There was a lot on the agenda. Even though it had already been a long, busy day, there were still many details to iron out during our team meeting. So, we sat working out a busy schedule for the next month of ministry over the remnants of our dinner and focused on the details of who was doing what, when, and how.
Just after 8:00pm the phone rang. It was a woman our team had shared the gospel with and prayed for last week. She said she was in anguish and needed help. At just 48 years of age, she was dying of kidney failure and that night she was in a great deal of pain. Her family did not know what to do. The nearby hospital had already done all that they could. Her family and neighbors were unable to help. She then remembered the kindness of the people who shared the gospel and prayed for her. In desperation, she reached out to our team.
As we listened to the news, we knew immediately we must pray and did so. As we prayed, the Lord made it clear that it was imperative that we get this woman to a hospital. Our agenda was pushed aside, and a group went out into the night to do what the Lord said. When we were on the way, the woman called again and said she did not want to cause us any problems. She was concerned about strangers coming into her messy house, and afraid she was overreacting… these are the lies that plant seeds of doubt and fear right before something miraculous is about to happen! We wanted to plant a different seed, one that would grow faith. Our response was, “This is church.” This is who we are called to be.
So often Christians confuse the ideal of church to mean a physical building where people decide to come and receive something or, worse, come to fulfil some perceived religious obligation. We have come to understand that church is the fellowship of believers, gathered in Jesus’ name, who walk in alignment with the Spirit of God. Church isn’t a building. Nor is church something we do. Church is who we are. Where buildings have their purpose and place; while programs and agendas can be helpful; God’s greatest purpose is fulfilled when the good news of the gospel is proclaimed. We are the church!
With discernment and discretion, the team arrived on scene and prayerfully delivered the whole family to a good hospital. In case you think we were not acting in faith, let me stop you right there. I want to remind you that Jesus healed every single person that came for healing, but not all were healed instantly. Some did receive instant miracles of healing. Others whom Jesus declared healing for received it as they went (Luke 17:11-19) and others began to get well that very hour (John 4:46-53). Healing may be progressive. We believe by faith that this woman has received complete healing, which will be physically manifested as she walks in the sufficiency of God’s grace and believes in the only way, the only Truth, the only Life, the great Physician, Jesus Christ.
Through our team, God activated a great faith in not only her heart, but in the hearts of her unbelieving family members that very night. Love crosses boundaries where prayers and fellowship often fall short. It takes initiative and often costs us our time and resources. Yet, there is a great fruit produced by planting and watering the seed of faith where it is needed most, in the dire moments of life.
The doctor told us that if this dear woman had not come when she did, she’d have died within a few hours. Today, she is alive, recovering, and growing in faith. Her family and neighbors are thinking about all that transpired and coming to realize that they too are in desperate need of the One who loves them enough to meet them right where they are.
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