You’ve probably discovered while reading these posts that I’m no theologian. I haven’t been to seminary; I have no training whatsoever in biblical things. I sin. All the time. I’m trying to do better, of course, but I’m just like most of you–a regular Jo[ann] doing my best to live out what remains of my life with purpose and with love.
I’m nothing special. But…
I’ve been blessed with a spirit of gratitude. It’s really a gift, especially in times such as these. I don’t need to keep a gratitude journal to be reminded of what I’m thankful for each day: For whatever reason, I’m centered in gratitude, and have been for as long as I can remember. And I believe that spirit of gratitude is what keeps me joyful even in hard times.
Still, every once in a while gratitude fails me.
It’s not as if I suddenly become ungrateful; it’s just that something else, something urgent, pushes it to the background. And I know myself well enough to recognize that when my gratitude starts to fade, I’m on the edge of a pit I don’t ever want to fall into again.
Thankfully (there’s that word again!), I am surrounded by a group of powerful pray-ers who are always willing to step in on my behalf. That’s what happened yesterday: I reached out, they prayed, God heard. And before long, HIs wonderful whoosh of peace replaced the sorrow that was beginning to build over the impending loss of people I care about to COVID-19.
The power of prayer is spelled out beautifully in James 5:13-16, and ends like this:
James 5:16: “Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
I know that the most important healing is the one that takes place in our hearts. And I know that God is at work in the hearts of those afflicted with COVID-19, and the people who love them.
I’m so grateful for the earnest prayers of righteous friends who pray with me and for me. God hears. I woke up refreshed and renewed today, and each of the three people we are praying for have been given another day of life. What more can we ask for?
I may have stolen this one from Joan Baez back in the seventies. I stenciled it on to the top of a broken Lazy Susan, and it’s held a place of honor in my home ever since:
Thank you, God, for letting me be born, for giving me eyes to see the daffodils lean in the wind, all my brothers, all my sisters; for giving me ears to hear crying, legs to come running, hands to smooth damp hair, a voice to laugh with, and to sing with…to sing to You and the daffodils…which are You.
And thank You, Lord, for the gifts of gratitude and praying friends. I treasure them both. Amen.