I was shaking and had the chills. My vision faded in and out. The living room was on the second floor, and as I staggered up the stairs, I wasn’t sure that I would make it. I collapsed on the top stair, not moving, trying to will the dizziness and nausea away. I somehow managed to drag myself onto the couch, where I lay, every muscle in my body shaking. I was having convulsions. I tried to stop myself from shaking so hard, but when I tried to control my limbs and chest, my teeth began to chatter and my head throbbed. I tried to ride it out. Instead of getting better, it got worse—and I was home alone.
The need for healing, great or small, at some time or another, is universal. That’s just a fact of life. And that’s probably why Jesus spent so much of His time on earth healing the sick. The four Gospels are full of accounts of miracles of healing that Jesus performed—lepers were cleansed, the blind received sight, the mute talked, the lame walked, and the dead were raised to life again. “Great multitudes followed Him,” we are told, and He was “moved with compassion” and “healed them all.”1
Every so often we read or hear about some happening that so completely defies explanation that the people involved are convinced they have been part of a miracle.
For the rest of us, it takes faith to believe those accounts—faith that miracles are possible, as well as faith in those giving the accounts. But faith has its rewards. If we can believe that “impossible” things have happened to others, then perhaps we can believe that they can happen to us too. The French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) called miracles the “lightning strokes of God.” There’s no “perhaps” about a lightning strike, especially to one who is standing on the spot where it hits! Lightning is powerful, and it happens often—about 100 times per second in as many locations around the world. I’m sure that if every miracle were recorded they would far outnumber lightning strikes. What makes me so sure? I’ve yet to be struck by actual lightning, but I’ve experienced many “strokes of God.”
The Bible is full of amazing stories of how God protected His children who looked to Him when things couldn’t have looked worse—stories that can strengthen our faith that God will also protect us. Here are a few that have encouraged millions down through the ages.
The great escape
We usually think of things that are beyond our comprehension as supernatural or miraculous, but those things aren’t supernatural to God because He operates in the spiritual realm where everything is “natural” to Him. There is nothing that’s impossible for God.1 A lot of things God does are beyond our power and grasp of things and what we consider natural, so when they happen we say they are supernatural. But with God nothing is impossible, so nothing is supernatural to Him.
God can do things that are contrary to what we consider His natural laws. When someone is healed of an incurable disease, for example, we call it a miracle because we’re seeing the evidence or manifestation of some of God’s laws that link the spiritual and the physical realms—laws that we know little about.
Pull over at the next gas station!Jesus spoke to my mind very clearly.
“I don’t need gasoline,” I argued. “Besides, the gas will be cheaper in Stuttgart. I’ll be there soon.”
Tankstelle, 3 km.The sign announcing the next highway service station flashed by.
Pull over at the next gas station!
“But Lord, I’m tired and it’s already 3 am. I’ve got to get home. If I stop now, I’ll lose another 15 minutes and ...”
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do.”1—Jesus
I had gone for a drive with friends one evening, when all of a sudden our car died on the highway. We couldn’t make out what was wrong with it, so two of my friends went for help.
Born and raised in a small Ukrainian mining town during the Soviet era, I grew up in an atmosphere of atheism. One day I came across a book titled Not by Bread Alone. Being an avid reader, I read it in a single sitting. The book offered a simple plan of salvation, followed by a prayer to receive Jesus as my personal Savior. The concepts of God, faith, and prayer were all foreign to my thinking, but something about the book captivated me. When I repeated the prayer, I had a feeling that was both marvelous and a bit scary, as though my soul was being elevated to the ceiling.
Several years later I left my hometown to study at the state university, and there I met members of the Family International who led me from A to Z into a life of faith and service to God and others.
Jakarta, May 13, 1998
Caught in the heart of citywide riots that had been sparked by anti-government student demonstrations, God was our only defense—but He was strong enough! What could have turned into trauma and tragedy for us became instead a thrilling testimony to the power of God.
Our third-story apartment doubled as housing and base of operations for our volunteer work. In the previous few days we had left only for emergencies. “Have you heard the latest?” someone whispered. We kept our voices low, as we didn’t want to upset the children. “Crowds are rioting all across the city!”
The safest place in the world for you is close to God and where He wants you to be. No matter where that is or what’s against you, He will keep you. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”1
God has promised to protect His own, but has anything bad ever happened to you since you’ve accepted Him into your heart and life? Has the Lord ever let you suffer in some way through an accident, affliction, or other trouble?