He answers in unnatural ways.
This is the second time in a short while that I've heard of an elderly soul, ill, and potentially close to leaving this blue planet for heavens domain, having a reprieve. Death where is thy victory, thy sting?...Truly our Lord Yeshua has the final say.
Sometimes a young one is taken home, and us confused, remaining ask "Why"? And to another He grants extra days, more time for reflection, or just more time for those we love and will miss so much when they are gone.
We have a dear friend at church. He's had heart problems since he was a young man. Now he's a grandpa, almost a great grandpa (albeit a young one), but his earthly heart has been failing him of late, slowing, whisking his breath away so that sometimes it's a daunting task to speak or lay his gentle hand on the dog's head.
I thought I'd seen him for the last time, here, and a sadness settled into my heart. We prayed, many prayed, as he wasn't able to come to church or even have visitors.
The following Sunday I called the church early as Frank had gone in for worship team rehearsal, and I had to confirm something with him. The phone rang, it picked up and a gentle voice said "Elliston Pintecostal Chuch". A South African accent..."Cecil?" I said, waiting "Yis, hello, Ahngie" he uttered. Oh, so good to hear his voice and to know that God had left him with us for a bit longer. His dear wife Carol given more time with her love.
We don't understand His decisions, but can trust that they are good and perfect.
I am so comforted to know that He hears our prayers. Does He change His mind when we pray, or does He put His desire in our hearts, so we can pray His will? Possibly yes to both, but I know He knows what is best for us.
So as we pray for the young Dad at my sister's church, a father of preschoolers, and husband to a young wife, we can know He is in control. This young man has been "given" a month to live, by the doctors, as cancer invades his organs. Yet he was in church, worshipping, lifting up his heart to the crucified, risen Saviour, on Good Friday. What I am learning is that only God is the giver or taker of life. As we press close to His will, we can hope for the unexpected and the unpredictable, for God will never be boxed into a doctor's prognosis.
We trust and hope, knowing that whatever the outcome He is enough, all sufficient, all powerful to heal, to strengthen, to comfort.
Sometimes we are surprised by joy, and other times leaning heavily on His comforting arms, yet I know in all this that He is good, either way.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 KJV