I organized a 24 Hour Prayer Vigil for my friend who is battling cancer. The response was incredible. There were so many people who wanted to participate, it was extended to 36 hours.
I love being a part of God's family!
Well, I decided to take a middle of the night slot cause I knew they would be the ones that no one really wanted. I took the midnight shift.
For anyone who knows me, you know how incredible this is. I love my sleep. But, I figured I needed to make a sacrifice. So, I set my alarm and dragged myself out of my warm and cozy bed, thinking to myself, "Why did I volunteer for this time?"
Oh, man, I am so glad I did! I usually pray continually throughout the day, with whatever I am doing. But let me tell you, when you make yourself just focus on God and talking to Him...WOW.
It's not the same as praying when you are doing the dishes. It's not the same as when you are in corporate prayer and are agreeing with others. It's just you and God, no distractions, no kids arguing in the background, no worrying about what needs to be done around the house.
My friend is hurting and scared.
His wife and kids are terrified and exhausted.
Our church is hurting for them.
My heart aches daily for them.
As I sat in the quiet, trying to understand, I realized something.
God hurts more.
Wait, what? God hurts?
That was my thought as I was praying for Him to stop all the hurting.
Think about it. God created each and every one of us. He thought of us and fashioned us perfectly the way He wanted us to be.
And now, He is hearing every cry and seeing every tear from his beloved creations. His heart aches and breaks for the pain going on.
But, God can see the timeline and results that we cannot see. He knows what will happen, who will be touched, and He places each person exactly where and when they need to be in order for His will to be accomplished.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
We cannot fathom God's purposes. They are multilayered and incomprehensible.
They are perfect and will accomplish what He wants.
And that might not be what we want.
But, even in that, He gives us peace and comfort. Sometimes in the midst of the storm, sometimes afterwards.
He promises that one day, there will be no more tears, no more pain. There will be only love and joy and praising.
Oh, glorious day!
I cannot wait for the day that I will never again see my friends hurting, never again see the chaos this world creates, but live fully in His light and love.
I am thankful I took the midnight shift. It created such a peace in me, and I pray that God will give that peace to my friends.
Maybe, I will make this a habit.
Hey, I said maybe.