“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it’ll be done for you.”
July of 2015, wasn’t the best time of my life, I can honestly say. I was a biology degree holding, professionally-lost 24 yr. old sitting in my apartment, unemployed and desperately grasping for pieces of God in scriptures, empty cabinets and a close to empty bank account, a test of faith nonetheless; but the punch came when, I got the call that my father had 3-6 months to live due to end stage renal failure. I immediately fell on my knees in a pool of my own tears and sweat, trying to force out some kind of elaborate prayer that I hoped would attract his attention to me, but nothing came forth except “Jesus” and moans of pain and despair. After I gathered myself as much as I could, I pleaded with God to restore him, I made this plea within every prayer, even grace. While each month slipped away as quickly as it begun, so did the countdown in my mind. I struggled with staying within the realm of God and acting out in my flesh/ I’d pray and believe the scriptures that soothed my soul, and in the next hour I’d start to cuss out the maniac driving recklessly in front of me. My soul and my flesh were trying to supply therapy for a issue I couldn’t do anything about in either aspect.
So I decided from that day to cut this mess out, as the old folk would say, and serve and believe God fully. On December 28th, 2015, The Lord whispered to my father and bid him to come home and he answered. During the entire ordeal I was so caught up with the thought of losing him, that I didn’t realize the man I had known as my dad was already gone. If anyone knew Mr. Matthews, he wasn’t always the friendliest guy on the block, and that’s putting it light at some times! He was very over-protective, no nonsense burly guy that loved Jesus, if God could have amour bearers, he’d be the team lead with a flaming sword in one hand and a gun in the other! Some hours before he passed, his demeanor changed, he seemed to operate out of a peace only God could supply and not out the intensity of intimidation that he usually carried. He was already gone. The Flesh was already dead and God delivered spiritual restoration, God heard my request and honored it in the best way! I wanted him to be delivered physically, but what good would that do if his soul wouldn’t be changed.
When reading this scripture its easy to focus more on the promise, than the condition within the scripture. This scripture is a promise with the word “if” in front, meaning that the conditions must be met first, before the promise is delivered. The main thing is the word “remain”; which means to stay in place. I love the Merriam-Webster’s intransitive verb definition which says: ” to be a part not destroyed, taken or used up.” ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remain) 2/3/16. (don’t chuckle at my referencing!) Usually when I think of the word “remain”, it’s almost always after some huge natural disaster. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes etc. all have had some effect in those particular areas, whether dire or close to none. Some landmarks, houses etc. stood the test of chaos that these storms brought, while others crumbled. The point that I’m making is this, no matter if you’re still intact or have dropped some pieces of you during the storms life throws at us, as long as you remain within the reach of God and his words remain in you, he will honor your petition to him. The most difficult part of the condition, is remaining in God, especially during our trials and tests. When a storm hits a area, there maybe debris afterwards, even if it completely wipes out everything that was there, whether they’re broken up into pieces and thrown all over town, we know the original state of what that piece was and where it belongs. As followers of Christ we should be able to be recognized as children of God because we never left his presence. As soon as trouble comes we love to act outside of the presence of God through aggression or over indulgence in something we were delivered from and all that does is cause regression. So instead of going crazy and acting like we are still in the place God found us in, collect your pieces, stay within the realm of God, study his word and guard it in your heart, in order to soothes and heal you when those storms come and he will incline his ear to you. Besides how can you experience the benefit of seeing the sun after a storm if you decided to leave the area before it hits? Trust God and he will deliver you the desires of your heart.
In loving memory of Grifton Wendell Matthews. Love ya dad <3.