Are they true? Does God still heal? In the midst of a deceitful, scary world, is there still room for the compassionate Savior that walked the earth to heal the sick, forgave sins, restored Joy, and fight evil?My quest started at our church. Last Saturday we attended a memorial service for one of the kindest, joyful elders that we know. Her name was Silvia Robertson, and she had fought cancer over a year and was survived by her loving husband Rob. Our church has prayed for her healing, joined cancer walks to help raise awareness and support, and brought meals and helped clean their house when she was just too weak from the treatments. Our church as a whole believes in miracles, but so frustrated with seeing so many sick and feeling so helpless. Since Eric and I have been asked to co pastor we have been excited to try new things. Our best friends have been going to many conferences at Bethel Church through out the year and always wanted some of their speakers to teach on healing at Grace (our church). My husband and I believe if someone is experiencing incredible miracles, why not hear what they have to say and maybe we will learn or at least gain more understanding. So last Tuesday night the first speaker came. His name was Joel Hill. He spoke profound words like:
“I just want Jesus to get what He paid for.”
“If the gospel of Jesus Christ never gave you a sigh of relief, You’ve never really experienced the gospel.”
“When people are holding up signs to judge us, how many people know that’s not the signs and wonders God sent us?”
and , “A smile is releasing love from your face.”
He explained healing is simply bringing heaven to earth. God is Good, He is not looking down at His children in anger, He loves us, He sings over us, He rejoices in who we are. Joel also shared miracle story, after miracle. He had us raise our hands if we had any sickness or pain, and then had us turn and simply ask Jesus to heal and smile at the one we were praying for. Many people raised their hands of notable miracles. And then we went home.
The next day their was one miracle he spoke about that he didn’t actually experience but heard about and said you can find it on the internet. Because I am now Don Quixote on a quest I needed to look it up. The miracle was that 16 people were raised from the dead in Brazil after a horrible flood that took more than 600 lives. I found the newspaper page showing the bodies before and then the sheets folded over with the bodies gone. I read about the amazing story and then thanks to wordpress found a couple of blogs that wrote about the incident. One blog was written from a missionary that traveled to Brazil quite a bit and wrote that some of the facts in the article didn’t match up so he actually traveled to the town and did his own research. You can find out what he discovered on youtube by the way (just type in 16 raised from the dead in Brazil). He went to the newspaper who denied that they printed the article. He asked town folk who had never heard of 16 people coming back from the dead. He asked a minister in the area who said, “I’ve experienced miracle, sure I’ve seen some one raised from the dead before, but this miracle you speak of simply didn’t take place.” But as I watched this missionary seek truth, the truth he found was a village impoverished from a flood. The bigger miracle came after when he admitted from seeing the devastation all around this area, he picked up his life and moved their to set up a ministry to bring a constant supply of food and clothing, and of coarse love and support. I ask you reading this what do you think? Was their actually a miracle in Brazil?
Well this speaker didn’t have all his facts right, but he did speak the truth; God does love us and came to earth to heal us out of His amazing compassion. This truth brought some interesting events to our household this past week. Wednesday my youngest daughter and I were shopping at Hastings I was looking through Dr. Who memorabilia and totally engrossed. I heard her ask something about if she could pray for someone in a wheel chair could they be healed. I said sure. She must have gone from my side because minutes later my fifteen year old came back beside me and said can we go. I looked over to her and she burst into tears. We left quickly as she explained to me there was an elderly lady in a wheel chair and she just hurt for her and if God really is a healer she didn’t want this woman to have to suffer anymore. “I asked her if I could pray for her and I thought she said yeas so I gently placed my hand on her and as soon as I began to pray she yelled at me to get away and leave me alone. Mom she wheeled away looking back at me so angry and disgusted. I will never pray for anyone else as long as I live. I feel so horrible.” Well I’m the one who feels horrible for being so wrapped up in my BBC love for Dr. Who I wasn’t cued into what was going on. I hugged her and told her how sorry I was that I didn’t go with her and how proud I was that instead of stealing or being rued like a typical 15 year old would do, she had compassion for another human being enough to step out and ask to pray for her. More guts than I ever had.
Saturday morning came and my daughter offered to help my husband and I pack boxes for a couple that were moving. Before we left we prayed for them because the wife has a very rare sickness that is life threatening and is in constant pain. I asked Julie (our 15 year old) if she would pray for her. Julie prayed from her heart and called to Jehovah Rapha the God that heals to touch her and when she was done the lady was crying and so touched, hugged Julie and thanked her and before we went she called out wait, and ran back to give her a piece of her jewelry and thanked her so much for her heart. Which in turn restored our daughters heart of courage.
Now it’s Saturday evening and my 17 year old daughter who was raped 2 years ago and been spiritually and emotionally healed from the invisible scars through a Christian counselor and lots of time spent in the loving embrace of Jesus, is about to give her testimony to a group of 6 girls at our home. She has started a support group for broken hearted teen girls. She cooks dinner for them and gives them a safe place where they can share about there experiences and find out What God says about them and how valuable they are. My husband and I went to a movie to give them their own time, when we came back they were all laughing and crying. One girl with tears streaming down her face said I was in a car accident years ago and the pain in my neck has been so severe I have to hold my head and sometimes I can’t even breath if I look up. They prayed for me and the pain is totally gone. I can Breath, and I have no more pain. I am totally healed. Then another girl, cute little blond face all pink and tears smudged all over her face say’s I have, and rattled a whole list of horrible stomach and woman sicknesses I can’t remember except for maybe endometrioses. She was hungrily eating her pasta dish as she spoke, I can eat again. I have no more stomach pains, this feels so good to finally eat without pain. I’m healed. I’m still shaking, can you believe God healed me?! As parents where lining our drive way ready to pick up their girls they couldn’t stop hugging each other and crying, and laughing. Later our daughter told us how many girls opened up and was loved by everyone and supported and then she described they all felt a light rain coming down and they all started laughing and praying for each other, and then girls started shouting they got healed. One girl was literally drenched as if actual rain had poured down on her. Me being a typical mother said,” did you feed them?” Catherine’s response was, “They all said they were starving, but no one wanted to leave the presence of God they were experiencing to take time to eat. I guess they were more starving for God’s love, and they got it.”