I thought I had a rough day today. Doctor’s appointment then an oil change for my car. As I sat at the dealership I started seeing spots in my vision. Migraine. Now my migraines have 3 main triggers. Blood pressure, barometric pressure (spring and autumn are the worst), and dehydration. I grabbed a soda from the machine, drank it, and prayed for some relief.
I’ve got migraine medication, at home, but I was a half hour away and had no car. So I rode it out and much to my relief – the migraine faded without me going completely blind, a few pangs of pain and an Imitrex later, I was all clear. Praise God. This evening I visited with my friend and my step-kids for a small celebration… Halfway through dinner, I went blind.
Two in a day!? Now the last time I’d had multiple in a day, or several each day, was my last trip to Club Med in Turks & Caicos. I was drinking plenty, just not enough water. The migraines were brutal. There I was in paradise, and I really thought I was having a rough day.
Tonight after my vision returned and the pain began to fade, I decided to leave and get home so I could rest. As I’m walking down the yard to get to my car, I trip over a tree stump I did not see, twist my right ankle, drop flat on my back, and scream as the Chinese leftovers go airborne.
My friend comes running out, helps me up, we collect the food and I limp my way to the car. I crack a joke about “does this what ‘until death do us part means?” and we share a laugh. Man, what a rough day I thought.
About a year ago, I shared a prayer for my father. His surgery was a success. His cancer was gone. Then covid hit. For months, fluid filled his chest triggering pain, anxiety, and a desperate struggle to breathe. Due to covid, followups were missed. It wasn’t until many months later that the cause of his problems was identified, and they began treating it.
A cure was attempted, after over a week of prep, the doctors changed their mind. My dad was sentenced to continue to treatments, no cure, and seeing he and my mother suffer breaks my heart. Still, every time I see him, I get him to laugh, he gets others to laugh, and they share the joy of the Lord with those who know them through their word and deed. I do what I can to honor my father and mother… It really puts perspective into what I consider “a rough day.” I pray for them every day.
Today I caught a news story about a media personality I have followed for 27 years whose stage 4 cancer, despite repeated treatments, has progressed. This gentleman has wealth, fame, and adoration from millions… More than I would ever want or need. Now I cannot speak to the faith of this man, but I know that since his terminal diagnosis I have heard him loudly and boldly praise God and share thanksgiving to Him publicly before the millions who tune in to his show every day.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? 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 will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5 13-19
All that money, all that wealth, all that fame – in the end – even he knows that salvation can only be found in the arms of Jesus. I wish him well, and I pray for his health.
I have other good friends and loved ones struggling through cancer and other health issues. Some believe, some do not. I will share the gospel in my words and deeds, regardless.
In the book of Mark, Jesus stated:
“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12 29:31
There is no fine print there, love God with all that you are, and love your neighbor as yourself. I am far from perfect. There are folks who evoke my ire daily. Before I was saved, I would eagerly spit out a retort with the goal of dragging them down to my level so I could beat them with experience… today I struggle to hold my tongue and I pray for them. Friend and enemy alike. I will pray for them, and I will love them because God loved me first and there is no better way to share that love and joy with my fellow human beings than to pray for them and love them as God loves me.
I will not lie, I slip daily. I am still slow to listen and fast to speak at times. I will not stop trying. I will not stop praying for the salvation of all my neighbors on this Earth.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5 7:12
So tonight, before I rest, at the end of my “rough day,” I will pray for friends and enemies alike. I will pray for those with whom I agree, and those with whom I shall never agree. I will pray for the Lord to grant me the strength, wisdom, and patience to use my ears before I use my tongue.
Prayer is powerful, it is a God given gift to every single man, woman, and child on this Earth. Use it.