In the last couple of weeks I’ve been privileged to sit alongside those who needed to know they are not alone. Allow me to change the names but briefly describe their circumstances:
- There was David who suffered cancer some years ago and went through successful treatment. But the cancer has come back with a vengeance and the doctor told David he would live just a short 14 days. David called to ask if I would bring him final Communion and Last Rites prayers as this brave former Naval officer now enters his final battle.
- There was Stephanie who has found Jesus and is working hard to live a life without drugs which have destroyed her life. Stephanie’s mom was an addict who died when Stephanie hadn’t even reached the tender age of 10. Stephanie pledged she’d never take drugs, but she fell in love with a young man who said he loved her and then taught her to use drugs.
- There was Anthony who is an anointed man of God. He is strong and competant and gifted by the Lord. But he struggles with memories of a land far away where, as a missionary, he saw things — terrible, tragic things — that haunt him to this day.
As I said, it’s been my privilege to sit alongside these dear ones. It’s been my privilege to speak to them, to bring comfort and hope to them, and to pray with them. In all three situations, my message has been the same:
“Jesus is with you.
He is ‘your refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
Do not fear, though the earth should change
and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.’
Jesus is with you.” (Psalm 46:1-2)
In all three situations, I ministered THE FACTOR OF TWO.
There are two definitions for the word “factor”. First, a factor can be “a circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result or outcome.” And in the world of mathematics, a factor is “a number of quantity that when multiplied with another produces a given number or expression.”
In both of these definitions, we see Jesus.
For David, Stephanie and Anthony, it is Jesus who made all the difference. He was the key influence that contributed to desired outcome. For David, peace at the time of death — Jesus will be with him as he walks through the valley of the shadow of death. For Stephanie, though her mother and the man she loved brought destruction and death into her life, Jesus would bring new life, a future and a hope! For Anthony, healing for the haunting memories of the tragic realities of humanity’s sins against humanity.
And for David, Stephanie and Anthony it is Jesus who when joined with them in prayer and in the Spirit, produces a new expression. For David, joy on the face of a dying man — he knows that because he is with Jesus and Jesus is with him, all shall be well. For Stephanie, Jesus brings the loving, safe embrace she missed as the child of a drug addict. And with Jesus by her side, she knows the true kind of love — not like the man who said he loved her but taught her to use drugs, but the Forever Friends who love her with an extravagant love and who will never harm her. And for Anthony, Jesus will be IN him and with him as he relives the most painful memories of His life and in walking with Jesus through those tragic memories, he will be healed of the trauma they wrought in his life.
It’s all about Jesus. He is the answer to every situation, every loss, every point of deprivation, every trauma, every painful memory and yes, He is the answer to life’s final challenge — the challenge of death. “Though my flesh it be destroyed, yet with my eyes I will see God.” Job 19:26.
Take any difficult situation you bump into in life and factor it by Two. Jesus is the key influence who contributes to your desired outcome and He is the One when joined with us, produces something new, something hopeful, something loving and something eternal!
Love and blessings,