I walked into the room, the steady rhythm of the ventilator whirring in the background. You looked more like you than I thought you would. I touched your hand and leaned over and talked in your ear. I sang “It is Well” and “Jesus Paid it All” and I threatened to sing Aerosmith’s “Dream On” as loudly as I could if you didn’t wake up. I prayed over you and bossed you around and told you to try to move your arm – no, try harder – try one more time. I told you that a lot of people were there to see you and could you please just…wake…up…
The nurse came in and told me I had to leave now, and so I leaned over and whispered one last time…”I love you…”
The waiting room was full of people who love you too and so we joined hands and prayed and sang. We asked for a miracle and we believed it and we let the words fall from our lips: When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll…it is well, it is well with my soul… We sang it with our mouths and agreed with it in our hearts.
An hour ago my Dad called and told me the news. It isn’t good, and it’s not what I expected.
I expected a miracle.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
And so we asked. I asked. I asked in Jesus’ name, that you would be healed and live to tell of His glory and sing His praises for the rest of your days here on earth. And I asked for it to be done according to His will, and how could it not?
The will of God…that which is good…
Is this not good? To ask for healing for a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle? To ask the Lord of life to restore life to a broken body? To give opportunity, as Jesus did for the blind beggar, so that that the works of God would be displayed in him?
The will of God…that which is good and acceptable…
Is this not acceptable? To pray, not out of selfishness or worldliness or faithlessness, but to ask as children to a Father? To pray in faith and expectation? To pray to Jehovah Rophe, the God who heals, to do His mighty work for His own name’s sake?
The will of God…that which is good and acceptable…and perfect.
And there I stop, because there I end. I can ask for what is good. I know what is acceptable. But perfect?
Only He knows.
Only He knows the end from the beginning. Only He knows all the possibilities and their outcomes. Only He knows not only what is good, but what is best; not only what is acceptable, but what is perfect.
Today He knew what I did not.
And so we entrust you into the hands of the One who made you, the One who formed your inmost parts, who knit you together in your mother’s womb, the One who loves you more than we ever could and who died to grant you complete and eternal life and healing. We will not lose hope, for hope is an anchor, and it does not depend on the outcomes we can see with our frail eyes. No, hope runs much deeper than what we can fathom. And when our prayers and the answers don’t seem to line up, we will know – we will solidly know – that His will is better than ours.
It is that which is good…that which is acceptable…that which is perfect.