My husband was washing my hair in our bathroom one afternoon last week. As he worked up a lather and cleaned my scalp, he began to tell me about a sister in Christ, a mother about my age, who has been suffering from breast cancer. Her husband who works abroad as an engineer came home recently to bring his ailing wife to the hospital and care for her. She has grown weaker and her husband wanted to help her recover strength.
(image from Google)
I knew the couple he was talking about. The engineer husband contacted me on FB earlier telling me about his wife’s condition, and when he came home last year, he approached Felix in church and introduced himself. He is an Ilocano just like us.
As my husband rinsed my long, stringy hair, he said the couple have been in the hospital for weeks now but by God’s grace, she’s making progress. The doctors were amazed that in her advanced stage, she should already be in ICU, but she was not.
I was quiet the whole time. Washing my hair or bathing is one of the things I dread doing because it’s not comfortable for me. I just wanted to be done with it as soon as possible. I actually didn’t know what to say because Sister Sarah Advincula came to mind. I wrote about her testimony so how can I forget? In 2008 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, she chose to stay in the fasting house instead of going to the hospital. She surrendered her life to the Lord. For one year, she stayed there, suffering through her disease. But at the end of it, she was healed and recovered. She’s been back in the Jesus Finest Generation Choir ever since.
There are those who receive miraculous healing, and there are those who do not. There are burdens that we need to carry. I think no one is exempted from them. I pondered on these things as I endured my husband’s unrelenting scrubbing of my scalp and hair (I hate it when he does that). I wasn’t really in the mood to talk about such things seeing that I was sitting in my wheelchair while someone washed my hair. What I mean is, what can you say when you’re too weak to wash your own hair?
“We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know how long we’ll be here, so, just do your best to serve the Lord however small your contribution is. Whatever we can do for God’s kingdom, just do it,” I finally managed to murmur as my husband rinsed off the thick conditioner from my hair.
Until I settled in for the live webcast of the Friday overnight service that evening, I was unusually quiet, like there were lots of things in my mind. With 10 years of illness and suffering, I’ve gotten so used to the weight and usual gloom that accompany it. By the second hour of congregational singing, I sent the kids to play upstairs. I wanted to concentrate during the solemn songs.
The worship leader sang soulfully and with anointing. Suddenly, my spirit was caught up in the glory of praise and worship. I was transported into a place of beauty and gladness. Ah, how did I ever let misgivings make me forget the glory of the Lord’s presence? We may regularly pray, read the Bible, a devotional, write about Jesus and His words and goodness, but it’s different when we enter His sweet, holy presence. There’s just no comparing it, no describing it. And if I were stronger, I would be opening my arms wide in complete abandon, my face toward heaven, as I let my whole being be enwrapped in the glorious splendor. I know how exhilarating it is to be washed and drenched in the Savior’s love as salty tears pour out in worship. The spirit is revived and — the burdens are lifted off and troubles fade.
Don’t let us remain miserable and weighed down by trials. Enter God’s presence by praising and worshiping. Step into the beauty of the King of kings and Lord of lords!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus Look full in His wonderful face And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace! ~ Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (chorus) by Helen H. Lemmel, 1922
You can read Sis. Sarah Advincula’s amazing testimony here.
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