Jesus died so your prayers can get answered

Jesus died so your prayers can get answered.

Yesterday morning I went to the gym early to get a little something in before partaking in some family fun with my youngest son. When you have a large family it’s fantastic to get quality time with each child apart from the other children. He had a great day, we all did.

So there I was at the gym...

I was able to get a quick lift in with my husband and one of my older sons. Just before heading home, I made a restroom stop. As I stepped up to the sink a woman came in the room and stood at the sink next to me. She began to scoop water onto her face with slow repetition. Then she just buried her face in her hands and began uncontrollably sobbing. She remained there, face in hands, huddled over the sink, crying.

{Jesus is Comfort}

I finished washing my hands, dried them off—all the while fully aware of this woman, and anticipating an opportunity to comfort her. But I took my time, giving her space to see how this was going to play out before diving in. I didn’t want to embarrass her or rush upon her too quickly. That may have agitated her more fully.

{Sometimes love must take its time.}

She did not pull it together. She continued to sob. So I quietly stepped up beside her and wrapped my arm around her and just stood next to her. I didn’t say a word. I just stood with her a bit. She just continued as she was—sobbing, face buried in hands. Then she spoke and this helped me a bit know how to proceed. All she said was, “I was trying to be strong!”

At this moment another woman in the locker room heard her crying and came around the corner and I could tell by the look on her face she was genuinely and empathetically concerned for this woman. She proceed to loudly ask, “ARE YOU OK? ARE YOU OK?” She meant well, but her voice tone was stressful. The woman didn’t respond or acknowledge her at all. I don’t think anyone would in this situation. So I turned to the woman and in a soothing, soft spoken voice said, “She is not alright, but she will be.” This seemed to ease her concern as I could see the pensiveness leave her face. Then the woman said, “Oh, alright.” And proceeded back around the corner to whatever she had been doing at the lockers.

I remained with the woman and then I quietly leaned in and whispered something specific in her ear. I won’t be repeating those specific words here. Then I asked how I could pray for her. She didn’t know. She confessed she was surprised she broke down like this. All I said was “I get it.” Then before I left the room I reminded her once again about what I whispered in her ear. I repeated my words again—word for word. I told her not to forget. And I suspect, God will reinforce what I said to her in her spirit and I pray she carries His Strength out of the gym with her that day. I pray she felt the Lord with her that day.

Now, I have several semesters of graduate level counseling under my belt, but I am not a licensed counselor. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work and received a lot of training for working as a peer counselor for non-profit agencies. And I am a counselor at heart. It’s just part of how God wired me. But I don’t want any to believe I’m professing to be a “clinical expert” of anything here.

So why share the story?

People all around us every single day are hurting. Everyone is carrying something that feels like weight, but resembles something like stress, depression or other weighty emotions. Anti-Depressant and sedative medications are at an all time high. I have no idea if this woman was dealing with any of this.

But here’s what I know...

There’s not a human on the planet that doesn’t want to be reminded that they aren’t in this thing alone. God will always go with us.

God is always strength for us.

Here’s my experience—I think it’s a safe gamble to share that nobody wants to break down emotionally in public. Nobody. I’m sure this woman was uncomfortable. Here are a few steps I took in proceeding next.

Active Listening and Intuitiveness

1) Because I was standing right next to her at the sink it became my job to be comfort for her. Not as a Counselor, but as a Christian guided by the Great Counselor. It did not matter to me nor did I wonder how she would respond. I’d make that adjustment after. My job was to love her.

2) It then also became my job to protect her from probing questions and unnecessary embarrassment. Because love also protects.

3) It then became my job to ask how I could help, specifically prayer.

4) At this point I left her alone to gather herself. She seemed a bit calmer as I left. People need room to process thoughts and feelings. Many words are not always required. Silence or a long pause is sometimes a quality antidote.

{How to navigate the uncomfortable}

Love must be willing to become uncomfortable for the added comfort of another.

I think often times people don’t know what to do in uncomfortable situations so they do nothing...say nothing...offer nothing. Often times even though their heart feels compassion, their own personal uncomfortableness interferes with what maybe God was trying to do by placing you near in the first place.

Today we celebrate the day Jesus ascended his face in all it’s radiant light. The tomb was empty and our Savior was not dead! All hope that was counted as lost, proved once and for all the Power of Love and the Cross.

Jesus died to answer your every prayer. Go ahead—nail it there. Crimson red he bled to give you some keys that open many things. Love, Walk and Live in Victory.

You don’t have to go this thing alone. I promise.

On a higher note—on our way out the front door we invited one of the personal trainers who does not attend church to join us at ours. Even if he doesn’t come the elation on his face when he confirmed we were inviting him to church was priceless.

Because everyone loves to be invited.


"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans' 15:13