Have you ever hoped for a miracle in the face of dire circumstances? When weighing the evidence reveals a discouraging reality, it sometimes feels foolish to believe in something better. That’s the place I find myself now, as I continue to pray for healing while my friend suffers through his brutal battle with cancer.
But is not the hallmark of our faith believing in the impossible? Hoping in what is unseen? Trusting there is something invisible that is purposeful and powerful and meaningful? Even when our physical eyes see circumstances beyond our control, we have the audacity to believe in something more. We trust in what is unseen. More importantly, we trust in Who is unseen. And we trust that He cares.
Would we dare to be like Esther, who sent out the historic message, “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
Esther did everything in her power to seek change in a moment when the reality was dismal. She admitted that her plan had no guarantees. In fact, she knew she would die if God did not do something spectacular.
We too are taking steps forward in the midst of disappointments. Even though our friend’s strength dims, yet we hope. Like in Esther’s circumstance, our efforts will not guarantee a specific outcome. We could fast and pray and seek the Lord and see sickness prevail.
When I consider the choice before us to either resign or keep a steady course, my friend’s wise advice echoes in my ears. This great man that we continue to pray for has trained many of us to race. Because of his leadership, I ran my first half marathon several years ago. He taught me how to pace myself to endure the long, grueling course. “Then”, he would say, “when you’re getting near the finish line, maybe in the last mile, you give it everything you’ve got, finishing the race in one last burst of energy”.
We are there now. Some of us are discouraged as we see signs that our friend’s finish line may be near. It is not time to give up hope. No, it is time to sprint! Instead of resigning to hopelessness, let us run this last leg with strength and perseverance.
Join us as we fast and pray, not with diminished faith, but with emboldened trust in the One who can breathe life into dust. Whether God heals or doesn’t, we can testify that in this last leg we gave it our best, that we finished this race with a fighting spirit our Coach would be proud of.
Whether our friend wins or loses his run against cancer, at least we will know that hopelessness did not have the final word. Our many voices, joined in unified prayer will either bring the miraculous healing our hearts hoped for or provide our dear friend with a thunderous chorus that cheers him across his last finish line into the arms of Christ.