"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven."
Today is the 4 month birthday of our little nephew Gideon. If you've been reading my blog at all this year you've heard about him and perhaps even prayed for him. If so, thank you!! If not, a quick recap - the young man has spent more of his life in the hospital than out of it and he's had more surgeries in his four months than I've had in my four decades. He lives up to his name and is truly a mighty warrior.
The other day, Jackie, his mom and my sister-in-law, posted the newest update on CaringBridge. As I read her words my heart was touched. Tears fell as I put myself in her shoes...instead of rocking her baby and surviving sleepless nights with a newborn, she'd spent the last 2 1/2 weeks away from home, her husband and daughter at the hospital with her son. Little Gideon had been on the ECMO machine and severely sedated while doctors tried to diagnose his current battle and treat his latest infection.
Gideon and the rest of his family may have been away from one another, but God was close to each one. They may have been dependent on machines and outside help, but they were (and still are) relying on and trusting in our all powerful God. They may have had to wait to hear back from medical professionals and weren't always in touch with one another, but through it all God has only been a prayer away.
Jackie's update reminded me of the purpose and power of prayer. Friend, many have been lifting this little man and his family in prayer. It has been amazing to hear the stories of how people are connected to this little guy and are crying out on his behalf. We truly believe God hears and answers prayer.
I'm so grateful for the answers to prayer and the power behind it, but during the last 4 months I've been reminded the purpose of prayer is about more than the power. Prayer draws us closer to the heart of God. In the midst of a struggle when we don't know what to do, we cry out to the One who is in control. Our prayers to God strengthen our relationship with Him. As we share our heart, He comforts it. In the midst of chaos, prayer brings peace.
As I read about Gideon's latest news - the removal of his breathing tube, which led to him being in his mom's arms for the first time in almost 20 days, thoughts of answered prayers flooded my mind. Psalms about crying out to God were on my heart. Many, young and old, had been praying night and day for this little guy as the storm raged. We had cried out and though the waves were strong and storm winds blew for awhile, God had calmed them down.
Gideon is back in his mom's arms and there is peace, but he's still in the hospital so we must continue to pray. Thankfully, no matter where we are at, God always has us in the palm of His hand. Regardless of what battle we face or how hard the winds blow, we can always call on God. He hears our prayer and will answer them in powerful ways. And more than that, He uses them for a purpose bigger than changing our circumstances, He uses them to change our heart.
Friend, I don't know what trial you are walking through today, but can I encourage you to pray? The One you call on - the Creator of heaven and earth, the giver and sustainer of life, the good Shepherd is the God who sees and a Father who loves. He will hear your prayer. He may not perform the miracle you ask for, but He will perfectly provide just what He knows you need. He will use your prayer to display His power and draw you close.
Today, on Gideon's 4 month birthday, I will pray. I will praise God for His life and the medical interventions that have saved and sustained him. I will ask for continued healing and comfort. I will promise to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust in Him. Will you pray too?
God will hear our prayers, answer them and give us new prayers to pray. As we do, He will work and we will see Him more and know Him better. So today, let's press on in prayer trusting there is always power and purpose in doing just that!