When There’s Nothing Humanly That Can Be Done?
When Prayer is Your Only Option – Part 2
Nehemiah’s brothers came to visit and gave him an update on the status of their hometown. Nehemiah was heartbroken at the thought of what he heard. So, he prayed. At this moment, he did like every other normal person, he prayed and left it with God, so to speak. It wasn’t until later that Nehemiah realized that a thirty-thousand-foot opportunity was upon him. It’s important to know when the thirty-thousand-foot problem has descended upon you.
Most (51% or more) never see their thirty-thousand-foot opportunity. Nehemiah at the start of his journey didn’t. He first did like every other normal person. Then an action step presented itself, and he was faced with one of two choices: 1) act or 2) not act.
Let me address the not acting, first. Non-action is normal, ordinary behavior. With this decision, you already know what to expect and that’s for your situation to remain what it is or get worse. Acting on the other hand is not a normal path. Acting on it, means you’re confident that something can change; it’s the beginning of what we call faith. Faith is what brings our hopes from the unseen place they reside into the physical realm we call the here and now. If you want to see what ordinary people don’t, then the choice is obvious.
The backstory behind the thirty-thousand-foot prayer.
I need to tell you how I came up with the thirty-thousand-foot prayer in the first place. It was the early 2000’s (go back with me to that time period) and I was employed by a local church. So was Mrs. R. [no names for sake of privacy]. Mrs. R.’s husband served as a volunteer with our church as well. One day out of nowhere, Mrs. R had a stroke which impacted half her body. Let’s say it was the left side. Her condition needless to say was dire. Trying to remember the details, I doubt Mrs. R. or her husband were more than forty years old at the time.
Like most churches, the word of what happened to her was everywhere. As she fought for her life, many were concerned. Her condition improved at a very slow rate and I mean slowly. She was in recovery so long that the church had to make the tough decision of releasing her from her employment which of course would also end her medical insurance. I say all this to give you some idea of how serious her problem was. Now let’s go back to the message.
If you prayed, you’re thinking what difference will it make?
I want to take you with me to the hospital as I visited her. Her husband by her side, I walk in slowly. I hate to say this, but there’s nothing that can prepare you for seeing a healthy person go from the highpoint of a vibrant life to one where she is no longer able to walk. What do you say to someone? What do you say to her husband who now has to be his wife’s caretaker since she is no longer in a position to care for herself? Even if you prayed, you’re thinking what difference will it make?
This is what I imagine went through the mind of Nehemiah who was brought the tragic news of his hometown. He prayed for his town and nothing happened. One week passed, one month passed, then another, then another with no change. Nehemiah cried and got to the point of even depression. In the same way, I can only imagine what went through the minds of Mrs. R and her husband. They prayed, their pastor prayed, and the church was praying. Week after week and month after month, it didn’t seem as if her life as she knew it would return.
I hope my words are painting a very vivid picture of the situation because we’re talking about a thirty-thousand-foot problem.
This problem is too big for human resolution.
All we have are our prayers. Allow me to bring you forward twenty years to a recent experience of the same magnitude. Pamela and I have a friend who out of nowhere had a stroke. Sounds familiar? This friend would be seen as one who is in tiptop shape, a bike rider. His stroke hospitalized him and his situation was somewhat worse than Mrs. R. He not only felt the physical effects of a stroke, he lost his sight, blind.
The doctors said to him, you won’t get your sight back. In other words, there’s nothing we can do about your sight.
It’s these words I want to draw your attention to. As long as you keep living, there will come a time where you’ll hear such words. And when you do, let it give you the clue you need. The clue that humanly speaking nothing can change this situation. Therefore, we need to seek answers outside of what’s normal or natural.
I’m going to leave you hanging onto these two stories: a present day story and a 20 year old story. Using these experiences, I want to show you what to do when you have a thirty-thousand-foot prayer. You’ll have to come back next week to hear more and what they have to do with this thirty-thousand-foot prayer idea.
Question: what do you do when the problem is so big there is no human resolution?
Reference #1: Nehemiah 1:4 NLT, Bible.com, accessed March 16, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/NEH.1.4.NLT
Reference #2: Nehemiah 2:1 NLT, Bible.com, accessed March 16, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/NEH.2.1.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.