When my older sister Evelyn was 16, she suddenly began experiencing excruciating pain in her lower-right abdomen. As the pain intensified, she began running a fever and vomiting. I remember the anxiety and desperation we all felt as my dad rushed her to the nearest hospital.
A doctor in the emergency unit discovered a large gangrenous cyst in Evelyn’s abdomen. The cyst had twisted, cutting off blood circulation and causing the extreme pain. Time sped by in a blur as she was hurriedly prepared for emergency surgery. At home, the rest of us prayed fervently, asking Jesus to protect, comfort, and surround her with His loving presence.
“Let’s have a Christmas party on Christmas Eve,” Yoko Takahashi suggested to her husband one December morning. “I’m sure the children would enjoy it.” Koichi didn’t answer. He just said he would be home late and left for work.
December was usually the most stressful month at his company, and it was especially so this year with the sluggish economy. He wondered if he would be laid off someday, like so many others. Just two days earlier, he had attended a farewell party for one of his colleagues.
Merlin Carothers has held both distinguished and dishonorable titles in his 85 years: AWOL soldier, black marketer, demolition expert, presidential bodyguard, master parachutist, Methodist pastor, army chaplain, civil air patrol pilot. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic.
I never thought I would suffer a life-threatening ailment, so when I was diagnosed six years ago with Crohn’s—an autoimmune disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and for which there is no known drug or surgical cure—it was very hard to accept. I was 24 years old at the time and had a four-year-old son.
All the natural remedies I tried did little to stave off the deterioration. I was in terrible pain and mostly bedridden for four years. At one point I had lost 40% of my body weight, weighed only 35 kg (85 lbs), and was in danger of dying of malnutrition.
A retelling of Luke 8:43-48
One day Jesus was on His way to the house of a man whose daughter was gravely ill. As usual, a crowd followed and pressed around Him. In the midst of the throng was a woman who had been sick for 12 years with a constant flow of blood. All that time she had gone from one doctor to another, but without success. She had spent every bit of her money on doctors and had suffered much from their treatments, yet the bleeding continued.
For the longest time I tried to figure out the hows, whys, and whens of divine healing. I wanted to be able to boil everything down to a step-by-step, one-two-three healing formula so I could say, “If you want to get healed, all you have to do is follow these steps.” But I finally concluded that it doesn’t work that way.
If two people followed the same steps, one might get healed and the other might not. No two people are exactly alike, and God works differently in each of our lives—not only in the matter of healing, but also in our circumstances, the lessons He teaches us, the tests He puts us through, and the blessings He gives.
(By Chuck Delgado, as told to Nyx Martinez)
When I first met a couple of volunteers from the Family International some years ago and they needed a place to stay, I invited them into my home. Ididn’t immediately grasp everything they told me about Jesus, however, and remained skeptical.
Then something happened that changed all that.
I was once asked to pray for a young woman who had been eight long years in bed, a total invalid, pitiful and hopeless. The doctors had finally said they could do nothing more for her.
My husband and I visited this woman and her family, staying with them for ten days and spending many hours in prayer. I kept thinking, Oh Lord, so many people have prayed with her, including some with gifts of God’s healing. I felt very desperate and very small before so great a need.
The day of miracles is not past. God is still alive, well, and working just as powerfully as ever amongst those who trust in Him. He says, “I am the Lord, I do not change.”1
To heal is a small thing for the God of all creation. If He created the body, He can certainly fix it. He says, “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”2