One Day there will be No More Tears

Seven weeks ago my daughter Sonya and her husband Horeb received the worst possible news from a doctor following a sonogram: “This child has serious problems and there can be no good outcome to this pregnancy. ”

But we said with the words of the song, “Whose report do you believe? We believe the report of the Lord. His report says I am healed.” And we believed God for a miracle.

We proclaimed that nothing is impossible for God. We believed and proclaimed that “by His stripes we are healed.” We prayed and fasted. Our faith community prayed and fasted. Servants of God, who have seen many miracles, signs and wonders, prayed and believed with us. We were lifted into God’s presence by the unified prayers of agreement around us.

However, on Wednesday night, August 9, 2017, Sonya, six and one-half months pregnant, was delivered of a stillborn son and they named him Liam, which means strong-willed warrior.

Friday, August 11th, the immediate family gathered around a small open grave in an unmarked country cemetery, near our home. The father and mother sang and the two brothers and two sisters, ages 4-11, took turns shoveling ground over the tiny casket. And Ruth and I, the maternal grandparents, prayed and sang along and believed.

But what do we believe?

We believe that God is good and that His mercies are new every day. We believe that God heals; He resurrects; He does signs and wonders and miracles. We believe that nothing is impossible for God. We believe that He hears the prayers of his children. We believe that where two or three agree together in Jesus’ name they have what they ask.

But how can we believe all this in the face of unanswered prayer?

I remember John the Baptist pointing to Jesus, in the bright sunshine over the Jordan River, and loudly proclaiming, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is far greater than I for He existed long before me.”

And I remember John the Baptist in the dark prison cell pondering the question, “Is this Jesus reallly the son of God; is He really who I said He was?”

And Jesus sends a message back to John the Baptist saying, “Tell John that I am God, that I have come to set captives free, to heal the blind and the lame and to bring God’s kingdom to earth.”

And then Jesus adds, “Oh and by the way, tell John, ‘Blessed is he who is not offended in me’.” In other words “I am a miracle working God and I have called you to be miracle working people. Blessed is the person who does not get offended when in a given situation I take a different course than what you had anticipated or proclaimed. Just know I have a plan that will bring good out of this situation.”

“Do not give up. Do not become passive and say, ‘Well, I will not pray or expect anything, I will just pray, ‘Father, your will be done whatever it might be..’”

“No, No. His will is that you should actively participate in bringing heaven’s will and miracles to earth. He wants you to lay hands on sick people and to proclaim their healing in Jesus’ name. He wants you not just to believe “in Jesus” (that is for salvation). He wants you to believe ‘as Jesus did’ that you carry authority to address the sickness, disease, disorders and demons in the world.

God is a strategic God. He is making all things work together for good to those who love Him. Blessed is the one who keeps on proclaiming the goodness and power of God. Even though for the moment we may be in the dark about the immediate strategy of God, we are convinced that in the ultimate strategy we win, hands down.

Or think of it this way. If I am the number two in command in a large company, how do I best show honor to the number one in command?

When I am faced with difficulties and challenges do I say, “I cannot decide, I must wait to hear from the Big Boss?” Or do I make decisions and proclamations confident that I know the heart and the vision of the number one in command and that he has empowered me to act and speak in his name.

If in some given situation he moves at odds with what I have said, I do not get offended. I only assume that he has information which caused him in a given case to take a different direction than what I had proclaimed.

So in light of all this, I will honor God and his word by continuing to lay hands on sick people, and I will continue to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is here and now and that miraculous signs will follow those who believe. Mark 16.

I will press in even more diligently to know Him whom I have believed and to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. For I am convinced that nothing can separate from His love, not a stillborn child, not an apparently unanswered prayer. For His love is deeper, higher, wider and longer than anything I can imagine.

And I am proclaiming that Liam, which means strong-willed warrior, in his very short span on earth was used of God in a powerful way to increase faith in our lives. As a result of this experience, we will be more likely to believe God for the impossible.

One day we will see Liam in the glorious light of the Son of God and we will understand all and there will be no more tears or sighing. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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