How do you respond when life is good or when life is hard? Are you singing?
I teach a small 8th grade Language Arts class and have had the opportunity to really get to know the students in addition to teaching them. I also have the blessing of praying for them. As is the routine at the beginning of each class, I asked for prayer requests.
The outgoing, happy-go-lucky class clown quietly raised his hand while staring down at his desk. He was waiting for me to call on him. Looking down at his hands, with a soft shaking voice, he asked if we 'would pray for his mom. Her cancer has returned in a more aggressive form and she has two tumors in her body each the size of a grapefruit. There is a race against the clock to begin chemo.'
His words struck me deep. The class was completely quiet and the air was heavy. I faced the white board and wrote the request. Turning around to face the class with the bravest face I could, I asked for other prayer requests. Hoping for a praise, I called on the always smiling girl raising her hand. She told the class her aunt died yesterday, and asked for prayers for her family. I printed it on the board. The next request was from a student who announced her mother was going into surgery this week and she was scared. I wrote it on the board. Yet another request was for a cousin that had a pulmonary embolism and is in the hospital fighting for his life. My hand began to shake. I felt the burden of my students as I wrote each one on the board. I have 9 students in my class, and each request was incredibly deep and heavy. I probably took a deep breath as my transparent face displayed what my heavy heart was feeling as I prepared to pray for these requests. Seeing my reaction, my class clown student whose mother is braving her second round of cancer said, "Mrs. Bain, my mom and dad have joy and hope in the LORD. Whether God heals her or not, they are praising a God who not only is the Great Physician, but is their Deliverer in good times and bad."
I was surprised by his regained composure yet not surprised by his faith in God and his words in a crisis. This student speaks of his trust in the Lord. In an instance, the heavy mood of the class transformed to hope. The class rallied and began testifying how God has proven faithful in good times and bad. I was witnessing hope in action.
I know of this mother with cancer, although we have never met. She is a worshipper in song. She sings each Sunday as part of their church's worship team. I have heard from those that attend this church that she sings passionately to God...She has seen the healing power of the Lord in her life through her first battle with cancer. She believes... She sings praises to the Lord which is personal, relevant and true.
With my students' words of hope, my voice became confident and strong in prayer as I lifted up each request before the Father.
We serve a God of hope who loves us beyond measure. No matter what you are walking through, good or bad, sing praises to the one who loves you.
I serve an Amazing God of Hope, and I'm singing.
"Thank you God, for the faithful. For those in good times and bad- that sings and hopes in you."
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God