As I gasped in horror at what I had just done to my hand, I knew the gaping wound was serious.
The cut was deep.
I saw that the scissors had significantly overshot their intended target and seared through all of the layers of skin of my hand – stopping just short of the muscle and tendon that they were designed specifically to protect. These epidermal layers had done their job and then some. Yet, the searing blow had inflicted damage and needed immediate medical attention.
I stood over the sink with tears gushing from my eyes. Yes, the pain was significant. However, what was even more discouraging to me was that I was scheduled to leave for a women’s retreat in two hours’ time. As I surveyed my hand, I was not sure I would be able to attend.
Believe it or not, the retreat was to be my first time away from my family in 3 ½ years! The last time I had gone anywhere on my own – without John or the boys – was on September 19, 2012. On this memorable day, I would have a night to ‘myself’ in the Morningside Clinic after undergoing a lumpectomy to remove cancerous tissue. That night was truly a life-saving event and I am grateful for it. However, this time away was to be a very different kind of life enriching experience. It is needless to say, but, I was really looking forward to meeting some new people and meeting with my God – all by myself.
John called our doctor’s office to see if they could fit me at last minute’s notice. Unfortunately, they could not. The alternative was to try an emergency clinic or a hospital emergency room. These options would mean significant wait time based upon our previous experiences over the years.
We decided to try the clinic.
As we walked into the crowded waiting room, I searched for an empty chair. I assumed I would be sitting for a long while. As we signed in, the receptionist surprised me when she said, “Heather can go into the triage room now and wait for the doctor there.”
I didn’t have to wait?
I didn’t have to sit alongside the waiting room throng?
On Friday morning, just hours before this incident, I had read these words:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for us for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
New International Version, Romans 8:26-27
It was true.
On Friday morning, I never anticipated I would be going to an emergency clinic to have my hand stitched back together!
I never thought I would need a quick turn-around time in a triage unit. The fact that I was ushered straight into the curtain-draped triage room and attended to immediately – floored me. I was already a wreck. The pain was excruciating. I was embarrassed about how
I had hurt myself – it was pretty stupid! I had begun to grieve because I doubted I would be able to attend the women’s retreat. Truly, I felt weak and powerless.
The Spirit helps us in our weakness…
My care was not immediate. However, from start to finish, my wound was cleaned, stitched up, and wrapped up within an hour. As I shared, the good news was that my cut had not penetrated the tendon or muscle. It was basically a surface wound that could be mended and healed within the next ten days or so. I was given a tetanus shot to prevent any future infection. And then we were done! John paid our bill and we walked away from the even-more-crowded emergency facility!
Today, I looked up the Greek meaning for ‘intercede’ from Romans 8: 26-27. The Greek transliterated word for ‘intercede’ is entugchano. Not only does entugchano mean to intercede and to pray for, but at its root, tugchano means to hit its mark – as a javelin or arrow pierces its target.
Isn’t that amazing?
As Jesus Christ prays for us through the power of the Holy Spirit – His prayers hit their intended mark!
The prayers of Christ are divinely inspired to penetrate our heart at just the right time, in just the right way and for just the right purpose!
We do not know what we ought to pray for…
I was not able to leave for the women’s retreat when I had planned due to my pierced hand. However, my God was already tenderly preparing my heart for what would come! After I took some time to rest and compose myself at home, I believed I could still attend the women’s retreat! My pierced hand would not stop me!
I called upon some of my lifelong friends to pray for me for this God Encounter and then, off I drove to the venue.
When I arrived at the Hertford Estate, just outside of Johannesburg, I was treated to this beautiful room:
I couldn’t believe it! This amazing room was all mine!
…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express
I hadn’t asked for this marvelous room. I hadn’t asked for an injury either! Yet, because I was attending a retreat in which I knew absolutely no one, I was given a ‘single’ room. It was exactly what I needed – a quiet, solitary space to rest – awarded with no knowledge of my injury (at least I don’t think so!). Since the start time for the retreat events would begin later in the evening, I was afforded even more time to rest, to pray, and to recuperate in this lovely space.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit…
It was only the beginning to a weekend of grace, kindness and joy! It was a time in which my Lord spoke specifically to me and to the beautiful women who attended this glorious retreat with me!
How grateful I am for the intercession of my friends and family!
How grateful I am for those who prayed for me for this retreat experience whom I do not even know! (The retreat organizers asked women to pray for each retreat attendee!)
How grateful I am for the intercession of my Lord!
…because the Spirit intercedes for us for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Be encouraged, My Friends! For truly, the prayers of Christ are divinely inspired to penetrate our heart at just the right time, in just the right way and for just the right purpose for the ultimate glory of His Kingdom and the glory His Name!
He prays and intercedes for me!
And yes, He prays and intercedes for you!