Soul Check for Long Hauls
We had no idea that when Jeremy Mains, our son, was diagnosed with lymphoma in early June that we would be fighting for his life through prayers, concern, hospital attendance in October. It, indeed, has been a long haul.
During periods like this in my life (and there have been a few), I find myself conducting personal soul assessments. I believe and hope to attain to that description of prayer effectualness as outlined in James 5: 14-16. This portion of Scripture seems to link holiness to answered prayer.
“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins the shall be forgiven him.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (person; wife, mother, father, brother, sister, friend, little white-haired old lady) availeth much.” KJV
So in addition to the arduous work of moving myself into belief, I who am prone to nastiness when I am in distress, have been conducting soul checks (well aware as I do so that my loving Heavenly Father often answers the prayers of the worst reprobates). Is there anything in me, any resentment, any worm of anger, any nastiness of disposition, any judgment or hatred that will hinder that pure stream of love God delights to pour into the body of my suffering son?
At every juncture in this long haul, there has been a word spoken to my heart. Let me repeat this in bold letters: AT EVERY JUNCTURE IN THIS LONG HAUL, THERE HAS BEEN A WORD SPOKEN TO MY HEART. I rise each morning asking, What word do you have for me today Lord?
I needed to run to a board meeting in California last Thursday, which took me away from the healing action here in Chicago for three days. Talk about being torn. However, this is an organization I love to serve. I love the staff in the States and am privileged to know its international leaders from all around the world. Our newest board member led the devotions and he mentioned that he had compiled a list of the attributes of holiness, taken from Scripture as they were found.
What a checklist for soul examination! A perfect word to my heart perfectly spoken. I pass it along to those of you who are also in a stress-filled road for the long haul:
Genuine love, hatred for evil, steadfastness in what is good, brotherly affection, excelling in showing honor, zealous, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, constant in prayer, generous, hospitable, blessing enemies, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep, harmonious, humble not haughty, associating with the lowly, peaceable, does not repay evil for evil, overcomes evil with good, kind, not envious, not boastful, not rude, not irritable, not resentful, rejoices with the truth, gentleness, self-control, compassionate, bearing with one another, forgiving one another, gratitude and godliness.
I add a note of my own: Obedience. There are, indeed, some obedience issues in my life I need to tend.
However, I am aware that little white-haired old ladies are dangerous to the designs of the Enemy. They are not easily affrighted, nor do they give up readily; they have faced down darkness and they know that humans can be survivors, can even thrive in the midst of resistance. They are not wimps (although they do get tired). Their faith is not blown away by disaster; they are no longer haunted by “crises of faith” when God doesn’t do what they think He should do. They are not afraid of the days to come. Beware little white-haired old ladies. (And if you don’t have about ten of them on your prayer team, go find them.)