During our time on the cruise, Carl and I were priviledged to make some new friends. God allowed us to run into the same two couples late at night the first two nights of the cruise. After these two run-ins we decided to make it a nightly tradition. So each night we would meet these two fabulous couples at the ice cream parlor. We would laugh, eat and share about our lives. We enjoyed every minute. The strangest part about these two couples is that BOTH of the husbands had died, and God had given them their lives back. As we listened to their stories, Carl and I were amazed. One of the men, Don Piper, was a guest speaker on the cruise and shared his story during a large group session. The other one shared his story with Carl and I personally on the last night of the cruise. These two families are long time friends from home, bonded for life, as you can image.
As we listened to the details of their stories we were encouraged by the power of prayer and the power of God. In our personal lives Carl and I have a couple situations that seem impossible. God used these two families to encourage us to keep our hope in the Lord. As Don shared his story on the second night of the cruise, I was filled with hope and a deep burden to pray. I had grown to accept one of the situations in our lives as “just the way it is.” I used to pray ferverently that God would change the situation, but after a few months my prayers became less frequent. And after a few years, I had almost given up petitioning God altogether. But watching Don move and walk and talk and laugh and joke and enjoy life gave me a renewed sense of hope. A hope that as God says of Himself in Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” NO! God spoke to my heart that night, reminding me that my prayers are heard. They don't fall on deaf ears. Even if the answer is “no” or “not right now”, God is still answering my prayers. I was burdened with a new passion to pray earnestly for God to change our seemingly impossible situation.
Then, a couple of nights later, I found out that the not only had Don died and been given his life back, the other man we enjoyed hanging out with had also been given his life back. I think God was trying to tell me something, don't you?
Don's wife shared with us that the other husband had also suffered a fatal accident and had been down a similar road of recovery, like Don, he also spent a year in the hospital with multiple surgeries. So Carl and I were anxious to hear his story. On the last night we stayed up until almost 2 am listening to him and his wife share the details of God's faithfulness and mercy and healing. Again, God filled my heart with hope.
When we got back to Nashville, I was excited to share with my mom the stories we heard. As we sat at the table one day while Janie napped, I shared with her my renewed hope to pray for what I saw as a lost cause. At the time, I didn't know that two days later, I would need that same hope as the doctor shared with me the news of our unborn child's hydronephrosis.
God knew when I was drinking my hot chocolate and enjoying the company of new friends, that I needed to hear their stories. He was gracious enough to cross our paths. And these two couples were obedient to share their stories with us. I am forever grateful for God's care in scheduling our time on the cruise together. As I opened up my journal this morning, I was a little teary-eyed thinking about the battle we may face when our child is born. But as I thumbed through the pages looking a clean page, God drew my eyes to my notes from Bible study a few weeks ago and the question I quoted above, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
The past week has been a constant reminder that God loves me and is more than able to handle everything in my life…Nothing is too difficult for Him.
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What situation are you facing right now that seems impossible?
Will you commit to praying for that situation?
Will you commit to pray for the long haul? days? weeks? months? years? decades?
What's your story?
How has God proven to you that nothing is too difficult for Him?
Who might need to hear your story?
Are you willing to share it?
As always you can contact privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't wait to hear your stories!!!!