Adonai’s Rest

It was 1997 and that year was a pivotal time in our family’s lives. Our daughter, Jennifer, had gone to be with the Lord and we were in the process of looking for a home fellowship. In the midst of a lot of pain and looking for a place of worship and healing, we found a group of believers who were digging in to the Bible, intent in prayer and being vulnerable to sharing their hurts and triumphs with each other. The married couple that opened up their home for fellowship were a mature and loving retired couple. I say retired, but that only meant from their day jobs. These people were the most involved, yet rested Christians I’d ever met.

They preached Jesus. They lived a life of faith. They listened to that still, small voice of His Spirit, and went where God led them. This meant that when the Lord put on their hearts to start a ministry to the brokenhearted, they did it. They would gather together with the people the institutional churches rejected. While traveling in their RV across America they met people who were desperate for a touch from the Savior, and God would do a miracle, and give people hope. At least once it put them in the middle of a tornado’s path, yet God was with them and protected them.

When we met them in 1997, we needed healing and prayer. I was battling a serious stomach ailment for 5 years that was leaving me very ill. No prescription medicine, natural remedies, diet changes or stress reduction had done anything to alleviate my pain. So, in desperation I met some believers who knew this couple and they told me that the couple had a ministry of prayer, and that I should come to their home fellowship. So, my family did.

Not long after we had been attending, I shared my heart struggles and fears, and one night while in prayer with these dear saints, I felt the Lord pour His Love over me. I literally felt and knew I was loved by Jesus my God. I couldn’t understand it. I never got the impression of my healing had attachments of being “good enough” or the sense that I just needed to do anything to please Him. He simply poured His Love over me. The only literary way I could describe it would be the reference in Psalm 23:5 and James 5:14 about being anointed with oil. The dear wife prayed over me and gave me a prophesy: “These hands will heal”. I’ve never forgotten that and am looking to Jesus to see what He would have me do with that word of encouragement. I think there’s a lot to those words, and not just about physical healing.

In James 5:14 it reads “if any one is sick, let them call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord”. Well, the physical oil was applied to my forehead by this dear Christian couple, but the most amazing part was the feeling of being loved by Jesus. The merciful act on Jesus’ part was that He healed me from my debilitating ailment in that very moment. I’ve been stomach-ailment free ever since then. It was His Love that lifted me up and gave me the most to remember.

The couple and their family had to move to California, and we were brokenhearted. They bought a ranch and named it “Adonai’s Rest”. We visited them there and had sweet fellowship and have kept in contact over the years. I’m convinced that this couple, though they had no formal, institutional “church” building that they ministered in, were what the Bible describes as “elders” in the Body of Christ. Though they met for fellowship in various congregations at times, their primary ministry was among the marginialized and hurting, who had even been hurt by religious people. They held no titles and received no tithes for their work in the ministry. They opened a place of refuge in California for hurting people, some very sick from cancer and other ailments, and God would restore health while they stayed there.

It’s been on my heart to minister in the way this couple operate in their gifts from God. My husband and I have often discussed what that could look like, and I think God’s working that out even now in our everyday lives. The theme “Adonai’s Rest” is an apt description of our resting in Jesus’ finished work and trusting Him with the results.

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