|Mark Jeperson and his family celebrating after his graduation ceremony.|
Sunday, May 10, 2015
I remember, pre-missions, I used to pray for the sick, for ailing relatives or elderly neighbors. I would say a quick Our Father and then pat myself on the back, having done my duty as a believing Christian.
But what exactly DID I believe? Did I believe in signs and wonders? Did I believe that my God is a loving Father Who can and does answer my prayers?
|Patients in the outdoor pending ward in Northern Mindanao hospital. |
Some may wait for days before being admitted to a room.
No. I believed that somehow, in His mysterious way, God would hear me, and the sick person might or might not subsequently recover. But if that person had, before my eyes been healed of his or her illness, I would have been stunned. Miracles like that don't happen anymore, and even if they did, I'm certainly not holy enough to ask for or expect them.
This week, Richelo (read his story here) had to be re-admitted to the hospital. He contracted a staph infection from an open wound and was diagnosed with sepsis, a serious blood infection that can be fatal if left untreated.
During the worst of it, Richelo was convulsing with fever and could not look at us or speak. We stayed at his bedside with his family praying and reading Scripture.
No passage was more fitting than that of the death of Lazarus. Just as Jesus delayed two days before going to see him, so we had also for two days delayed our trip to the island of Mindanao to visit Richelo. Just as Jesus wept, so we now wept at the bedside of this feverish man whose mental capacities, the doctor explained, were deteriorating before our eyes.
And yet, we had hope! As Jesus says of Lazarus, "This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it." Reading those words, our faith grew stronger, and we knew that the Lord had heard us.
Jesus told the disciples that the reason He allowed Lazarus to die and then raised him back to life was "so that you may believe." Perhaps it is the same with us. Not so much for Richelo, but for our sake, that we might believe.
Please pray for Richelo's continued healing from this infection and for a miraculous healing of his kidneys.
"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." - John 11
at 2:41 AM