I was a sophomore at Virginia Tech before my faith in Jesus Christ became more than an inevitable byproduct of being raised by involved Christian parents. I suppose I’m saying I didn’t go out of my way to inject Christ into everyday conversation, unless the situation produced a convenient, persecution-free atmosphere for it. All my friends knew I was a “christian”, some may have even considered me Christ-like. Regardless, I clearly remember the day I accepted the charge Jesus issues believers, to take the message of His love to the world.
As I began to talk about my faith, I quickly realized that it was not something that needed to be defended, simply promoted. Debates and arguments gave way to stories of His love and provision. The best way to shine the light of reality into an unbelieving world is to simply tell them what He has done. These experiences convince me there is something about this man named Jesus.
Our Promise To God
As most young married couples do, many of my wife’s and my early conversations involved our desire to have a family. Unfortunately, when we decided to pursue that dream, our efforts didn’t go as one might plan. The initial result was three miscarriages in one year. Doctor visits and confusion ensued. Despite every attempt to find a cause, it alluded us.
I clearly remember several of my conversations with God during this time. The frustration I felt as a husband unable to supply my wife’s deepest desire, overwhelmed me. Why does God allow His children to endure such hardship? I was reminded of the instance in John 9, when Jesus indicated that some obstacles are in place so God’s power may be demonstrated in our lives.
My wife and I decided to make a very specific request. We prayed that God would lead the doctors to find something they previously overlooked. Further, we prayed that the remedy be something simple, like taking one little pill. We committed to making that our request. I promised that, if He would answer our prayer, we’d be sure to share the story of our miracle with everyone.
We probably shouldn’t have been surprised to get a call from the doctor in the following days. They requested an appointment, telling us they discovered something from an old test. It was found that my wife had a condition that caused her blood to clot at an abnormally high rate. That clotting kept the fetus from receiving an adequate blood supply, resulting in miscarriage. The remedy, one baby aspirin a day.
We were blown away. If you’ve been through miscarriages, you know we felt like we were given a second chance at life. In reality, we were given a chance at two precious little lives. From the moment she began taking one baby aspirin a day, she didn’t having any more miscarriages. She had two flawless pregnancies and deliveries. The Bible says, “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16 NLT) You can be sure they do.
Miraculous Healing In El Salvador
Despite reasonable evidence of miraculous healings, many disagree that such improvement in one’s health should be attributed to a supposed deity whom acts on our behalf in response to our requests. Choosing instead to believe these acts are the result of our body’s response to the power of suggestion, coincidental or altogether fabricated, many miss seeing these events for what they are.
I’ve witnessed spontaneous healings that I can only consider to be miraculous. One such incident occurred on a trip to El Salvador. I traveled there, with a team from my church, to minister to children. Each outing was pretty much the same. We would visit a neighborhood playground or other common area. Once there, we’d do whatever variety of songs and dances and skits our leaders thought would draw a crowd. All of this was accomplished primarily with the aid of recorded tracks, since only a couple of our team members spoke Spanish. As each program drew to a close, the locals we worked with asked people come for prayer.
At one stop, many on our team noticed a young girl on the front row. She cried through much of the program, shifting uncomfortably in here seat. When it came time for prayer, she walked forward. An interpreter explained that she lived with pain in her joints, that didn’t allow her to play like most kids. Her discomfort was obvious during the show and as she stood with us. I remember her face as we prayed. Her confusion was obvious, as we prayed in English around her. Stopping once, to allow a translator to ask if she was feeling better, our team believed God wasn’t done. We prayed again, reaching a point where we felt like something happened.
We cheered and thanked God as we watched her run across the courtyard of her apartments. Noticeably changed, she was encouraged by the translator to tell the rest of her family what just happened. Clearly not by the power of suggestion and without coincidence, I’m compelled to believe her healing came from God. He hears our prayers, and is moved by the prayers of His children.
When God Says, “Go”
I never get tired of being used by God…unless of course it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, unreasonable, costs time or money…what am I saying. This is THE God of the universe working through me to accomplish His will. None-the-less, I balk sometimes, when He says, “go”.
God taught me a major lesson about obedience and second chances at a church service. That night, my attention was captured by a woman who sat across the auditorium from me, in a group of about 1,500 people. Immediately I felt God speaking to me about needs that existed in her life. Specifically, He was leading me to help meet a financial need in her family. I didn’t know her. She wasn’t facing me. Our eyes never met.
I questioned whether this was really a “God thing”. This woman didn’t appear poor. Additionally, I knew I only had a few dollars in my wallet. After chewing on the idea a while, I decided I misheard Him. Still, I couldn’t erase the thought. Eventually, she left. My heart hit the floor as I watched her walk out the rear of the large auditorium. I suddenly understood, very clearly, that I missed an opportunity to be His hands extended.
I prayed, asking God for a second chance. I committed that, if she re-entered the auditorium, I’d tell her God was going to meet her needs, and give her all the cash I was carrying. As soon as I was done praying, she came back into the auditorium. Let me be more specific. The woman who was previously sitting on the opposite side of a packed house, walked up and sat directly across the aisle from me. I had no choice but to approach her.
When I shared the story of everything that had happened in the previous minutes, the woman was astonished. She confirmed that there was a significant financial need in her life. Although I only had a relatively small amount to give her, she told me that I couldn’t know what my words and gesture meant to her that day.
God continues to teach me the importance of moving out when He calls. Although I’m still learning to respond immediately to the needs He reveals to me, I’m encouraged to know He finds me faithful to be used for the glory of His Kingdom.
Check back. More testimonies coming…