A few weeks ago, I received the sad news that my friend, Shirley, had died unexpectedly. She and her husband, Dannie, were pillars of our church before they moved to Missouri a few years ago.
I immediately called Dannie on the phone.
"Dannie, I heard the news about Shirley and I'm so sorry."
Dannie was glad to hear from me.
I continued, "I want you to know that all of your friends up here in the northwoods are praying for you."
"I can tell," he replied, "I've been amazed at the peace and strength I've had all the way through this terrible ordeal. It has been just unbelievable. How could I possibly have such peace at a time like this? Then I thought, 'I know why! Someone is praying for me..'"
Dannie continued, "You know, Pastor Mark, light travels at 186,282.397 miles per second. But I've discovered something that travels even faster than that! It's the prayers of God's people!!"
"Losing Shirley is the hardest thing I've ever experieced, but with good Lord's help, I'm going to make it. Actually, when you think about it, I didn't really lose her, because I know right where she is. She's rejoicing in heaven. Someday, I'll get to see her again."
There were tears in my eyes as I hung up the phone after that amazing conversation. How ironic. I had called to encourage Dannie, but this dear man turned it around and became the encourager.
Three "take-home" points from this conversation:
1) Faith in God brings peace in the face of life's most bitter circumstances.
2) Praying is the most important thing you can do. It covers the distance and expresses our deepest love.
3) Since this is the case, I encourage you to stop right now, and whisper a prayer for somebody.