Sermon - July 17, 2019 - St. Martin's In the Desert

bible with reflection

Sermon – July 17, 2019

Healing Service 
July 17, 2019

When the Holy Spirit came in the Middle of the Night

On July 3, 2019 I had an appointment with the oncologist, my first visit after being diagnosed in the hospital with a cancerous mass. 

You hear the words CANCER! You are not sure you believe what you heard! But… I came to the hospital with an unexplained discomfort in my abdomen and lower back! I am not sick; this can’t be true.

Then I told my partner Jayne, when she returned from the bathroom. Jayne, he said, I have cancer. What? Was her response, just as taken back as I was with the news.

After he left the ER stall, we had our cry. I would say off and on for that day and into the next day. We talked about our future plans and also that we have to take each day at a time. We will do whatever it takes. We have our faith and we can reach out to God he will be with us. We felt a good attitude and spiritual strength was important.

After being discharged on July 2, 2019, I already had the appointment with Dr. Gupta. He sat with both of us and went over all the tests, line by line, explaining the details of the small mass in the mesentery about 2 inches and that is was a rare, but they do see this tumor from time to time. It is a slow growing tumor he explained. 

Treatment is an injection once a month in his office, it does not make it go away, but it slows it down even more. 

Then we hear the words…it is not the primary and we need to do more testing to see if something else shows up.

IT IS NOT THE PRIMARY! These words were on my mind for hours.

I pray a lot and as I have told some people, I pray all the time, especially if it’s quite or I am alone.

My mind goes to God…I might think of him, how he loves me. How Jesus loves me and how much I love Jesus. I am in constant thanks of things given to us and how we are blessed. 

After the news I was praying for healing for strength, for courage, asking God to be with us and to be able to except the news good or bad.

I read and re-read the 23rd Psalms and found comfort in these words. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer over and over.

I read a prayer…

Loving God, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering, lend skill to the hands of my healers, and bless the means used for my cure. Give me such confidence in the power of your grace, that even through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

On July 4, 2019, it was the night after visiting with Dr. Gupta. I awaken at 12:30 am and I could not go back to sleep.

The Holy Spirit came to me that night, not as a vision, but a profound presence and a voice. 

As I sit up on the bed,

The Holy Spirit said “I am” the Primary in you! And anything else is secondary.

Of course, God is the primary!

It was then I felt calmness come over me and knew everything was going to be okay. I sit up in the front living room the rest of the night praying to God and giving thanks for sending the Holy Spirit down to be a comfort to me.

John: 16:7 says

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.


John: 16:13

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 

We will face what we have too, with a positive attitude and our spiritual strength.

Our faith is always tested and we reach deep inside our souls and follow our faith. By the grace of God, we have been given our strength, by believing and following Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit will be God’s Advocate and he will come to us, but we need to be open and listening.

It is a deep feeling of love and calmness that we will experience and it will move us to a greater and stronger belief.  

(1 Corinthians: 2:3-5)

I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 

We do not have all the answers, but God knows our heart, he knows our fears; because he dwells within us and he will provide for us, we just need to go to his altar with grace and mercy, praying and trusting him. All our problems may not go away, but he will help us deal with them.

When God’s love fills our hearts, it will be the entire heart, all of it will be his love and mercy and there will be no room for fear. 

Rev. Lola Culbreath