Fear and Praise
who fear the Lord, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23)
How quickly life can change. My
wife, Genevieve, was making plans for the Friday Study Ministries
Christmas Party (you’re invited – mark your calendar for December
15th). Then, a pain in her abdomen, a visit to the doctor, a trip to
Emergency, and admission to the hospital; all in 15-hours. We were able
to doze a few times in the night, but had noisy neighbors. Typical was
the lady in the next bed, who was asked something like, “Vomitaro
poquito?” to which she answered, “Grande”, followed by sounds we hope to
not hear again.
The surgery, supposed to be in the
late evening, was delayed ‘til 3 A.M., 6 A.M., and finally it was done
at about 8:00 in the morning. It turned out there were plenty of
patients who had similar needs and the doctor was operating on them, one
at a time. Genevieve’s side had been tender and swollen, and her white
blood count was elevated. The CT-Scan showed a swelling at the area of
her appendix. The operation had to be done quickly, we were informed,
for an infected appendix could burst and cause further problems. We
agreed and she signed the forms.
In the Surgical Waiting Room, I told
the Reception Lady, “I’m Ron Beckham, waiting for Genevieve Beckham.”
She responded, “That’s fine, Bob, we’ll let you know.” The doctor came
out and spoke to me in the waiting room, looking a little uncomfortable,
saying he found – “nothing!” The appendix was normal and so was
everything else. They took the appendix “just in case” and closed her
up. The doctor said, “this happens sometimes.” Don Haynes, a good
friend and a Friday Study Board Member, was standing there with me. Don
remarked, “It probably was the prayer.”
I thought about that.
From the doctor’s perspective, what
happened was a “statistical anomaly.” He said, it just “happens
sometimes.” But she really did have symptoms: the CT-Scan really was
positive, there was a little lump, and there was an actual infection in
her body, evidenced by the white blood count. It is interesting that,
responding to an email request, at least dozens of people were praying
for her. What if God simply HEALED her?
Sandy Stahl, our computer technical
genius, Friday Study Board Member, and friend, confirmed that many
prayerful emails had been received on Genevieve’s behalf. God who had
heard the cry, our need, prompted others to pray, and Genevieve is OK.
The First Church on the Net (at
www.fridaystudy.org) has an
"Especially For Children" section, which, at this time, consists of a
Commentary on the Book of John for children. We've reached Chapter 19,
and I again find it hard to study in such detail, the pain our Savior
experienced on the cross. It was my sins (and yours) that put Him
It was necessary for Him to die in
such a manner, of course, for we have no standing with God except
through Jesus. God's prophets had said He would die; and in His death,
we would praise Him. Isaiah the Prophet said of Him, hundreds of years
before His birth, "Surely, He has borne our
griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by
God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was
bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5).
The Hebrew word for "healed"
is interesting, because it is the word "raphah",
which refers in Scripture to spiritual as well as physical healing.
Everything was done for us on the Cross of Jesus Christ. If you NEVER
seem to be healed in this life, you certainly are in the next, IF you
trust in Him now.
Before Isaiah, another prophet was
on earth named David. Because of his simple reliance on the Lord, he
was given remarkable understanding. About the Messiah (Christ) he
wrote, "I am poured out like water, and all My
bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to my
jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have
surrounded Me; the assembly of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced
My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at
Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast
lots" (Psalm 22:16-18).
Jesus WAS crucified. His joints and
bones WERE displaced and disfigured by the cross. The assembly of the
wicked DID encircle Him. They DID pierce His extremities, and they DID
cast lots for His clothing. And Isaiah was perfectly correct: He died
for your healing and mine. David and Isaiah wrote about Jesus Christ.
Should we phone the newspapers and
shout the news: “Genevieve has been healed”? Oh, certainly, we can if
we want. But there is more, for you and I are surrounded by His
miracles all the time, though most of His miracles aren’t perceived.
Jesus died for you and me. “By
His stripes we are healed”, which should cause us to “fear”
(reverence) and “praise” the Lord
continually. Every time a baby is born, a miracle occurs, for a new
life is given to the world! Whenever someone breathes “yes” to the Lord
Jesus, miraculous, eternal LIFE comes into being!
He loves you. That you exist is a
miracle, for this world is in rebellion against the God we are to fear
and praise. He reached into the darkness of this place, sending the One
who cried, “I am the light of the world”
(John 8:12). He changes us, and says, “YOU
are the light of the world” (Matthew
5:14). In changing us, He enables us to reflect His glory.
Father, we worship You and praise
Your Holy Name. Thank You, Jesus, for all You have done. We receive
You, now. Thank You for the Spirit of God, and for Your Word, that we
might know the Way home. Thank You for healing Genevieve, and for our
salvation. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)