There are many different situations we face here on earth that remind us of Christ’s imminent return. I believe, as do many, COVID-19 was one of them. A heart wrenching global pandemic, absolutely out of everyone’s control. In these situations, our knee-jerk reaction often reveals something inside of us. Sin may emerge, or a spiritual gifting may emerge. The Holy Spirit moves powerfully, revealing quite a bit in times like these. People were affected differently. What came out of your mouth? How did you react?
When I answer that question, I see the birth of my book Revival of the Hearts, in my A Flash of Insight Christian Bible Commentary series. This book began as simple blog posts, right here on my website; as I broke down 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV that says, “If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
When trying times come, I tend to study. I sit in God’s presence with my computer or a pen and paper and ask Him, “What do You want to show me?”
I work it out by writing it out.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 NLT, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” When we seek Jesus, He teaches us in humility and gentleness. We are able to take in His truths, no matter our season, and live out what He has called us to. God the Father also teaches us, and we become pure and holy – John 17:17. And we see God’s perfect provision in Himself, His Triune being, as the Holy Spirit – God’s gift to us believers – also teaches us opening our eyes to truths in God’s Word, pointing us to Jesus Christ, encouraging us to remain in fellowship with Jesus, while also bringing to our remembrance what we once learned – 1 John 2:27, John 14:26.
The love of God is truly amazing.
As I sat in God’s presence, listening to Him and writing these blogs – Whom Do We Serve, God’s Desire, and See the Invisible – my heart was burdened to turn these posts into a book. To go deeper. The depth of Scripture amazes me. Jesus holds endless inspiration. He easily captures my mind and my heart. God’s truths are able to be lived by His amazing grace and the gift He gives us in the Holy Spirit. Truly, a genuine desire for Jesus Christ ignites revival in a heart and mind – it’s a life hungering and thirsting for righteousness. We desire Him and His ways. And so, I pray the Holy Spirit speaks through the words in this book opening your eyes to sweet truths, capturing your mind and heart, turning you toward the Lord; as you gain a richer understanding of Scripture.
2 Chronicles 7:14 Bible Commentary – COVID-19 and Cancer
2 Chronicles 7:14 is a beloved verse by many. A timeless truth from God aimed at His own. A verse that is often brought up when times are trying, like COVID-19. A verse many speak of when their heart desires revival.
The timing of 2 Chronicles 7:14 being brought back to people’s attention became a question on my heart. “Why do people associate revival with healing?”
My experience with COVID-19 differs from some, but is not isolated. My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometrial cancer at the end of 2019, and the cancer spread to her lungs. She faced 2020 with a 7.6 cm tumor in her lungs. She was concerned about getting COVID-19, but I tell you I still had to remind her to put a mask on. I say that jokingly and lovingly. It was a stressful time, and seriously the grace of God that she did not get COVID-19. Cancer is difficult enough. This book, Revival of the Hearts, was actually published when she was in the hospital in October 2020. She had a couple bleeding ulcers and a cracked rib, that came about because that large tumor was blocking airways and collapsed her lung and she was coughing constantly. We were not allowed to see her when she was first brought into the hospital, due to COVID-19 rules. I went to the hospital after about 5 days and when I saw her, I was shocked. She looked absolutely different. She could barely open her eyes and they had her on such heavy medication because her pain was so intense. Throughout her entire life she had never taken anything stronger than Tylenol or Advil, hence the bleeding ulcers. In 5 days her body really deteriorated and I was reminded of how isolation robs people of stimuli that keeps individuals going. I sat by her bedside for a little while before she realized I was there. I didn’t want to startle her. She couldn’t keep her eyes open, but was able to speak a little bit and I shared that I had published my book. My mom was one of my biggest supporters. I dedicated this book to her and my dad, stating, “This book is dedicated to my parents. So thankful for you both! I am so blessed to have parents who believe in the vision God placed on my heart. Praying Ephesians 3:20 for you!” She smiled after I read this and I then read some sections of the book to her. This book is straight truth, explaining 2 Chronicles 7:14. It’s a 300 page in-depth bible commentary. I would read slowly so that my mom could take in the words and understand, and there were times she would with her eyes closed repeat the sentence I just read. My mother was a student of the Scriptures. She loved studying the Bible. She would always sit in the car in the driveway listening to KKLA, and she would be taking notes on the pastor’s message on whatever paper she had on hand. She would buy me bible commentaries to study. I would buy her bible commentaries. In fact, she wrote a note to me from her and my dad in the front of Jon Courson’s Application Commentary Old Testament Vol. 2 Psalms-Malachi, “September 11, 2009, Dearest Alysa, How precious to know that the lamp that lights our daughter’s path is the Word of God. Joyful reading! And Happy 26th birthday. Love you so much, Dad and Mom Psalm 119:105.”
So, her repeating what I read from my book, truly encouraged my heart. She saw God’s hand on me and I cannot state enough how important it is for parents to hear God speak in regards to their children. The stabilizing support of godly parents helps children step out in faith, as that stabilizing support mirrors our Heavenly Father’s support. It’s tangible love.
When my mom was able to come home at the end of that week in October, we read the doctors’ paperwork that they sent home with her and their prognosis said she was terminal. I think the doctors forgot to tell us. I say that with hurt sarcasm. They did not even tell my dad, who had a stunned face when my sister shared what it said. That hit hard. We believed she would recover. And I found myself at a family dinner walking outside sobbing. But the amazing truth, by the grace of God my mom rallied. She looked like she was at death’s door in October and did not receive much hope from the doctors, who essentially sent her home to die. But nothing is impossible with God – Luke 1:37. One thing I love about God, is how He whispers to our heart what we should do that enhances the quality of our days. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus Christ came to bring life and that abundantly – John 10:10. And in that abundance comes His voice of wisdom. My mom had a naturopathy doctor that she would talk to off and on, prior, and God burdened my heart to remind her that she grew stronger when she took her supplements before her bleeding ulcers. The thing about cancer and any trying situation – it is so overwhelming, anything is easily forgotten. The brain is on constant overload as you are fighting to live. God’s reminders are truly life saving. Seriously, His love, mercy and grace amidst turmoil is one of the sweetest blessings to a heart and mind. A bruised reed, He does not break. And so we called her naturopathy doctor, Dr. Goto, and Dr. Goto and Dr. D’Adamo came up with a plan for my mom. My mom faithfully took her supplements, and to the best of her ability ate what we gave her as we tried to get calories into her; and she grew stronger throughout November and December. A total 180. She didn’t give up. She wanted to live and was doing what she could, while praying and trusting God for the strength she needed.
Mama had a some really good months, and we praise Jesus for that. Moses prays in Psalm 90:12 NLT, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” We are not promised tomorrow, but we have today. So the choices we make today – our knowledge put into action – impacts our quality of living here on earth and the treasure we have in heaven, as well as those crowns that we will cast down at Christ’s feet. Cancer is one way we learn the brevity of life, and so we cherish the moments and make specific decisions that honor and love God and love others. COVID-19 is another way many experienced the brevity of life. There are many experiences God allows into our lives that He uses to teach us the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. The lack of time shows us we need Jesus, who is wisdom incarnate – 1 Corinthians 1:30. When we seek Jesus, He tells us what to do; as we follow Him on the path of righteousness we grow in placing our knowledge in action. We are citizens of heaven, sojourning here on earth for the time God has allotted. We praise Him for these days, living for His honor and glory, looking forward to the day we see Jesus Christ face to face.
When my mom came home from the hospital she could not walk. But she pushed herself, determined. And so, I would go over to my parents’ and would walk with my mom through her macadamia nut trees. Years ago, I worked in a physical therapy clinic, and the knowledge I gained there was pivotal. I gave my mom some simple, very basic, exercises to do for her legs and arms to help with strength, since the doctor said she would not be able to have chemo unless she was stronger. On one of those days, my mom shared with me how thankful she was for my dad. He had stopped working and was with her all day, waking up throughout the night to give her her pain meds. “He never complains,” she said. I would also overhear my dad countless times calling my mom “Beautiful.” I loved it. In these trying times, God blessed me with witnessing the visual reality of a godly marriage – committed love in sickness and in health.
One night as I was over at my parents, my mom was resting with her eyes closed and then started softly singing, “I love You Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship You, oh my soul, rejoice, take joy My King in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.” My dad’s eyes filled with tears, while I softly sang along with my mom – just wanting to sing with my mom.
In April, the cancer spread to her brain. She had around 12 cancerous lesions throughout the parietal, occipital, frontal, and temporal lobes. We had no idea the cancer had metastasized, until she had a seizure early one morning. Her cancer was spreading fast. It became difficult for her to speak; but one conversation I hold dear to my heart – I was sharing with her one of my next books, A Tree of Life, in my Flash of Insight Christian Bible Commentary series. She listened to me chatter on as I shared insights God opened my eyes to regarding a verse He had been bringing to her heart during this difficult season, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life” – Proverbs 13:12, as well as, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” – Proverbs 11:30. I told my mom, my siblings and I were her fruit as well as all those she impacted in Jesus’ name. She was our strongest supporter. There for us. Constantly pointing us to the Lord. And then after a little bit she looked me directly in the eyes and said, “I’m proud of you.” That was the last sentence she was able to speak to me.
And on May 14, 2021 at 3:20p my sweet mama entered the arms of Jesus fully healed of her cancer.
Many people desire healing. My mama desired healing. She desired healing of her cancer here on earth and when the reality hit that it was not going to happen, she desired healing in heaven. She longed for heaven. She longed for Jesus.
Oftentimes when we think of healing, we think of physical healing of a sickness. And seriously God does tell us to pray for healing for those who are sick – James 5:15. There are many different illnesses and injuries in this world, and they are no joke. The illness not only pulls on the individual physically but mentally, or vice versa if it is a mental health illness. And honestly, it’s difficult when you or a loved one is facing an extreme illness while others are not. Your reality may be so incredibly different than others, it’s almost blinding. The weight of the illness is consuming, and many do not understand. Their concerns seem trivial; but even in this God works on hearts, humbling, lest pride emerge as people compare sorrows. God is the One who allows suffering in a life and He purifies us so that we remain right before Him in humility. We are not alone in our suffering. Many are suffering from something. The intensities and severities simply vary with the seasons. Ultimately, God cares about our soul being right before Him. That healing affects us eternally. There is no justification of sin apart from Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross. Suffering does not give us license to sin, and good health does not give us license to sin. If anything, suffering should draw us to our Savior, and good health should draw us to rejoice in our Savior with a thankful heart.
The longing for heaven is real, when the body is racked with pain. Times, those who are physically suffering need us who are not suffering to be Jesus Christ’s hands and feet in their life; for that encounter with God’s love, flowing through us, is healing for them here on earth. God commands us to love for a reason – it’s a need.
And so back to the question that was on my heart when I wrote this book, “Why do people associate revival with healing?” I shared, “A healed land is a land right before God, secure in Jesus Christ; and revival is lacking in hearts when sin has become a social norm. People in sin are not alive in Christ; they are more like white-washed tombs. Outward image may be there, but something is missing on the inside – like the overflowing love of Jesus Christ. The social norm happened gradually, so the change in heart and mind was not apparent to the individual, but it effected their soul. Sin always weakens; the most difficult is when it does not weaken overtly but is subtle. Therefore, people associate revival with healing because their heart and mind are turned toward Christ in a renewed relationship, and they again experience the abundance in this gift of life – the blessings of being right with Christ. They’ve returned to Jesus Christ, their first love – Revelation 2:4.”
Thus, a healed land is a land right before God, secure in Jesus Christ. A land hungering and thirsting for righteousness. A healed land here on earth still has physical sickness. This is earth, not heaven. God’s will for people varies, and what He allows – as hard as it is – people are able to rejoice in Him and point to the Savior of their soul, knowing they are right before Him and this is the time to shine the light of the glory of Jesus Christ. Jesus is returning. Heaven is real. Right now, as we walk this earth we can learn more of Christ, so that our eyes are opened to Him in the everyday.
My book, Revival of the Hearts, is one Christian bible commentary among many, opening eyes to the depths of Scripture and the amazing truths of Jesus Christ. I break down 2 Chronicles 7:14, discussing the points of the verse in different chapters, drawing on other Scripture verses to illuminate the meaning of the statement God made to Solomon. It is available on Amazon.
Will you pray with me?
Abba! Thank You for this day. A day to cherish for sure. Teach us to number our days, Lord, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. We want to walk as Jesus walked; righteously and in line with You, doing the will of our Father. You see all those today, who desire You and so I pray they encounter You in some way. You meet every need so perfectly. I love Your perfect knowledge of Your own. It’s comforting, as we rest in You. We ask for Your will to be done, King, here on earth. Praying Your word is lived out by Your own, as they seek to shine the light, giving glory to You. May we bear much fruit – John 15:8.
You see those suffering from physical illness and so we ask for Your healing touch. You tell us in James 5:15 that the prayer of faith saves the sick, and so we pray in faith believing You to be true to Your word, and we thank You in advance. You know exactly what You have called Your people to and we simply want to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ for Your honor and glory. I pray Lord for Christians to stir up their gift, stepping out in faith, trusting You. I’m reminded of Psalm 33:15 – You made our hearts, so You understand everything we do. You created us for a purpose. A purpose in line with Your master plan. Lord, we pray as Moses prayed in Psalm 90:17 NLT, “May the LORD our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.