There is something about the simple revelation of God’s greatness and ability that is central to the faith, and whenever we lose sight of it, we put ourselves in a cage of ineffectiveness and fear. We need to be reminded that He is the God who answers the cries of His children, and that His Kingdom does come, and His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven.
About a decade ago, a man I know very well had just returned from the hospital after praying all night long for the healing of an ALS patient. He was clinging to the promise in Mark 16, “These will be the signs that accompany those who believe…. they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” After all of the contending and praying (he had literally spend over 20 hours with this one suffering man), the ALS patient died, and he was not raised up.
The brother had now returned from the hospital, quite dejected and weary. There was a cloud over his soul, and he felt no spark of faith. Just then, the phone rang, and on the other end of the line was the voice of one of his high school pupils from years back. She told him that her boyfriend had just swallowed a large amount of Aspirin and overdosed, and was in the emergency room with terrible pain. The situation was very serious.
Holding to the promise of God’s greatness, he took his wife along, and went to pray again for healing. As he pulled up to the hospital, a note of faith began to rise in his soul.
Upon entering the hallway, the young man’s grandmother asked, “Are you the one with the power to heal?” She was clinging to a rosary and weeping. The brother answered, “It’s Jesus who has the power to heal. But I believe Him, and He is with me.” Entering the room he found the young man in a fetal position on the bed, breathing with agony, and screaming every few seconds. The brother asked him, “Where is the pain?” “Everywhere!” the young man replied.
The doctors were standing in the doorway with a skeptical look about them. “We’re flying him to St. Louis on an emergency copter. His liver is shot. He needs a new one or things will go downhill from here. You have five minutes.” The brother’s note of faith did not diminish, for he was clinging to the word of the Lord.
He laid hands on the young man and declared, “In the name of Jesus Christ, be healed.” And he walked out of the room.
As he made it to the end of the hallway, the high school friend who had called him came running down toward him. “Oh my goodness! As soon as you walked out of the room, he stopped screaming, started laughing for joy, sat up, and said he was hungry!” The brother replied, “Praise the Lord. Tell him it was Jesus who made him well.” And down the elevator he went.
That young man never did fly to St. Louis for a new liver. Upon examination, the doctors had no explanation for what had happened, for his liver had been made new, and there was no trace of Aspirin left in his body.
The brother who laid hands on this young man was in a despairing condition when the phone call came, but he clung to the word of the Lord, “nothing is too difficult for You.”
We need to be reminded, moment by moment, that God can break in and change everything. Our business is to be asking and believing. We cannot force history to change, we cannot shift a situation, but when we “beseech the Lord of the harvest,” we have the privilege of seeing His Kingdom come, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Do not judge situations and people based on outward appearances. Ask the Lord of the harvest to bring forth fruit from the ground! You may not see it yet, but there will likely be no receiving if you have failed to ask Him. There will be a scarcity of finding if you have done no seeking. And the door will not likely open if you have done no knocking. My soul, simplify your approach to life, and turn to the One who sends the rain.