In this season of great joy excuse me while I take you to a serious place. It is my hope that what I have been learning may help someone of you who may have need of it.
Over the past few years I have had the honor of knowing and praying for a young woman who has been battling cancer. I am sure all of you know people who have engaged in a similar battle. It is hard and apart from God I do not know how anyone can get through the warfare, whether patient or loved one.
The woman I speak of experienced a wonderful miracle about 2 years ago. She was healed of malignant melanoma. She went for a radiation treatment and the doctors could not find the cancer. It was gone. They did various tests, amazing grace was surely upon her. Over these last two years her children came to a personal relationship with Jesus, as did her husband. She was reconciled with her mother with whom she had not had a good relationship for many years. Praise God for such amazing grace.
Then sadly the cancer returned.
At this time she has gone through all kinds of “trials” as they are called. These are medications that may help her but there are no guarantees. There seem to be no end to the number of “trials” available. The side effects are significant but this dear woman is doing them all in hopes of staying alive. I can only liken it to someone who might submit to torture. It’s been hard to watch. It’s been very hard on her family.
Over the past month my prayer for her has been that God would bless her with “rest.” This morning He brought me to a more complete meaning of the word “rest.” I found the “rest” I long for her in Hebrews 4:9-10.
Hebrews 4:9-10 (NKJV)
9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
I went to my Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. As used in Hebrews 4:9-10 that word rest is “a perpetual sabbath rest to be enjoyed uninterruptedly by believers in their fellowship with the Father and the Son, in contrast to the weekly Sabbath under the Law. This Sabbath rest is the rest of God Himself, Hebrews 4:10, its full fruition is yet in the future, though believers now enter into it. In whatever way they enter into divine “rest,” that which they enjoy is involved in the indissoluble relation with God. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary)
This kind of rest will allow my friend to stop working out her own healing and being concerned about so many things. This kind of rest will allow her to be still, rest her body, mind, soul and spirit. She will then be able to let go and let God. She will hear His voice and her heart will be softened to listen and receive.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; there remains a “rest” in the midst of warfare.
Praise God, we are God’s own special people as stated in – 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
And so my prayer for my friend this day:
Father, I thank You that Your mercies are new each and every day for Your chosen generation, Your own special people. I thank You that each one of us who has been called out of darkness into Your marvelous light can trust that we have obtained mercy from the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. This day, dear Lord, I pray for a full measure of Your great mercy upon my sister. That the Mercy and Grace that only You can release will fall upon her and she will enter into a place of perpetual rest in You. Lord, by Your grace remove all those things of the world that have entered her mind, her heart, her soul or her will that are separating her from the divine rest available to her as a child of God. This day, dear Lord, may Your shalom fall upon her, releasing the wholeness of her body, soul and spirit with You, Oh God, who desires only that which is good for those who love You and are called according to Your purposes.
For so great a love You have for Your daughter I give thanks and release this prayer in the court of heaven before the one who represents Laurie before the throne of grace….her Savior and mine, our Jesus.