Giving Yourself Up and Getting a Miracle
My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as my will, but as You will.
He lay on his bed, exhausted from the last few days. He’d been filled with terror as his wife’s condition worsened. He had just gotten home to check on his house and pets. He’d been spending most of time in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. His wife had become gravely ill, and the doctors hadn’t given him any hope that she would survive. Adrenaline had been pulsing through his body over the previous few days, and now he was spent.
Like a lot of husbands whose spouses fall ill, his heart ached for his wife. His partner of over thirty years was dying, and despite his desire and attempts to do something—anything—to help her, he had run out of options. So he laid there. At first, he prayed for her to get better. But feeling he was being too robotic in his request, he searched deeper. He changed his prayer to beseech God’s will. He prayed for his wife’s comfort. He prayed the terror of her condition would subside. He was no longer worried about how he felt but instead focused on how she must feel. He asked God, “Not my will, but yours. Take care of my wife.”
Instantly, he felt relief. An overwhelming feeling of grace came over him, leaving him sobbing on his bed—not out of grief but from a feeling that God had heard him.
Rising from his bed, he finished his chores and headed back to the hospital. When he arrived to his wife’s hospital room, he was greeted with smiles. The nurses told him that her condition had suddenly changed. The fever was down, and it looked like the infection that had threatened her life had abated.
She did get better.
Slowly, day by day, she emerged from the grip of a deadly disease. It would take a month before she was well again. But hope now existed.
In a private moment in the room, he told his wife about his experience. She told him that while he had been away for those few hours, she also felt a presence and peace.
What had seemed dire had changed. The husband’s prayer was one of giving himself over to God and letting God do what he couldn’t. It was a cry of desperation. He just had to let go.
There is a Greek word for this emptying of ourselves. It is called kenosis. While in theological school, we were told about this word and its importance in prayer. To pray not for what we want but to find out what God wants. Jesus did this in the Garden of Gethsemane. As Jesus was praying about the events that lay ahead of him the next day, Good Friday, he prayed, “My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as my will, but as You will.” It is a model of prayer for all of us, but it is also a wonderful example of kenosis.
A friend of mine told me about this story of his wife. I hear these stories a lot. Whether it be a man who suffered a stroke, a woman facing homelessness, or an alcoholic alone on the side of the road knowing a change was needed. Desperately, they pray when all hope seems lost. It is a prayer from very deep in the heart that turns into asking God for help. They have become so desperate that they give up themselves to know what God desires for their lives.
Many ask if I believe in miracles? I always answer, “Yes!” During my interviews while writing my new book, Your Faith Has Made You Well, I heard similar stories many times. In almost every case, as they told their stories, emotions rose to the surface that brought streams of tears. Not tears of sorrow, but of thankfulness. In each case, they had arrived at a point where they turned their life over to God. They no longer wanted to be in control but chose instead to rely on God.
Miracles do happen
Miracles do happen, and they can’t always be explained by the ways of the world. But it doesn’t mean they are less real. Many times, the miracle is so intimate and personal for the individual that they know it was related to their prayers and carry it within their heart.
Maybe today is the day we give ourselves up to create a miracle in our lives. God is ready!
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman
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