Acts 1:8 (NIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Today’s Holy Spirit Story comes from Mike Cowart, a member of the Seed Team (our Awakening Partners and Patrons). He is retired and yet unretired and moving all at once in great weakness with real power. Mike is a great example of a kingdom elder living in his kingdom prime. Many of you will identify with this brief life story sketch. Be encouraged, Jesus says, “I have overcome the world.” Here’s Mike:
Our house was the “house of fun” for the friends of our three sons. My wife and I would wake up and realize we had additional boys in our house, due to a last-minute decision to have a sleep over. Life was good!
Our three sons graduated from college and married awesome women. Our first grandchild was born in 1998 and was the first of ten grandchildren. Vacations and holidays were amazing beyond description. Life could not have been better. We were enjoying heaven on earth.
The Affordable Care Act became law in 2011. My income decreased 50% in 2012 with an additional 50% decrease in 2013. In January 2014, we lost our home of twenty-eight years. On March 2, 2014, I found the lifeless body of our forty-three-year-old son. He worked out every day and was a vegan but not exempt from the widow-maker heart attack. I’ll never forget kneeling beside his body and screaming at God, “You can’t do this! Bring my son back to life!” Surely, the EMTs could revive him. An hour later, the ER doctor said, “We’ve done all we can do.”
There are no words to adequately express the pain of standing beside the casket of a child!
In April 2016, my wife had a heart attack and quadruple bypass. I had a quintuple bypass in February 2017. Our cardiologist diagnosed us with broken heart syndrome.
My wife’s health began to deteriorate. She was diagnosed with cancer, and I became a full time caregiver. I’ll never forget our family Zoom meeting. She closed the session by saying, “I love you, and I love Jesus.” On the evening of May 26, 2020, at 9:00 PM, I felt that I should anoint her with oil and expected God to intervene, and her health would be restored. I prayed, “God, enough is enough. The suffering must end. I’m asking in the name of Jesus for my wife to be supernaturally healed.”
At 7:45 the next morning, I called 911 and followed the ambulance to the hospital. My two sons arrived, and we held her hands, as she slipped into the arms of Jesus. Yes, God had answered my prayer. My wife was healed!
“Hurricane Loneliness” began to consume me night and day. I hated to see the sun set, as the pain was unbearable in the evenings.
I’m typing this email two years later and am flooded with the peace of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I can truly sing, “It is well with my soul.”
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:26–29
Farmer God, thank you for the story of this life with which so many identify—from devastating loss to hurricanes of loneliness to a slowly seeping dread of what’s next. This season of aging can be so cruel. Thank you for this song we can hear rising up from the ground of today’s story, When peace like a river attendeth my way; when sorrow like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, ‘It is well. It is well with my soul.’ Jesus, it is only because of you we can know the lyrics of such a song. Holy Spirit, thank you for teaching us the melody and the harmony in every season of our lives. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.
How do you relate to Mike’s story today? Are you in the hurricane of loneliness about now? Do you know others who are? What might sowing there look like? If you would like to reach out to Mike, let me know and I’ll put you in touch.
For the Awakening,