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It was the biggest game of my son’s senior year of high school, as his team battled toward the State Championship title against their biggest rival. He was playing tougher and harder than I’d ever seen him play. Then, suddenly he dropped to the ground, writhing in pain. He had suffered a major knee injury that would require surgery and rehab that would keep him from playing sports for the remainder of his senior year.

A few days after the injury, I saw one of my son’s teammates who expressed concern for my son. He said to tell my son, “Right side, strong side.” That was a football saying I hadn’t heard before, so he explained. “I played on your son’s right side, so I would tell him ‘Right side, strong side.’  Now I’m praying for him, so I’m his right side, strong side.”

I’ve thought about that conversation many times. My son’s friend is right. When someone prays for us, they are our “Right side, strong side.”

I believe in the power of prayer and that prayer can change things.  Knowing others are praying for us can give us hope and a sense of comfort and strength. 

As Christians, we have a “Right side, strong side” through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  The Bible tells us that while on this earth, Jesus looked up to the heavens and said to God: “I am praying for them (believers). I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” (John 17:9)  The Book of Romans says , “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) This verse tells us that when we need to pray, but don’t have the words or know what to say, the Holy Spirit intercedes in prayer on our behalf.  

And where is Jesus?  Seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).  Jesus said…But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power…” (Matthew 26:68)   Right side, strong side, all right! 

My son’s team went on to win the 2013 State Championship title.  When we allow Jesus to be our right side, strong side, we will be victorious, too. 

The teammate mentioned above is going into his freshman year as a football player for UNC.  I’ll be praying for him.  Right side, strong side. 

To find more verses about prayer, go to http://www.BibleGateway.com , enter keyword “prayer”. 

I haven’t written much over the summer because to do so, I need quiet.  Quietness allows my mind to roam free so that I can have thoughts and be inspired.  With two boys and a husband in the house during summer, there hasn’t been much quiet!  Our sons are ages 19 and 13, so there’s constant noise from television, video games, and music.  The noise has been frustrating at times, but it also made my mama’s heart feel good because it meant both boys were home, and often spending time together. Still, I’ve been trying to be patient knowing that, in just a few more weeks, both boys would be back in school and the house would have times of quiet again.

Today I found myself with unexpected quiet time, but it wasn’t the quiet I wanted.  The house was quiet because:

1) Our older son is gone.  He went back to college a few days ago, moving into his first apartment, taking his furniture and most his belongings with him. He moved out of his room here at home!

2) Our younger son had fallen asleep because he is sick with a fever that has plagued him for 17 days.

This kind of quiet didn’t feel right.  It didn’t come the way I wanted.  I stood in the silence watching our younger son sleep, feeling worried, wondering how much longer this illness will last, and prayed again for his wellness.  Then I silently told God that this wasn’t the quiet I wanted. Yes, I yearned for quiet, but not in these circumstances!   God responded to my thoughts with the following verse from the apostle Paul:

“…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”  – Philippians 4:23

“Be content?” I wondered.  “How can I feel content when one son is sick with an illness that baffles doctors and won’t go away, and the older son is living on his own for the first time, not to mention that we miss him?”  As soon as the thoughts surfaced, I realized I was being blessed with quiet time. My mind was roaming freely, and I was indeed receiving inspiration as God was speaking to my thoughts.

I went to my Bible, looked up the verse prompted by God, and read the entire passage.

“…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. (Philippians 4:12)  And the final verse of the passage: “I can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

These verses were a blessing and encouragement.  God was reminding me to trust Him and be content in all situations.  How?  Through Christ who gives me strength. The Lord will give me what I need to stay strong and work through whatever circumstance or situation I experience.  My contentment comes from having trust and faith in the Lord, and finding hope in Christ alone.

Additionally, the last verse (Ph 4:13) is a favorite of my older son, so it made me smile to think of him.

Yes, it is hard to see my son’s empty room, but it’s also rewarding to see him growing up and becoming a mature, responsible adult.  As much as I wish we could keep him around, I’m happy for him that he’s getting an education and pursuing his future.  There is contentment in that.

As for my sick son, I do worry about what’s wrong and hope every day the fevers will stop and he will start recovering.  In the meantime, I can trust that God is with us and find contentment knowing we are in the Lord’s care, my older son included.

This moment of quiet was short lived, as my younger son woke up and turned the television on, but that was ok.  My soul had been refreshed in the brief moments of quiet I had.  It wasn’t the quiet I wanted, but it was exactly the quiet I needed.  Praise and thank You, Lord!

To read this passage in its entire content, go to http://www.BibleGateway.com .

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