Sunday, September 19, 2010
When we don't know how to pray
3:43 p.m. Today's project was to take my Heart to Home craft sample, a reversible Thanksgiving/Christmas table runner, to the activity sign-up table. I wanted to arrive before the start of second service at Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley, and maybe catch some ladies who were leaving first service.
The activity table had been moved for this evening's church picnic, and I could not find the temporary location. So I searched again after service, and was grabbed by a friend, Sherri, who had seen my posting on Facebook about Jean Ellison's memorial. Jean had moved to Bakersfield in order for her daughter Roslynn to care for her, albeit reluctantly, so dedicated was she to her church. Because Roslyn hadn't attended here, neither Sherri nor other ladies, like Barbara and Mihwa who had attended Bible study with Jean, had any idea where their friend had gone. Her death came as shocking news to them.
Sherri just broke down weeping in my arms, saying, "every time I drove by Jean's house, I would just pray that the Lord was with her, and that she was all right. I kept wondering where she was." I told Sherri that rest assured, her prayers had been answered abundantly! Living in Bakersfield with her daughter and with her son and his family nearby, Jean had gone to church regularly, spent tons of time with the grandchildren, and was very happy. Roslynn had told me that in the last few months of Jean's life, she and her mom had made up for years of living far apart for reasons of her career. In the mornings, her mom would get up, get into her Word, singing or humming a praise song. As I described the tribute that Roslynn--a former professional singer-- and three friends sang at the memorial, Sherri recalled how Jean had trained her children to sing praise songs in a little family quintet. Sherri's prayers were abundantly answered, even though she'd had no idea what was going on in Jean's life. Jean was comfortable, cared for, surrounded by family, in fellowship at a local church, and joyful in her last months.
Romans 8:26 tells us,
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
With no facts to guide her, and no source of information about Jean, the Holy Spirit was praying through Sherri! Those prayers were answered ultimately and fully on August 30, 2010, the day when Jean heard the words of Matthew 25:21 from her precious Savior's lips:
Well done, good and faithful servant...enter into the joy of your lord.
And she did!