I have been burdened these last few weeks for a friend of mine and her family who received devastating news. Their 4 year old daughter has been diagnosed with an aggressive, malignant, inoperable brain tumor. And to add to that, just recently they found out that the only treatment the doctors have to offer will cause more damage than good. I don't even know how to respond to news like that. Since these friends are so far away, the only thing I have to offer them is my prayers. To me, this doesn't seem like "enough." But the Bibles tells us "the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." (James 5:16) So I know that my prayers are making a difference!
I recently read an entry this friend posted on their blog that really speaks to the power of prayer and I wanted to share that with you.
I am the mother of a daughter with a brain tumor. No one would raise an eyebrow to find me hiding under the covers with a box of Kleenex and a bag of Oreos. And the day may come! Let’s not go counting chickens here. But, it isn’t my present reality. I walk around most of the time with a mindset similar to Pollyanna. I have looked for reasons to explain this seeming contradiction. Truth be told, we have known that something is “wrong” with our daughter for more than a year now. But, I think I may have stumbled upon the answer last night.
Many people have offered and extended practical support during this time. One dear lady delivered us a meal last night. I mean a MEAL! The amount of food will feed us two or three times. Her daughter had included a handmade card that communicated how earnestly the family was holding us in their hearts and prayers. While we stood in the driveway, holding all of this generosity in our arms, the mother continued to ask with a pleading look if there was something more that she could DO. Her eyes were moist with care. She shared about the weight that she carries regarding Natalie. She lies awake at night, praying, burdened with the heart that a mother feels when she brings to mind the suffering of a four year old. And, out of nowhere, I knew exactly what she is doing for me. She is carrying my heavy.
I do not walk around with a heart of despair. The reality is that I have seldom shed tears. (And, let me tell you, I can cry like a baby.) My heart is full of hope, my mind alive with the many ways that healing might come to Natalie. I envision her as a grown woman, vibrant and beautiful. I believe that this is the gift that God has given me for this season. I believe that he has taken my lump of burden and cut it just like a piece of apple pie, distributing it to the masses. A mother. A friend. A father. A cousin. And yes, a stranger. I am overcome.
So, if you have been called to carry this weight with us, allow me to look you straight in the eye and say with all my heart, “We could not do this without you. Thank you.”
So, my friends, even though we may not have situations such as this in our lives, our prayers make a difference - for the little things and the big things! Don't fret that "all you can do" is pray. That is the most you can do. Prayer accomplishes things that we cannot imagine. Prayer gets us through situations that seem impossible. Why? Because we serve a God that is bigger than all these things! He is bigger than financial situations. He is bigger than medical problems. He is bigger than our parenting skills. He is bigger than our children's stubbornness.
So I challenge you this week - who needs your prayers? Will you spend some time carrying someone else's burden to the foot of the cross?