smiles, they confessed improvement in their symptoms. We will see them again and have further opportunity to love them and care for them, no strings.
There is such pain in these women’s lives, caused predominantly by one man. We live in a world and serve a God we don’t completely understand (if we did, we’d be God). But we are able to communicate what we do know. What we know has been revealed in Jesus. We know what He revealed when He was here and what He’s revealed to each of us since we began interacting with Him. God is kind, full of affection especially for those hurting, and so compassionate toward screwed up people. We know and can testify to others that a relationship with God gives life, brings deep change even within unchanging circumstances. These women said they didn’t know how to pray. We encouraged them in who it is they would be talking to and how He longs for their conversation and the sharing of their hearts.
It was a beautiful time of ministry, resulting from simple health concerns. Eternal things were discussed around temporal challenges. It’s why we’re here and why you’ve sent us. Thank you for your support on behalf of these two and the others God will direct our way.