This post mistakenly went out last night as Day Twelve. My apologies! Here it is again: Day Eleven!
One reason we fast is to help carry the burden of another. Fasting and prayer help us join in the fight of those we love. It’s one way we can enter into their suffering and stand with them as they endure. Many around the country, and even across the globe, have joined in with Naghmeh to help carry her burden through the 21 Day Fast for the release of Saeed Abedini.
This kind of prayer, or intercession, comes with a price. When we agonize in prayer for someone we love, we may experience pain. We hurt when they hurt. My friend Stacey shares her story of carrying such a prayer burden recently for her friend. Though it wasn’t in the way she had hoped, Stacey grew to understand that God had truly answered her prayers.
GUEST BLOG: Stacey Martin
It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I hate even claiming that for myself, because what has made this time so rough is a bout of second-hand grief – grief for a tragedy that didn’t even happen to me. It’s grief I’m experiencing for a friend who lost her two-year-old son, suddenly, tragically – as if there is any other way.
Recently, my friend lost her son to what seemed to be inexplicable complications from a form of infantile Leukemia. He didn’t die from Leukemia, because as all of his prior tests had shown, those Cancer cells were long gone. He had beat Cancer.
So why did this child, who we thought through God’s healing power and great goodness had beat Cancer, leave his mom and dad mourning in a room at the local children’s hospital?
Why did Drew who we had coined as “a little boy with a big story” leave us with the question, “God, how will You ever be glorified in this? How can this be part of Your plan?”
The grief and doubt that followed were weighty, rusty chains around my heart. The fear, that maybe God isn’t who is says He is, took me captive. Fear and doubt sucked the oxygen right out of the room. Hope was gone.
I cried out to God from the deepest, darkest places of my heart. Gutteral, wordless prayers out of a place of desperation for my friend. Soul cries from a mommy who is now rocking her own son a little longer, grieving the possibility that this too could happen to me.
But today I sit here knowing that God not only heard those wordless prayers of my soul, but knew what they meant and what I needed. I sit confidently knowing that He heard each prayer from each grieving person in the Drew’s Crew family and from Wes and Mandy’s own hearts.
Last Monday, his parents received the autopsy report and learned that Drew had a serious infection of his heart. Only 10% of his little heart was functioning. That’s what caused his sudden and seemingly inexplicable death. Had the medical team known that Drew was suffering from this infection, his last months would have been spent in the ICU – connected to machines, medicated heavily, with parents knowing that there were no other options out there for their precious son. Just a ticking clock.
But what Drew’s last months looked like were long, naps in the loving arms of his mommy and daddy. Afternoon playtime with his best canine buddy. Santa coming to his house on Christmas morning. A mountain trip where daddy taught him to fish. And so many more precious, unadulterated moments.
That’s the goodness of my God. That’s how God will be glorified in all of this. This is how my prayer was answered. The God who lovingly created the universe and calls each of us His sons and daughters, didn’t mean for any of this to happen. It was never His intent that the world would have sorrow and fear and Cancer. But He showed up and protected this family from a truly horrific outcome – one worse than what they’re already experiencing. He gave them the gift of time. Drew is indeed a little boy with a big story. A story that only God could redeem and claim as His own.
Thank you Lord for hearing my heart. Thank you for answering in such a profound and tangible way. Whenever I doubt, whenever I fear, I will remember that You are indeed who You say You are.