For several weeks, I’ve been praying for an acquaintance’s son who is very ill. Theo is fifteen and his body is battling a potentially fatal fungal infection – the result of a rejected bone marrow transplant. Theo’s immune system is shot. Doctors are working hard to keep the infection from spreading to his brain.
Friends and family are blanketing the Internet with “Team Theo” prayer requests. I’ve been praying for a medical miracle. Total, absolute, 100%, done-as-only-God-can-do-it complete miraculous healing.
But that changed when I read a profound post written by a very close friend of the family, Dale Kuehne, who said that even though God hasn’t answered their prayer in the way they hoped, he has done something much, much greater. He gave them something they hadn’t asked for.
“As I sit here with Brant and Emily, Theo’s Mom and Dad, we should be overwhelmed with grief and sadness, if not bitterness. But we are not. Rather we are experiencing the most curious thing: peace.
There is an overwhelming presence in our midst that is speaking peace to our souls. It is telling us all will be well no matter what happens. The presence of peace in this time and place makes no sense, but it is undeniable.
Why is it here? Prayer.
We pray for healing. The world is praying for healing, but the gift we have been given is the presence of God. God has answered the prayer I should have prayed for but didn’t.”
This concept is mind-boggling to me.
I’ve always been comfortable with the ins-and-outs of prayer as I considered them. I know God doesn’t ignore our prayers, they’re always acknowledged with either a “yes” a “no” or a “hold, please” (the equivalent of a parental “we’ll see”). But I’m completely blown away by the realization that God anticipates what we need. He is so in tune with our individual hearts that while we’re busy asking for what we want, he goes one step better and gives us what we need.
I’m thinking we all need the presence of God.
The peace that Dale talks about, that can wrap us in calmness and quiet even as we are being swept up in a tornado of physical and emotional pain.
So I have a new prayer plan. I pray for me, for you, for Theo and his parents, for the whole world – to find this peace. To find it and grab on, to cling to it as the life preserver it is. And I pray that you can share this peace with others.
I’m praying to have the ultimate peace that only the presence of God can bring. What are you praying for?
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7