“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the physical and spiritual captive and the opening of the prison and of the eyes of those who are bound…
“To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion – to give them an ornament (a garland) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of expressive praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness (lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice and right standing with God), the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” ~ Isaiah 61:1,3, Amplified Study Bible
The day started out dreary. Intermittent showers fell from the heavens. A stiff breeze caught the horses’ manes and flicked their golden locks onto the young girl’s cheeks as she nuzzled her four-legged friends.
Chelsea* had come a long way from her troubled childhood. Through the horses’ unconditional love she was beginning to trust, to heal from a young life marred by the unspeakable. She felt acceptance. She felt valued. And she was beginning to open her heart to the Savior’s love.
So was her mom.
Finally, after years of despair, Chelsea’s mom was finding the courage to parent her troubled daughter. She was finding joy as she noted a twinkle returning to Chelsea’s playful glance. Indeed, God had heard her prayers.
This beautiful miracle of God was taking place on a horse ranch nestled among the gentle hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A Christian couple had said “yes” to the Lord when He asked them to provide a place for His people to come who needed healing from life’s traumas. He asked them to rescue abused horses which He would, in turn, use to rescue hurting people.
The miracle in Chelsea’s life was evident.
And then the unthinkable happened.
Chelsea and her mom arrived at the ranch for their Sunday afternoon ride. Chelsea’s countenance beamed with joy and new-found confidence. Her mom beamed with gratitude for what God was doing in her child’s life. While Chelsea enjoyed her horse’s company, her mom walked down to the barn. The ranch’s owner, Sara*, was there waiting for Chelsea to return. Suddenly, Chelsea’s mom said, “Sara. Something’s not right.” She reached out to Sara and then collapsed. Chelsea heard the commotion and raced into the barn. There, in a heap within Sara’s arms, lay her mother fighting for her last breath. Chelsea fell back against the wooden wall and slid down into the hay-strewn barn floor. Her eyes locked onto her mom’s and for a second, mother and daughter held each other’s gaze.
And then her mom was gone.
Her mom was gone.
Where was the miracle of God?
Chelsea ran out of the barn and fell, weeping, into the grass. Sara began to pray. She cried out to her Sovereign Lord for answers, for wisdom. Questions flung into the afternoon sky like dust from the galloping hoofs of her beloved horses.
And then an undeniable peace settled on Sara. She knew God was with them and she knew she had to find Chelsea. Peering around the corner of the barn, Sara found her young friend crumpled against the soggy earth, wet with heaven’s tears. Without saying a word, Sara took Chelsea in her arms and rocked her. Swaying back and forth, back and forth, she prayed over this baby girl whose mom had just taken the hand of Jesus and left this earth. Sara didn’t have answers for Chelsea, but she did what she knew to do: she gave Chelsea Jesus.
Sara cradled Chelsea in her arms and allowed the love of God to overflow through her and spill over into Chelsea’s broken heart. There was nothing complicated about it. She was merely a vessel for God to work through. Although Sara could not possibly meet the needs of this distraught child, she knew the One who could.
How often do we surrender to the taunting of our inadequacies and fail to embrace the opportunities God places before us – opportunities to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free? How often do we miss an opportunity to lift up the burdened and failing spirit of someone – a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member?
I know I have failed many times. But I think this is what the Lord is showing me: I don’t need to know all the answers. I don’t need to know the right things to say. All I need to do is give them Jesus.
His love will take care of the rest.
*Names have been changed.
Father God, How magnificent is Your love! How amazing is Your grace poured out on Your hurting children. Teach us to yield to You as we learn to take Your love into this painful world. Take away our fear. Open the eyes of our hearts to understand that it is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit that we can minister to others. Each of us are called to minister. Help us to walk in this knowledge. We love You, Lord. Use us for Your glory.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to experience Fernando Ortega singing “Give Me Jesus”. The venue is the memorial service for Ruth Graham. What a fitting example of two people, Ruth and Billy Graham, who gave their lives to tell others about Jesus.