Thursday, June 6, 2013
It's Not Dead...
So I mentioned in my last post that a few amazing things happened this week, and I’d like to share them with you.
First...you may remember a few months ago me writing about having a meltdown in Walmart. Things were really stressful, my health was declining, and while in the store I got a phone call with some potentially bad news about the house we were trying to buy. Well it was just all too much, and I started crying hysterically while at the store trying to pick up a few things. When I was at the register, the cashier was a very nice young man who talked to me and encouraged me and gave me a hug before I left. It was one of those moments where somebody shows you compassion at just the right moment. I felt in my spirit that this young man was a believer and I always wanted to find him to not only thank him, but to find out if my suspicions were correct. WELL...
While at the store this past week I walked right by an employee who was stocking shelves. I did not need to take a second look, because I could not forget the face of the person who extended himself when I needed someone to do just that. I stopped in my tracks and walked right up to him...then I asked him if he remembers a few months ago talking to some crazy lady crying at his register! His face lit up and he not only remembered me, but said he was quite touched that day. I thanked him, hugged him, and then asked if he was a Christian- and he just started smiling and nodding! It was an incredible moment, when you meet a brother in Christ. We chatted for a while and this young man- Anthony - will forever be in my heart and prayers.
I was very uplifted after that, but the real zinger came in church on Sunday. What a quiet, difficult season these last few years have been for us. But this Sunday marked exactly three years since our first service here in Amsterdam and there was just something stirring inside me before service even began.
There was a guest speaker who came to preach, and he had an incredible testimony...but beyond that, he had an incredible word from the Lord. He spoke from 2 Kings chapter 4, a story about a woman whose son died. After her son died, she laid him in a bed and immediately went out looking Elisha, the man of God. She knew if she could find him, that he would beseech God and she would see a miracle. And find him she did.
When she found Elisha and pled her case, Elisha sent his servant up ahead to touch the boy with his staff. But that was not enough. When your hopes and dreams lay dead, you simply can not settle. It is not enough to have the servant do the bidding...you need the One to show up. She laid at Elisha’s feet and would not leave until he himself came.
In her very home, there was death. No life, no hope, not even the promise that it would change. But she knew. Oh, she knew. It didn’t matter that the body was being prepared for burial. It didn’t matter that every single person around her said that her son was dead. It didn’t matter....because she knew. She knew that he was just sleeping. And though the sleep may be long and it may look like death- the sleeper will eventually wake.
Her son woke up that day. Her dreams, her hopes, her love, her faith- it woke up.
The preacher looked out at the congregation with more than just conviction. He looked out at us with a word from God and told us not to worry because it was just sleeping. The things deep in our hearts were not dead- just sleeping. And they are beginning to wake.
Maybe this was meant for other people there on Sunday...but I am sure it was meant for us. I could barely contain myself when he made the altar call. I knew we were supposed to go up, but I also knew I did not need prayer- I needed God to speak.
I prayed harder in the 5 minutes before the altar call then ever before. I have been prayed for many times, and many times I thought how nice it would be if the person praying for me got a specific word from God instead of just a general prayer. But this time it was crucial. God has been painfully silent these past few years...my ears have ached to hear something, but the only thing I have heard is silence.
Then the preacher came. He laid his hands on our weeping heads. He prayed. It was a nice, deep, moving prayer. I cried as he prayed over us, reminding us that our dreams and promises are just sleeping. Prayer. Weeping. Hoping...
Then he suddenly stopped praying.
When he stopped praying I began praising because I knew the moment had come. Never has a voice sounded so sweet then when you hear it for the first time after a long silence. The preacher stopped dead in his prayer and told me and my husband to look him in the eye.
God spoke to us that day.
The preacher was overcome and looked at us with such an intensity as he struggled to get the depth of his message across. He said words that I will never forget. He spoke of the past three years of death and silence, and spoke of the things in our hearts that only God knows about. He also spoke of things to come.
It’s not dead, it’s just sleeping. It’s not moving, it’s not breathing, you’re losing, it’s failing...but it’s not dead. When God speaks, His words are sure. And when the time is right He breathes life all over that which appears to be dead. So don’t you give up. Don’t you prepare the body or dig the hole. It’s not dead, it’s just sleeping.
And it will wake.