I recently attended a men's conference in which the theme of the conference was "It Is a Father-Son Story Working Through a Chosen Woman." Men had gathered to worship from 11 different states and as the main speaker stood to speak, he shared with the men that his oldest son had just been rushed to the hospital with a high fever, and after the tests, the doctors had found a tumor in his son's spleen.
Two thoughts immediately came to my mind. The first was to pray for the speaker and his son, and the second was to wonder why the speaker was still at the conference. My first reaction, if I were that father, would be to jump on a plane and get to the side of my son's hospital bed, praying the entire way.
Yet here was this man calmly sharing with a group of men that his son, whom he dearly loved, just received a very serious diagnosis. After he had shared about his son, he stopped for a few moments and asked if we would all pray for a miracle. We prayed simply, directly and powerfully for healing and protection for his son. Then the speaker began his message and shared about the powerful father/son dynamic promise shown throughout the Scripture. The message touched the men's hearts deeply as our understanding of the vastness of G-D's eternal plan came more clearly into view. Then the service ended, and the men went back to their hotel rooms for the night.
The next morning, the men gathered together, along with the entire host congregation, for the regular Shabbat service. As service began with prayer, the congregation was informed about the speaker's son's condition and was asked to pray, and we did. Once again, we prayed simply, directly and powerfully for healing and protection.
The service continued as we worshipped together and read the weekly portion from the Torah. Then the speaker once again began to continue his message series about the Father/Son dynamic. He led the congregation through the Bible, showing the father/son pattern from book to book, generation to generation. He shared example after example about how G-D worked to fulfill His promises miraculously first through a Father and then through the Son.
Suddenly, about 3/4 of the way through his sermon, the speaker's phone rang. He pulled his phone out and looked who was calling, and it was his son. After finding out that it was his son calling. the rabbi hollered out, "Answer the phone, please!" The speaker picked up the phone, answered and the entire congregation was able to hear one side of the conversation take place. But that one side was enough to understand that a miracle had taken place. After "further tests" the doctors had determined that his son "no longer had a tumor."
The congregation shouted out with joy. As suddenly as the phone had rung, I understood why the speaker had not rushed to his son's side in the hospital. If he had, we wouldn't have the opportunity to see that G-D is still using the father-son dynamic to bring about miracles. By doing so, G-D used this conference to helps us all understood that from the beginning until the end of time, G-D's Word is the story of a Father and a Son blessing humanity.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer and Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians.
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