A Soldier in my husband’s unit was killed in Afghanistan on July 2nd. I know many have gone through such things multiple times, but it is my first time to be this close and this involved. I have seen the emotions in real time both through my husband and his Soldiers. I have also felt them myself through the memorial service and funeral and the time in the midst.
It has been difficult.
I am a “doer” by nature. If you need tables moved, something cooked, work done – I am your chick. With that in mind, I have spent the last few weeks asking what I could do to help. Other than going through the entire building and hugging everyone and cooking dinner for each of the 180 Soldiers, I had no idea what to do. So, I baked a cake.
The cake was pretty. It had a layer of red and a layer of blue cake with a layer of cheesecake between the two. All covered with cream cheese frosting. It wasn’t too bad – and very patriotic. The problem? Well, the cake really only served about 20 or so – a little short of the 140 Soldiers stateside and the other group that is currently still deployed. It fell a little short.
So, what is a girl to do? How do I help them all?
Amazingly enough God used this time to teach me – surprise, I know. I taught one of our summer sessions for Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) last week. Their only request was that we study prayer. So we did.
I was studying and looked at many quotes about prayer from people in history. Here are a few:
“Prayer is the greatest of all forces, because it honors God and brings him into active aid.” E.M. Bounds
“The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!'” J. Hudson Taylor
“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” Sidlow Baxter
From quotes, I jumped to many prayers of Scripture – Hannah’s Prayer (1 Samuel 1-2); Hezekiah’s Prayer (2 Kings 19:14-37); Solomon’s Prayer (1 Kings 8:22-54); Nehemiah’s Prayer (Nehemiah 1); Peter and John’s Prayer (Acts 4); Habakkuk’s Prayer (Habakkuk 3); and Daniel’s Prayer (Daniel 9:1-19).
In looking at these prayers again, I was reminded of the amazing things that God has done and much of it in response to the fervent prayer of a human. He gave Hannah a son, saved Jeruselem from destruction, renewed a covenant with the nation of Israel, allowed Nehemiah to return to build the wall around Jeruselem, shook the ground while Peter and John prayed in the upper room (that Holy Spirit showed up!!), taught Habakkuk to rejoice in who God was and His divine authority, and had compassion on Daniel although He would not rescue the people from exile until their allotted time.
God has done some amazing things – in their lives, in my life.
So, how does this relate to these past two weeks? It teaches me again that I can move tables, hug people, and even bake a cake, but at the end of the day these things do not reach everyone. They are simply a drop in the bucket of all that needs to be done to heal hearts and bring people to Jesus.
Prayer, on the other hand, reaches far beyond these human hands – farther than a hug can reach, serving more than cake ever could.
It is a lesson I learn over and over. I want to DO something and yet I find that I can move heaven and earth if I will simply sit at the feet of Jesus. I continue to pray – for my husband who loves his Soldiers, for the Soldiers who have lost a friend and comrade (for many of them this is not their first loss – and they are so young), for their families as they help them to heal, and for the family of the Soldier who still has a long road ahead.
My prayer is that God will do miracles that can only be explained by the presence of an Almighty God and that this time will bring them to Him, possibly changing their eternity. High expectations, but nothing God cannot handle.
So, what are you praying for today?