sickness

The Prayer Shawl

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The memories of my mom came flooding back when I found this blanket in a closet. I was looking for something, I don’t remember what, when I saw what I thought was a blanket folded up. Then I remembered, Mom’s friend had knit this prayer shawl for her during her chemo treatments for lung cancer.

While I was at my mom’s house right after her death I spent maybe an hour or two going through a small amount of her stuff. This prayer shawl was handed to me by her husband, and I just added it to my little pile of keepsakes. I had not given it a second thought until the other day when I took it off the shelf.

Mom’s precious friend knit the prayer shawl and prayed over it while she was creating this sweet gesture of love. The three stitch pattern represents Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each time mom wrapped the prayer shawl around herself she was reminded that God’s love covered her.

The prayer shawl has no magic or special powers. It is just a beautiful symbolic picture of God’s love and the power of prayer. When I look at the prayer shawl I see kindness and compassion from a dear woman who cared about my mom. To make something with your hands for the sole purpose of encouraging a suffering human is an act of love.

I am grateful to have this lovely prayer shawl as a reminder of my mom’s suffering and the love of our Heavenly Father holding her in His mighty hands. She was covered in the best way possible, by the power of God. Mom still had pain and cancer never left her body, but God, carried her through all the way home.

The prayer shawl reminds me to pray for the hurting. To lift others up, and be an encouragement when surrounded by discouragement. To pray for God’s covering over the sick and suffering.

Christians are to be people of prayer, all the time. Now, more than ever we must be fervent in our prayers. Don’t stop praying. Pray all those big prayers that are absolutely impossible in our strength. Pray and ask God to heal, to save, comfort, convict, to seek and save the lost. Pray, and pray, and pray.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24, NIV

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

We praise and thank You for Your goodness, faithfulness, and love. There is none like You. We lift up all those who are sick. Heal them, comfort them, and draw them close to You. Cover them in Your love. Encourage all the sick and suffering. You are close to the brokenhearted. May they feel You closer than ever.

In Jesus precious name,

Amen

sickness, Trials

Vulnerable

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This adorable little stray cat showed up in our backyard a couple months ago. We left a dish of water for her and eventually started leaving out some food as well. She shows up throughout the day meowing wanting attention and something to eat. It took a while for her to come near us. Now she rubs against our legs, but she’s still very cautious.

Since the days have become extremely hot she disappears until early morning and late evening. I have no idea where she goes throughout the day but she sure likes to see us. She is a vulnerable cat with no home providing her protection, so we do what we can to help her. Her visits with us are brief as she is always on the move.

Our little feline friend is vulnerable to all sorts of dangers. Being vulnerable is not something we humans purposely choose. We do everything we can to avoid being vulnerable. The reality of how frail our human lives really are smacked me right in the face when Tom and I both got sick with covid. I was down for almost two weeks and it took Tom a little longer to recover.

It was pretty rough but we survived and we are on the other side by the grace of God. I felt like I was living out the movie Groundhog Day. Each crummy day was on repeat until we got better. When you get sick you are helpless to some extent. I can do my part by drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins, and getting rest. By the way, getting rest was no problem since all we wanted to do was sleep.

Regardless of my choices, I’m still vulnerable. We had to trust God that He would get us through our sickness to the other side. Tom and I know our lives, our times, our health, and everything are in God’s mighty hands. Suffering is not fun. Sickness is terrible. But God cares for His children.

I couldn’t pray much because I was just surviving. We had many wonderful people praying for us, and checking on us which was a huge blessing. One verse that came to mind during our illness was from James.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. James 5:15, NIV 

I held on to that verse. It’s one of my favorites when dealing with sickness. I believe those words. God made us well.

Another truth that came to mind while being sick was the incredible reality that there will be no sickness in Heaven. How amazing is that? Glory! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! We will never be sick in Heaven.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4, NIV 

We are vulnerable in our brief lives. Sometimes we think we are unstoppable, and can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Sickness, trials, and tribulations remind us of our human frailty. These difficulties that we all experience, are opportunities for our faith to grow. It’s humbling to be sick. You don’t feel strong, you are weak.

In humility, we can fully trust God to help us in our time of need. God helps us like no person can. There is only one Heavenly Father, and He loves helping His sons and daughters.

If you are feeling vulnerable right now, please know you are not alone. We are all vulnerable on this side of Heaven. God is waiting, and always available to answer you in your time of need. His will, His way. Trust Him. He’s got you.

Love you all,

Meghan