Mary Ann Addington
Our oldest son, Jon lived in China the year after high school studying Chinese and doing tech support for an NGO. One day he went into a store and asked the clerk in Chinese to help him find something. The clerk looked at another employee and said, “I don’t know English, do you know what he wants?” The other clerk said something to the effect, “He is speaking Chinese, stupid!” Because he did not expect to hear Chinese from this young Anglo, he didn’t recognize his own language!
Sometimes I think we don’t hear God because we don’t think He speaks our language. We don’t really expect him to answer directly when we pray. Prior to seeing God work so powerfully in healing Tim, my own prayer was more like wishing rather than expecting. I would talk at God wishing that he would do something. I frankly lacked the confidence that I really was good enough to ask God for big things.
Have you ever felt unworthy to ask God to answer your real needs? This is where grace and faith collide! The great giant of the faith, Daniel, understood this truth. In one of the great prayers of the Old Testament, Daniel says, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy” (Daniel 9: ).
Living on the high wire of faith is actually believing that God hears us because He said he would hear us and answers based on His mercy, not on any worthiness (or unworthiness) on our part. God wants me to ask for big things because he is honored when he can show his power. And He loves His kids!
Several days into T.J.’s first hospitalization I was sitting in his room in the ICU thinking that this was going to be ugly. As I watched T.J. struggling to breath, I specifically asked God to show me how to pray. Immediately I heard back, “It is going to be really close, but he is going to make it.” Jon came into the room a few minutes later and said, “Did you just feel a real peace come over this room?”I told him what I had just heard.
Other people who were close to us, including our prayer team, confirmed it and we were in a situation where I could not afford to second guess God. (Did you really say that? Do you really talk to us? Can I trust that this is from you?) God also sent a lot of encouragement to stay on the wire and I believed that He was going to act.
One evening T.J.’s nurse was checking all of his equipment (nine IVs, a feeding tube, a monitor with several wires, a chest tube, cooling blanket, and of course, the ventilator), and she left the room rather abruptly. She told me later that as she was assessing all the stuff, she was overcome with the knowledge that Tim was going to survive. She started to cry and said, “God just told me that he is going to be okay!” Many of the people who followed the blog told us that God repeatedly gave them the confidence that He was doing a miracle.
I realized in a new way that God not only speaks my language but that He could speak very specifically to me about the situation I faced and it was His voice that I could hold onto.