Monday, November 18, 2013

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What He’s Done for Others, He’ll Do for You

          Being a part of a prayer chain is a privilege, but can seem to be overwhelming at times as the needs are never ending.  In a sense it is rather like doing the dishes; once you get one load done, it’s time to do another.  I felt moved to write this story, a part of my testimony to the goodness of the Lord, for a two fold purpose: to give thanks to the Lord and to bring edification to the Body of Christ.  Being a part of a prayer chain carries two important components:  to pray for the needs of others and to praise the Lord for His constant care and goodness.  There is a biblical story in which Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one came back to thank Him.  None of us wants to be one of the nine that were so negligent in giving praises for who the Lord is and all that He does. 

          I tell this story in order to give thanks and proclaim the goodness of the Lord, and to edify the body of Christ as an encouragement for each of us to keep on keeping on in the pursuit of interceding for one another that we may not to grow

weary or discouraged.  As we retell the many stories, of things both large and small, they become a reminder that Jesus is still at work today and He never stops interceding for us.  He is constantly displaying the truth of the proclamation that “what He’s done for others, He’ll do for you.”

          This story begins when I was pregnant with our third child.  I was in my seventh month and suddenly began hemorrhaging.  After being admitted to the hospital, my water broke and it was mentioned that the color was unusual.  It was thereafter discovered that the placenta was below the baby, which could have brought danger to me and caused me to have a cesarean birth.  I was taken into the delivery room and given an epidural, which of course blocked any feeling.  I was wide awake during the entire delivery and was aware of everything that was going on.  Upon being able to see the child, my doctor told me, “Mrs. Rahn, this baby will never be able to live.”  I remember turning my head to the left and uttering a low moan of “oh no.”  Immediately, I felt a physical lifting.  A sense of peace and comfort flooded over me.  I knew in my spirit that the Lord was saying, “Let me carry this burden of sorrow for you for a period of time.”  As they rolled me out of the delivery room I remember asking the Lord to take care of her and to keep her from suffering.  I literally felt like the Lord was right there with me to carry me through this eye of the storm as He calmed the seas around me.  I guess it was because of my calm state of being, the nurse kept saying to my husband, “I don’t think she really understands what has happened.” He held my hand gently and assured her that I did.  I kept mentally focused on Jesus and His grace and mercy to me and prayers for my little baby girl.

          Believing that it would be difficult for me to be with a mother and her new baby, even though I asked for a roommate, they put me in a room by myself.  The solitude was just what I didn’t want or need.  In those days, they did not let the husband stay in the room over night with his wife.  I asked him to please bring me pictures of Rickie and Lisa, our two children.  During that night, the white walls and solitude slowly but surely flooded in around me.  By morning, I could not hold the tears of anguish or sorrow in any longer and I gushed out the words to a nurse, “Can my husband please come in to be with me even though it’s not visitor’s hours yet?”  Much to my relief, she replied with a comforting smile and assurance that she would call him right away.  Those next moments, while awaiting his arrival, I spent sobbing and crying out to the Lord; “Please Lord, take her home quickly to be with you.  Just don’t let her linger in pain or suffering.”  Finally, Rick arrived.

Through my tears, I asked him if he knew if she was in any pain.  He responded credulously, “You mean no one has told you?  She lived for only about an hour.  She was in an incubator, and as I reached in to hold her hand, she wrapped her little fingers around my finger.  As she did, I prayed for her.”  Believe it or not, those were the most precious words of God’s mercy and grace that I could have ever hoped for.”  My tears now became ones of relief, thanksgiving and praise to the Lord who had saved my little baby by taking her so quickly into His loving arms.

          Rick had brought in the pictures of our two little children.  As the days passed (then you stayed in the hospital for about four to five days after a cesarean delivery), I focused my eyes and heart on the two wonderful children that God had so graciously blessed us with.  You see, when I was about seventeen or eighteen years old, for no apparent reason at all, the thought that I might not be able to have children went through my mind.  That night, I remember standing by my bed and asking, no pleading; “Lord, please let me have at least one baby before I die.”  As it turned out, I lost two babies before our first son, Rickie, was born and another one after he was born.  All three were lost in the first trimester. Five years after Rickie was born we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lisa. Two years after her, our little Candace came into the world suddenly, and just as quickly, she entered into eternity.  Now, after all that had happened, I could only look at the sweet faces of our two precious children and think how very blessed we were to have them.  I remembered my prayer had been for at least one, but God had blessed us with two.  Yes, it was true, I would never get to even hold my Candace here on earth, but thank God, we will be with her for all eternity because of Jesus our Savior.  The afflictions we bear in the here and now are but a blip in time and are overcome by the promises of the glories in Heaven that we shall behold for all eternity.

          I was finally given, after many requests, a roommate for the rest of my hospital stay.  Thus the awfulness of solitude was erased, giving me the pleasure of the company of her and her new baby.  My own children were not allowed to come to the hospital at that time.  Knowing that I would need more time to recuperate; my husband and family had the funeral for our baby.  You will find this hard to believe, but it is just another example of how God goes before us to provide, even before we realize we have a need.  Most people do not buy cemetery plots until well up in their years.  However, just a couple of years prior to her birth, we had purchased our burial plots before we were even thirty five years of age.  Some may call this a coincidence; we call it the hand of the Lord who knows the beginning from the end.  In addition, I praise the Lord that we had her in a time before they were able to recognize such abnormalities and the mother is automatically confronted with the option of an abortion.  I do not presume to pass any judgment about abortion.  I only mean to say that, for me, I praise God for the few months that I was blessed to have her little body growing inside of me until it was God’s timing for her to return to Him.

          Without going into detail, I will simply say that she had multiple birth defects.  I never got to see her or hold her little body in my arms.  Thankfully, Rick did get to see her just moments before she went home.  However, once again, the Lord intervened on my behalf. Without being asked to do so, the mortician dressed her, laid her sweetly in her satin lined casket, and took pictures of her.  What a blessing that was for me.  Those pictures were and are just another love gift that the Lord provided to give joy and lift the sorrow from my heart.

          This story is passed on to others to remind each of us that God is always there to carry our burdens, to be our strength when we are weak.  Yes, He is a sovereign God and allows trials and tribulations to come into our lives.  We won’t know the why, but we will experience His loving care through it all as we learn to trust in the Lord always, NO MATTER WHAT! Over the next few weeks, from time to time, I would experience periods when I would feel like I was being drawn into a tunnel of solitude.  The voices and presence of others seemed to be far away.  I felt as though a flood of sorrow and despair was trying to drown me and separate me from the love of God and my loved ones.  I do believe that was Satan’s attempt to try to destroy me.  However, every time this would happen the Lord would immediately counteract Satan’s lies with an act of compassion and truth of His own.  He would send me precious thoughts and an image of Candace, made whole, laughing, dancing, and playing joyfully with Jesus and a whole host of heavenly beings.  Hallelujah!  He gives us the “oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”  Yes, we will have our periods of grief for we are but human.  But the love of the Lord will come through for us each and every time to demonstrate the truth of His Word and His unconditional love.  “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”

          That is not the end of the story.  After her birth, we were advised not to get pregnant again for fear that the same thing could occur.  We considered their advice, prayed, and decided that we did not feel like our family was completed.  Two years later, I had not been to the doctor yet, but I just knew that I was pregnant.  We were visiting with my family.  I drew my sisters aside and told them what I believed to be true.  They looked at me with much heartfelt concern in their eyes.  I consoled them by telling them that I Knew, that I Knew, that I Knew that all was going to go well.  I asked them to lay hands on me and pray in agreement that our baby would be healthy and the delivery without complications.  My pregnancy went exceedingly well and in July, 1977, our son Shawn was born weighing in at 8lbs. 14ozs.  The day we came home from the hospital, as I placed him on the sofa beside me, he beamed with a smile and actually chuckled out loud.  No, I didn’t imagine it – it was a real, out loud laugh!!!  We were blessed, not with one, but with three wonderful children in the here and now and four more already in Heaven awaiting our arrival.  What a glorious time of rejoicing will be had with our Lord, them and all the hosts of Heaven for all eternity. Great is our God, and greatly to be praised!    Yes, it is a wondrous thing when He heals and delivers instantaneously.  However, it is my belief, that it is just as miraculous when He takes us through to the other side of the storms of life.  We must remember when it seems that we are in a tunnel and we can’t see the light at the end, His eyes see and know the beginning, the end, and all the parts in between. 

          We know that bad things happen even to people who believe in and serve our Living God. Help us Lord – “…Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)  “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”  “For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Cor. 8- 10, 16-18)  Let us never underestimate the power of prayer, or the power of our Lord, whom we worship, to hear and answer our prayers.  Let us never grow weary of carrying our every care to the One who has first loved us.  Help us O Lord to be united in prayer in one accord by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Help us not to faint or grow weary, but having done all to endure and continue to stand in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  As we pray, help us to remember that God is not a respecter of persons, but hold fast to the belief that what He has done for others He will do for you.


          I pray that by sharing this story it will be used to strengthen and encourage each of us to pray steadfastly and not give up.  We are a part of God’s army.  We do not stand alone or unequipped in the spiritual battle against the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world.  David, when he was but a shepherd boy, proclaimed as he went into battle against the giant, Goliath: “Then said David to the Philistine, thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield : but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts…” (I Sam. 17: 45)  Let us put on the full armor of God and be encouraged once again by the words of King David, inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit:

“Praise the Lord, who is my rock.  He trains my hands to war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” (Psalm 144: 1)  Let us pray without ceasing for ourselves, our loved ones and the world at large, joining our voices with Jesus our Savior and Lord who neither slumbers nor sleeps but is seated at the right hand of God the Father, forever interceding for us.  Be being filled with the Holy Spirit that we may stand, and having done all, continue to stand! To God be the glory, great things He has done.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Our God reigns!!!! 


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