Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
– Luke 5:13-16
“When the Son of God prays, He is mindful and consciously aware of only His Father. God always hears the prayers of His Son, and if the Son of God has been formed in me (see Galatians 4:19) the Father will always hear my prayers. But I must see to it that the Son of God is exhibited in my human flesh. “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 6:19), that is, your body is the Bethlehem of God’s Son. Is the Son of God being given His opportunity to work in me? Is the direct simplicity of His life being worked out in me exactly as it was worked out in His life while here on earth? When I come into contact with the everyday occurrences of life as an ordinary human being, is the prayer of God’s eternal Son to His Father being prayed in me? Jesus says, “In that day you will ask in My name…” (John 16:26). What day does He mean? He is referring to the day when the Holy Spirit has come to me and made me one with my Lord.”
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
We had a wild day on Thursday. We bought a platter of cookies for the CCU staff at the hospital. My wife wanted to thank the nurses, nurse assistants, custodian, therapists, etc. Then we had some lunch before going to the hospital. It was my wife’s evaluation for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation. My wife had some non-heart issues that led to dehydration during her evaluation. That plays a role later in the story.
We left the hospital parking lot and immediately got a flat tire. We have one of those cars that has no spare. I hear that cars now have a spare, but we bought ours during that horrible experiment. I can call it that in that I know how to work safely, and I know how to change a tire. God is still dealing with my patience, but I never got frustrated when calling the insurance company or waiting for the tow truck. I was more worried about my wife’s health than frustrated. The truck driver arrived earlier than estimated.
While I was waiting for him, I prayed for my wife who was still a bit ill. I needed to get her home, and I was helpless. Yet, God had provided so much. The tire went flat while I was going 10-15 mph. I did not destroy the rim. All the driving on the flat by everyone involved shredded the tire, but the tire was sacrificed for the sake of the rim. We had the flat where there was a cell phone signal. Even though there was a bit of mistaken identity, the insurance company had no problem setting everything up for us. (We were with our son when he had a flat in Nebraska – without a cell phone. The insurance company updated their database, without letting me know with our son’s policy number associated with my phone. Luckily, we use the same company. We even had a few laughs about that.) The car dealership was still open and had a service man present when we got there. They were not busy, either. Those two facts were aided by us getting to our appointment early and the previous appointment being a no-show. They had a tire at the dealer that fit our seven-year-old car. There were all kinds of blessings.
The greatest blessing of all was when my wife collapsed when she got out of the car. She was dehydrated from her illness. Her blood sugar was low. Her blood pressure was low. How is this the greatest blessing? I reached out to catch her as she fell, but she fell in such a way that it would cause minimal damage. Bumping her head, while on the aggressive blood thinner that she is taking, means an immediate trip to the ER. (If that had happened, we were right next to the hospital.) She fell without hitting her head. What is more, two people who claimed to have come from the funeral home were suddenly there, although their cars were pointed in opposite directions (from and to the funeral home). They knew how to handle heart patients. They got my wife back on her feet and assured her safety while I opened the car trunk to get her walker. Were these people angels or just angelic humans? All I know is that there was hardly anyone on the street for the hour that we waited, but when my wife fell, there were two cars parked right next to ours and two people running to her aid. What is even more odd is that she fell between the car and the curb. Most people would not have seen her fall. Why had these two people seen her fall while driving down the street? Why were they there at the right time? Oh, and the funeral home was disserted. I don’t believe in coincidences, but this would be too many coincidences to maintain that this was not the hand of God.
We were going to buy tires next week. The wholesale store had a sale. Now they will replace a perfectly good tire with a better one. We’ll pray that the three old tires survive until the new ones arrive. We had to order tires. They did not have any in stock.
Besides answers to prayers and a possible visitation by angels, what does this have to do with the Scripture?
I struck up a conversation with the wrecker driver. He was a nice guy. I told him that I had tried to fill the tire, but it got up to a minimal pressure, and then the air leaked out faster than I could pump air into the tire. He said that his air supply did a better job, but he could not do more than two tires. He had to reserve some air for the brakes on the truck. The air compressor on the truck recharged the air for the brake cylinders, but if he filled more than two tires, he would have to wait for the compressor to refill the cylinder before it would be safe to drive the truck.
We didn’t even try to use the truck’s air. I figured the leak was too bad, but it got me to thinking about Jesus. When He was on His way to Jairus’ house, a woman touched His garment and was healed. Jesus felt it (Mark 5:30). In the Scripture above, Jesus retreated to a solitary place for prayer after the people crowded Him to be healed. I doubt that Jesus needed to recharge His air cylinder like the tow truck. Jesus had unlimited resources. Yet, each time He healed someone, He had to remember the source of His strength.
If we are to become more like Jesus, we need to remember the source of our strength. We have been made one with our Brother, Jesus. He is our strength. We can fill our tires and still have energy left, but we must turn to God in prayer. As we trust more in Him, He will work more within us to make us more like Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.