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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fear, Leprosy and Praise!

When I arrived at Alicia’s doorstep, she met me with a ‘why are you here’ look. I expected to color her hair, as planned, and enjoy some girl talk. 

 “I guess you didn’t get my text message or phone message,” she said.

Apparently, my dear friend Alicia had canceled our appointment due to not feeling well. She assumed it best to remain quiet and not meet with me.

Earlier that day, I had been outside raking leaves. Then I rushed to get ready to go to lunch with my husband and our elderly friend. I ignored my cell phone and missed Alicia’s messages.

 “Well, you’re here!” Alicia graciously hugged me. “It seems the Lord wants me to get my hair colored today, anyway.”  

Alicia took careful consideration that God’s plan was different than hers.  She accepted it in spite of her physical and emotional struggles.   

While I saturated Alicia’s hair with color, she skimmed over what was upsetting her.  I suggested we pray because Alicia didn’t have the power to deal with her fears. I sensed this was the reason God had me show up.

Settling on her couch, we took our position in prayer. I was trusting God to work!
We held hands, closed our eyes, and remained silent. God nudged me to pray, “Thank you, Father, for inviting us to come boldly into Your throne room of grace in Alicia’s time of need. Thank you for offering Alicia mercy and grace to help her. Thank You that You know all about her situation and You understand her weaknesses.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

The Holy Spirit filled Alicia’s heart with faith. She began thanking God for His faithfulness and goodness.  Spontaneous praise and thanksgiving continued. Praise for God’s promise to daily carry our burdens! (Psalm 68:19) Praise for offering us rest in place of a heavy yoke. (Matthew 11:28) Praise for God’s grace to trust in His boundless love for her well-being and her loved ones.  

It was time for Alicia to rinse her hair. Then I left.

That evening, I received Alicia’s text message. She said, “Thank you so much for coming over to color my hair! God’s love is truly amazing and unfailing! I am doing great! God blessed us in our sweet time of prayer and I am so thankful for God’s mercy, grace and goodness! He lifted me up again and I am still at peace. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”

 Human nature often leads us down a different path when we believe we’re self-sufficient and have the ability to solve our problems, no matter how complicated or simple. That path leads to failure and disappointment.

I’m reminded of Naaman.  This valiant soldier with great authority and position had leprosy.  Naaman went to Elisha, a prophet known for curing diseases, and offered him gold, silver and expensive clothing. Naaman’s logical approach for healing failed.

 Elisha told Naaman to take a dip in the muddy Jordan River, not once, but seven times! Naaman was furious, insulted, and he argued with Elisha. If his cure was to come through bathing in a stream, he’d choose a clean stream!  Fortunately, Naaman’s friends helped him change his mind. Obedience to God seemed foolish, but it brought Naaman’s spiritual and physical healing. (1 Kings 5)

Only God can provide wise solutions to our difficulties because He’s the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  He tells us to praise Him at all times, even in our trials! (Psalm 34:1) As we wait for Him to work, praising Him fills us with power, strength and love.  Alicia’s praises renewed her faith and diminished her fears and stress. Praise filled her with peace and joy.

 By faith, try praising God in your trials, and then watch Him work. His “reputation is twenty-four carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee.” His decisions “are accurate down to the nth degree.” (Psalm 19:9 MSG) He sees the bigger picture, we don’t.

Today, I’m praising, “Lord, all I need is You. I want You. I choose Your ways!”


  1. Well said! I'd like to share this with a couple friends who are suffering at the moment.