Sometime during those days in the hospital, Rich shared with me that his prayer at the retreat had been a plea for God to rid him of any of himself. He wanted to be completely surrendered to God. He wanted to know God in a deeper, more complete way.
So that's what you get for praying?
- Confined to a bed and a back brace for 3+ months?
- Unable to go and do like any other healthy 36-year-old man?
- Being dependent on your wife to help you with your most personal of tasks, including bathing and toileting? (To be honest, he enjoyed the sponge baths. LOL!)
- Having to tell the 3 yo who is used to wrestling and playing with his daddy, "Can't touch Daddy," umpteen times a day, with tears in your eyes every time?
Nope. Here's what we got when Rich prayed:
- Because he was confined to a bed and a back brace, Rich had the joy of learning how to be still, and know that He is God. During that time, Rich experienced an intercessory prayer life that he had never known before. The man dreamed dreams and the Lord gave him a couple of visions, as well! He was still. He had nowhere to go but to the throne of God.
- Because he was unable to go and do like any other healthy 36 yo man, Rich found out what really goes on at our house all day long! He experienced a lot of wonderful daily moments with our kids that he normally missed out on.
- Because he was physically dependent on me, our roles were reversed for a time. Rich has always been the strong one. I go to him for everything. But now I was taking care of him. Was it humbling? Yes, I know it was. One verse that we continually repeated was, "Humility comes before honor." But you know what? I loved being there for him. I loved being needed. I loved being able to DO something that showed him my love. It strengthened our marriage--no doubt.
- Because the children couldn't touch Daddy, they learned how to pray for him. And this, by far, was one of the most special things that God did in the life of our family. The children and I each memorized a healing verse from God's Word. We gathered around Rich's hospital bed every night, and we prayed our verses over him. How utterly amazing to remember those little ones (8, 6, and 3) crouching, with their faces to the floor, and lifting up these pleas to their Heavenly Father:
Your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8). I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you (2 Kings 20:5). I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth (Jeremiah 33:6).
Y'all, I'm no saint. Kelly commented yesterday that she admired my faith. Well, I don't mind telling you that my faith took a real beating during all this. So, stay tuned for the final installment in this series of posts! LAUNCH DATE: The Table is Set (Part Four) concludes today! Be looking for it this afternoon!