Q&A: Relief

Q&A: Relief

Here’s a heavy question that I’m thankful for you asking, church. Is it wrong to pray to God to ask for relief for a loved one that is and has been suffering from many health issues?

It is never wrong to pray. Nor is any subject taboo. I’ve prayed for healing. I’ve prayed for a good transition from this life to the next adventure. My first pastoral call as a hospital chaplain was to pray for someone who was dying. They happened to die while I was praying. The same thing happened on my first pastoral visit right after I was ordained. The woman who I was praying for died while I was holding her hand and praying. It was a great honor to be there in that moment, as hard as these moments were. And in many moments since then.

We’re all future dead people. I say that each and every Ash Wednesday. It’s the truth. No one gets out of this life alive. Yet God is our home and our destination. I like reading the words of comfort from Romans 8. Paul is a genius when he writes in verse 18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Sometimes the only relief, the final healing, is found in death. Paul also writes in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I read those at every funeral. I find great comfort in them here and now, as well as at the time of my death; whenever that might be.

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