“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”(1)
How could we ever begin to measure the greatness of God’s love for us? How great are the things He has done. Our testimonies are the stories of how God has personally rescued us from peculiar hardship. It is through many laborious prayers God intervenes to change the direction of our lives. I’ve witness this through my own personal story. Written in one of the chapters of my life was the shocking death of my son, Michael. I wish it didn’t have to be, and this was not a part of the chapter of my life. Even so, God chose it to be so that I would see how He would care for me. One particular way He chose to extend His comfort to me was through sincere friends who were committed to pray for me. God worked through their prayers to strengthen my weak faith and gave me hope.
Michael’s death was difficult to bear, and I couldn’t understand why a loving God would take away someone so special, who made me laugh and enjoy life. How could a loving God let him be stolen away from me? Mike made me so happy and was the delighted of my heart. His death made me question my faith when pressed with so many questions that weighed heavy on my mind but not enough answers. I wondered where God was when Michael was faced with the gunman right in front of him and he was left defenseless. Did Mike suffer? Did he cry out to God in his last moments? The turmoil of unanswered questions was excruciating. The reality that Mike was gone and I’d never see him again and that I didn’t have the chance to say good-bye sorely grieved me. How could I keep going? I couldn’t believe someone would want to kill Michael. Everyone liked Michael; who would want to kill him? My young grandson innocently asked my husband, “Grandpa who would want to hurt Mike?” His simple reply was, “I don’t know.”
Then there were the terrifying nightmares, and those lonely nights feeling the hurt, loss, and empty void of missing Mike. My eyes would swell from sobs of tears and my body shook uncontrollably. In the stillness of the night, I felt my husband’s arms slip around me and hold me securely tight – no spoken words just a compassionate tight embrace. Those were intimate nights when two hearts shared in the same anguish, torment, and empty pain together. Sharing oneness, we were tied and bonded together in catastrophic loss, until solace of peace calmed our spirits and we drifted back to sleep. These nights were a reminder to me, God was still with us in the midst of the storm. In our affliction we also felt God’s mercy by many caring friends who persistently prayed for us.
“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”(2)
It is through this common bond of prayer we come to fight our enemy. God brought me faithful friends to pray and fight the mighty forces of darkness. They fought all the way to victory. The wrenching pain in dealing with all that happened, devastated me, but they stood by me with encouragement and support. These prayer partners pleaded for me when my fears and worries of the unknown future surfaced. In agreement, they petitioned God for wisdom and strength during the extended legal proceedings and trial. In unity these prayer warriors celebrated in victory when God healed me. I appreciate them, value their friendship, and hold very special thanks for a time such as this, when they stood in the gap for me. With gratitude I thank God! Sola Deo Gloria – Glory to God alone!
Gracious Heavenly Father, help me be aware of those broken around me that I may intercede and diligently pray for them. Remind me that through prayer You can make a difference in their lives, as You a have in mine. Bring opportunities for me to serve them with the same comfort that You have graciously comforted me with. Amen.
1. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4
2. Matt 18:19, 20