I met two people in New Zealand who have been living in permanent agonising pain: one of them for months – the Lord seemed to speak a couple of words to me about them on the plane on the way over – and the other, for years. If you want to know what a “More than a Conqueror looks like” it looks like people like these people wanting to pray for people like me with love, concern and faith.
At times in the gospels, Jesus expressed amazement at what He found in people and for that matter at what He didn’t find in other people! Well, some of the people I met in New Zealand amazed me in a profound way, particularly the two I am remembering in this post. Somehow when no one would say a word of rebuke if they just curled up and never managed to reach out to a single person, they continue to love, serve, pray and hope. They shed tears as they told me about their struggles to cope with pain and to still function as human beings with family commitments and church leadership commitments, for they are not superheroes in the Hollywood sense. Added to permanent physical pain, both had stories from their childhood years which were as cold and brutal as any I have heard in 40 years of pastoring. I felt was in the presence of miraculous and fearful grace.
It is not easy sometimes to live in the already here and still to come Kingdom of God, when no explanation is given for what seems like a silent heaven in the face of a reasonable request for relief. Let’s make sure we don’t dishonour such heroes with hollow formulas on how to experience breakthrough. Let’s be silent and sit at their feet and learn the lessons that few would choose to have to learn
I will always remember seeing radiant faith shining through tears, and through horizon scanning, pain filled eyes. “Maybe even today? But if not…”
Of course such heroes are here in Scotland too, or wherever is home for you at this moment in time. You may bump into one as you go through this day. They will be unlikely to share their story in these days when often in some sectors of the Christian Church we seem to clamour for drama, and even take some perverse delight in the race for the title of “Greatest Sufferer.” But at times, limited times, even these superheroes of the faith need to talk, simply, without the pressure to reveal all the details. They look for an environment where truth is honoured and exaggeration is not. Perhaps God will call you, allow you, to be that place today or in the not too distant future. Remember to take your shoes off and tread carefully, for you will be standing on Holy ground.
God bless…and God bless you if you are one of these Superheroes, in the terms of this post, who seldom share your story. May you find the right place, the right space to do so, as and when you feel you need to.