(Seize the Day)
Late at night, after everyone's
asleep, there's something I like to do. To my knowledge,
no one knows I do this. I'm a night owl. I'm usually still
not tired at 1:30, but I often make myself go to bed because
I know I need the rest. So, at night, while everyone else
sleeps away, I put my plan into action.
Over the past few years,
I've often taken time to go in to my children's rooms
while they were sleeping and pray over them. It's been
a very meaningful time with the Lord. I know for certain
that there's warfare going on for the souls of my children
and Lygia's and my prayers are critical if they're going
to turn out right.
Some nights are harder than
others to pray over them. One particular night recently
was unusually hard. We've had a lot of trauma in
our lives lately. You see, all five of our homegrown children,
in contrast to our five adopted children, have been diagnosed
with various bone and/or tendon diseases. No one knows
As I prayed over Brooklyn,
I was reminded of the conversation Lygia and I had earlier.
Ever since we moved to St. Louis, the enemy has hammered
us unceasingly. But for the past several months, his attacks
on Brooklyn's health have been unrelenting. Sometimes
she has great difficulty breathing - even hyperventilating
Not long ago, while in a
particularly difficult stretch, she sadly said that since
she can't breathe, she can't sing. Singing is her life…her
calling. Lygia and I recognized that it's because she
sings with such a pure heart and sings unto the Lord that
the enemy is trying to silence her. We see the enemy's
fingerprints all over this. So we prayed for her. I prayed
over her. I pleaded with God to bind the enemy and the
spirit of sickness from her. But still, she struggles.
And the trouble has spread to her heart.
While I prayed from kid-to-kid,
I was aware that I was standing in the gap for them…and
kneeling between them and an enemy intent on destroying
them. I knew there were demons hovering behind me, swords
drawn and ready to destroy their little lives. I also
knew the angels of the Lord also had swords drawn and
had my back, so I prayed. For some, I prayed for their
salvation; for others I prayed for spiritual growth, for
them to follow God's will and ways, for their future mates,
for their characters to develop to the fullness of Christ,
and for their physical healing.
I laid my hands on my wife
and prayed for her, too. She was so tired, so distraught
over all we've been through. I prayed that God would strengthen
and encourage her. What a trooper she's been…and, oh,
such a blessing to all who know her. Thank you, Lord,
for a godly wife.
But, for some reason, when
I came to my little 11-year-old boy, Jonah, I lost it.
I must admit, I've been pretty stoic through all he's
been through the past several months: twelve broken bones,
countless tests, his week-long hospital stay at Shriners,
and his diagnoses. Even now, because of micro-fractures
in both knees, he's in so much pain he needs help walking
or needs to be carried.
But as I recently prayed
over him and saw him lying there, it hit me. A flood of
memories washed through my mind of him and me doing things
together: canvassing neighborhoods, playing ball and Frisbee,
swimming, running, playing, wrestling, and carpentry;
all the fun things fathers and sons do together - but
realizing most of those things we won't get to do anymore.
But why? Why is the enemy
hitting him so hard with these sicknesses and diseases?
Perhaps it's because he's our resident evangelist. He
used to go door-to-door most every Wednesday inviting
neighbors to our in-home Bible study. He set up a table
on the curb, flagged down cars, and gave a Bible to everyone
who stopped. He loves the Lord and loves people; and Jonah,
whose name means "peace," wants them all
to know the Prince of Peace. I couldn't stop weeping before
the Lord as I poured out my heart and pleaded to Him to
heal my son. I realize if He doesn't, Jonah may spend
more time in his wheelchair than out.
The words to Mark Shultz'
song, He's My Son, raced through my mind: