It Is Well
We had a combined life group meeting at the building Sunday evening. The Manlove group and the Plank group met together to eat and fellowship; then we were to go to the hospital where we had a room reserved for us. We were going to encourage Ken and his family.
However, that was not to be. Ken took a turn for the worse a day or two before, and we had to cancel the hospital part of our evening. Instead, I created a sheet with prayer concerns on it and asked everyone to go, individually or as families or some other kind of group, to a quiet part of the building and have a period of prayer. I told them they could pray for the things on the list, or if they had other concerns they could pray for them.
I had the opportunity to be by myself in a darkened area of the fellowship hall. I put my paper on the floor where I could look down at it as I prayed. It hit me during this time that pretty much all of the people who were listed on the sheet had some aspect of their world and what they knew taken from them. Whether through bad health, aging, accident or other circumstance, all of them had some kind of upset in their lives and lifestyle. Most of them would never again regain the life they once knew.
We humans tend to create our own little castles. We spend years planning, building, and finishing the world we want for ourselves. We educate ourselves. We buy things. We find a place to live, someone to marry, and a way to provide for ourselves. We obtain insurance coverage, start saving for a rainy day, and have a family. Little by little, brick by brick, we build our world…our castle.
Sometimes during the course of our lives, something happens and the castle starts to come apart; to deteriorate. The seam we have over in the corner starts to come apart. A brick or two comes loose. Water starts seeping in under the foundation. Most of the time, we can re-sew the seam, put the bricks back into place, and fix the water seepage.
But there comes a time in everyone’s life when something catastrophic happens and we’re not able to fix it. The big heart attack. The tornado. The wreck that kills someone close. Job downsizing. Bad choices. Much as we try, we can’t make the repairs before something else falls apart. Even with help from friends and loved ones, we can’t get things back into place so they are as they’ve always been.
I have to wonder if our prayers for these people and situations are all too often prayers asking that things be made back as they’ve always been when they should be prayers asking for God’s love and guidance through this time of change and uncertainty. The knowledge that our God never, ever changes and that He is always, always right here to walk us through (carry us if necessary) the times in our lives when we lose control and the fallen and decaying creation takes charge of the castles we have built for ourselves.
No, there is nothing wrong in praying for healing; for a turn-around; for a new job or God’s intervention in the affairs of mankind. There’s also something very comforting about praying for peace, tranquility, and God’s presence during times of turmoil and uncertainty. As the song says, “Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, ‘It is well; it is well with my soul.’”