Jana Thurber – Denver, Colorado … The Lord says: Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: That they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and brings justice and righteousness on earth, and that I delight in these things (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

After receiving a sobering medical diagnosis almost two decades ago, I vividly recall feelings of immense human inadequacy knowing my need at that moment was very great. Urgency required that I turn to the unfailing love, power, and presence of God in my life. So, while relying on the initial advice from medical professionals, I also instinctively knew I must find a promise from God’s word to daily claim to get me through the inevitable journey before me.

Jeremiah 17:14 came to mind: O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!

Every morning would find me persistently claiming this promise in prayer along with praises to God for being the supreme and sovereign God of power and authority, who alone deserves praise and glory.

However, as the months went by, the negative responses in my body grew due to cumulative treatments, surgeries, wounds, and drugs I was allergic to. This admittedly took a toll on both my physical and emotional health.

About six months into treatment, I headed to my study late one morning determined to write a devotional for our students at the college week of prayer. But in my weakened condition, I was not able to do this.

So, I cried out to God and said, “God, I really need to hear some words of comfort and strength from you this morning. I am not able to get my work done at this point.”

Opening my Bible, my eyes immediately saw another text in Jeremiah 30:17, I will give you back your health and heal your wounds.

I am not proud of the response that suddenly burst forth from my mouth at that moment. “Well Lord, that’s a wonderful text! But was the daily text I have been claiming all along not good enough?”

Here’s how I know that the Great I Am, the only God of Immeasurable Power, is not phased when we ask Him hard questions. I discovered that His delight in us does not diminish one iota whether we’re on a mountaintop or in a dark valley. It’s true. I did not receive immediate healing that day. Nor did my symptoms disappear. I had to be in the fiery furnace a little longer. The difference was that I knew without a shadow of a doubt, He was standing beside me! (Joshua 1:9).

How do I know? Because that very afternoon, God proved to me that Jeremiah 30:17 was His answer to my question. I had posed daily in claiming Jeremiah 17:14! Within the hour, the postman came to my door and delivered one small package that would have easily fit in my mailbox by the road. With a smile on his face, the mail carrier handed me a tiny package and said, “This is for you!”

I thanked him, while wondering why he had never ever delivered a small package to our front door in the many years we had lived in that house. Quickly opening the package, I discovered a beautifully designed and laminated handmade Bible bookmark with colorful flowers surrounding a text that read, I will give you back your health and heal your wounds. This clearly was not a simple coincidence! God answered my plea with His word and confirmed it by the kindness of a friend who sent me the lovely bookmark before I even prayed this powerful Scripture-prayer.

Today, the God of the universe bends down from His high and holy place to search out those willing to surrender their will to their Creator, willing to personally know Him through prayer and His words. Willing to know that His love for us is immeasurable.

He says in Zephaniah 3:17, I take great delight in you. I rejoice over you with singing. We cannot trust Him too much. He is the Almighty Worker, full of divine life and power.

Christ Jesus says, I am the Vine, I will receive you. I will draw you to Myself, I will bless you. I will strengthen you. I will fill you with My Spirit. I, the Vine, have taken you to be My branches; I have given Myself utterly to you children. Give yourselves utterly to Me. I have surrendered Myself as God absolutely to you; I became Man and died for you that I might be entirely yours. Come and surrender yourselves entirely to be Mine.

And in the fitting words of Andrew Murray, “What shall our answer be? Oh, let it be a prayer from the depths of our heart, that the living Christ may take each one of us and link us close to himself. Let our prayer be that He, the living Vine, shall so link each of us to Himself that we shall go on our way with our hearts singing: He is my Vine, and I am His branch; I want nothing more—now I have the everlasting Vine.

Then when you get alone with Him, worship and adore Him, praise and trust Him, love Him and wait for His love. Thou art my Vine, and I am Thy branch. It is enough. My soul is satisfied. Glory to His blessed name!”

—Jana Thurber is the RMC women’s ministries and prayer ministries director as well as pastoral spouse support. Photo by Unsplash.