Hezekiah and God, Part One
2 Kings 20:1-7 (NKJV)
Through the years I have struggled from time to time with the question, ‘Does God change His mind when I pray?’ I’ve also asked God if I can have a sign (like a dream or a vision) to help me understand God’s plan. For the next few days we’re going to be looking at the miracles God did for King Hezekiah.
Please understand that when I say that, it’s in the context of, ‘Does God ever change His plan for our lives?’ In other words, if God has set something or someone on a path and you know the path you are on is of God’s doing, can or will God change that path? How can I know God’s plan?
In asking that, I realize there are often thousands of variables that can come into play.
The night before my dad died in 1987 I had a dream that He was in a tunnel walking toward a very bright light. I was on the outside of the tunnel scratching and clawing the tunnel walls...I was trying to either get into the tunnel or get my dad out of the tunnel. I was screaming but my dad didn’t turn to look at me.
When I woke up I begged God not to separate me from my dad. I couldn’t see how I could survive without him. For as long as I could remember when I had a problem I went to my dad.
I either wanted my dad to be healed or I wanted to go with him to heaven. So I prayed that God would not separate me from my dad.
My dad died the next day.
In those early days after his death I couldn’t breath very well. Part of me felt dead inside. Day after day was filled with agony. Even though they were young (ages 4-11) my four kids were my main source of comfort even though they grieved, too. They missed their Grandpa. He was their playmate and he spent a lot of time with them teaching them how to do things. He taught my older three kids how to ride a bicycle. He played Lincoln Logs with them. He was their personal indoor Pony (literally he would let them ride him up and down the hall in his house). We all missed him.
Eventually I was able to breath and I didn’t have tears in my eyes all the time. It took a long time but I finally grew up. I was 34 years old.
I realize now that there were numerous reasons God didn’t answer my prayer. Since that time there have been other instances when I knew God did hear my requests and change His mind. In the case of my dad’s death, there were too many variables in play that pointed to what God planned.
In 2 Kings 20:1-5, we read, “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’ ” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord.”
God changed His mind.
God does change His mind.
God does not always change His mind.
In the case of my dad’s death, I believe my dad had made peace with God and he was ready to see God. My dad really loved God and he wasn’t afraid to die. I can’t know for sure but I think it’s possible that the decision regarding his time to die was up to my dad and God.
God could see the plans He had for me. God knew I would hurt for a time but He would take care of me and in time I would grow. I did.
In the case of King Hezekiah, he wept bitterly because he felt like he had many things left to do. He was a faithful follower and had served God well. God healed him and let him live. God told the Prophet Isaiah to also give this message to the king, “I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ’ ”
In 2 Kings 7, God instructed Isaiah how to heal King Hezekiah. “Then Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs.” So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.”
God did change His mind and God did a miracle.
I’ve learned through the years that God always has a plan for me. It’s a good plan. It’s not always what I would have wanted. Even though there have been pitfalls along the way those have served me well and were my best growth opportunities. Learning how to live without my dad was a huge growth opportunity in my faith walk. I actually stopped depending on my dad and started depending more on God. That was a miracle. I didn’t want that miracle. I didn’t ask for it. But I needed it. I needed to grow in faith and knowledge of Jesus. I needed to rely solely on God.
So, Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Ask for a Miracle
Whatever weighs heavy on your heart today, pray and ask God for a miracle.
In God Through Jesus, Deborah