I heard God say even in this time of restrictions know that I am unrestricted…I’m sure you’d agree we’re living in a time where many people are feeling vulnerable and are looking for hope and for answers.
As an NHS phone responder almost daily I get the opportunity to call someone who is vulnerable or having to isolate during this time. Recently I’ve been struck by the number of people who say that they pray at night before they go to sleep or occasionally read the Bible and others who remember as a child going to church or to Sunday school. As people have opened up about their fears and lack of hope I’ve had opportunities to talk about Jesus and to pray with them.
Just last week I spoke on the phone to a lady who was in pain and had been for many years as a result of a car accident but who stoically said that she would just have to grin and bear it. I shared with her about Jesus and how I had seen him heal people’s backs and asked if she would like me to pray for hers and she was very thankful. I love seeing what Jesus will do because I know He is always eager to show people who he is. After praying a couple of times for Elsie she told me that she felt a warmth on her back and that it now felt so much easier. When Jesus touches people it is such a tangible display of his kindness and compassion just like we see in the gospels; everyone who came to Him he healed and many followed him. Jesus both proclaimed and demonstrated the Kingdom.
There is no script or formula for any of this but instead a beautiful invitation every day for us to partner with the Holy Spirit. I often ask Him to point people out to me when I’m out on a walk. It takes courage to approach someone we don’t know and usually, I have to push through some lies and fear before I step out to speak to them but I know this is why Jesus has sent me. As we share the gospel, heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom we are demonstrating his love.
Let me tell you another story; it’s been quite an exciting week! The other day I went for a walk in my local park and on the way, I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me to anyone he wanted me to meet. Shortly after I saw a lady with a stick who was struggling to walk and who stopped to rest. Feeling drawn to this lady, I said hi, and asked how she was doing and if she was in any pain. The lady nodded, we exchanged names, and Sophia, who spoke very little English, showed me that she had a painful foot. It was quite difficult to hold much of a conversation but we managed to use some sign language and I offered to pray for it. Sophia thanked me and was about to move on, thinking I’d pray for her later but I indicated I meant now, and seeing her smiling and nodding in agreement I bent down and prayed a short prayer asking Jesus to come as I commanded all the pain to leave her foot. What happened next was so amazing! As I stood up, Sophia was beaming and saying better, better! Really, I said …No pain? She said, no pain!! She was so happy and excited that without thinking she threw her arms around me. What was beautiful was in her heart Sophia was so thankful she just had to express it.
This week I’ve heard of other stories like these and I’ve been so moved by God’s kindness, how he cares for us and sees us when we are in pain and how very near he is. His kindness is all around us and He is near to the broken-hearted.
So whether it’s over the phone, on Zoom or FaceTime, or just out on a walk, I’d love to encourage you this week to ask the Holy Spirit who he has for you to meet and share the love of Jesus with. And if someone has a physical need then take a step of courage and offer to pray for them. As carriers of hope and the good news of Jesus, we can all expect to see the impossible when we pray because we are partnering with the God of the impossible. This is the life he has called us to where He leads and we follow and it’s such a fun adventure!