A week ago I received a call from my sister, Theresa. Our 87 year old Mom, who suffers from advanced dementia, was found unresponsive was transported by ambulance to the hospital with a high fever. She was then diagnosed with pancreatitis, pneumonia, heart failure, sepsis … I prayed God would spare her from physical pain and wept intermittently over the probable loss of my beloved Mom as many faithful friends joined me in faithful prayer on her behalf.
Not even a week had passed since I had driven the 800 miles home from visiting Mom as I made arrangements to fly back down to Florida.
I continued to cry out to God.
Knowing my sister and her husband were driving across the state to join me, I prayed our visit would bring joy to Mom, and in return, joy to us.
Upon arriving at the hospital, I found Mom lethargic. When I did get her attention, her words were slurred and her eyes, closed. Her husband, Bainbridge, informed me that she had lost her appetite and had been sleeping mostly since her arrival. However, she was not in any pain throughout her ordeal.
I held Mom’s hand and prayed with her over her situation, giving thanks to our Father for allowing me this time with her and for guarding her from pain.
I spoke encouragement and love to her, and soon her eyes opened. She suddenly became very animated. Her eyes brightened and her voice became clear as we prayed and shared our love for each other. In no time, Bainbridge returned with a large milkshake. To our surprise, she drank the whole thing! She remained in a lively state until falling asleep early that evening. The Hospital allowed me to stay with her throughout the night, and we enjoyed many precious loving moments.
During the night, a nurse entered to take Mom’s vitals just as Mom and I were finishing a prayer. During prayer, I had thanked God for his great love for her. Mom turned to the nurse, with a sweet smile and tears in her eyes and reached for her, exclaiming, “Can you believe it? God loves me!”
Later that morning, after a hearty breakfast and PT, it was recommended that she be moved to a rehab facility to strengthen her body in her healthier state (showing no signs of pancreatitis, sepsis or heart failure). We agreed until discovering that they provided no safety equipment or monitoring for someone in Mom’s mental state. So, we rejected their ‘care’ and drove her to her temporary home in Florida. Before leaving the rehab center, Mom looked into my eyes as I held her hand and said, “Thank you for not leaving me here.”
The next day, after a joyful evening with Mom, my flight dictated I leave early in the morning, so my sister and I helped her out of her bedroom and on to the sofa. Mom was alert, smiling and engaged with us as she sipped her coffee. She even sang!
It is a couple of days later, and Mom continues to radiate joy and good health. Praise our loving Father, God, for His grace and mercy!
God is in the business of miracles! I immediately thought of the Apostle Peter’s mother-in-law and the bleeding woman as I witnessed Mom’s transformation.
When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matthew 8:14-15)
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34)
We are to “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). God is real and He responds to our faith! He wants a ‘relationship,’ here and now, with us!
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5;15-16)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
God knows what we hold dear in our hearts. As Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Proverbs 4:23 tells us to above all else, “… guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” For while many say that they are good, Romans 3:23 reveals that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10-12 further states, “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” But, “God made Him (Jesus Christ) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) So, hold Jesus Christ dear in your heart. "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on Him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9)
"This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep His commands and do what pleases Him. And this is His command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us." (1 John 3:19-24)
"Do everything in love." (1 Corinthians 16:14)
God always provides … for Himself. So, in faith we pray and God provides our needs (according to His will – not ours), so that we can reveal the truth of His goodness and love through our testimony.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
(Jesus said,) “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I stand with my Theology Teacher, Dr. Chris Gnanakan, who, when people ask if He believes God still works miracles, says, “Not only do I believe that God performs miracles, I depend on them!”
"Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?" (Psalm 8:1-4)
Thank you, Father God, for your great love, compassion, protection and provision! You are always faithful and true!
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)
“I know where I’ve come from. I know why I’m here. I know where I’m going and I don’t have any doubts about it. You can have that same peace, that same assurance, that same joy by putting your confidence and your faith in Jesus Christ.” – Billy Graham