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Sickness is Not the Will of God: Part Two

IMG_1950This is the second part of a three part blog series, where I share how my father’s sickness impacted my childhood, and how God used my experiences to call me into a healing ministry…

In my previous blog post I told the story of the day my father died.

(Here it is – https://meetthehealer.com/2017/09/09/sickness-is-not-the-will-of-god/)

No Wheelchairs in Heaven!

Fast forward a few years to a time when I had accepted Jesus Christ into my life. I was attending a christian healing school, because I wanted to learn everything that I could about healing. All of us who were taking part in the training school were encouraged to check our hearts for old wounds caused by our parents – and then to forgive, to let go of any hurts, judgements or bitterness that we had held onto, and symbolically visualise bringing our parents to the cross of Jesus Christ. Making a conscious decision to leave our parents there at the cross, in God’s hands, we were choosing not to hold anything against them in future.

Forgiveness was straightforward for me, as I had already forgiven both my parents for things they had done that had caused me pain in my life. However, when I visualised bringing my Dad before the cross of Jesus, I felt this conflict going on in my spirit. In my visualisation, my Dad was approaching the cross in his wheelchair, just as I remembered him in the final years of his life on earth. It was easy to have peace about leaving my Dad in God’s merciful care. I believed that he was already with God in heaven, and I was relieved that his suffering was over. But standing there before the cross with my Dad, I had this momentous question clamouring inside my head. What would happen with the wheelchair?

The only way this made any sense in my visualisation, was for my Dad to get out of his wheelchair and walk into the presence of God in full health and strength, completely healed and made whole. At the cross of Jesus Christ, in His presence, I knew there was no room for the wheelchair; wheelchairs don’t exist in heaven! The wheelchair must disappear! The strength of feeling I had about this took me by surprise.

The Story of John G. Lake

At this time in my life, I was training to work in the Healing Rooms, and I started to doubt myself, to doubt my motives for wanting to help others to receive healing. Could my desire to see the sick healed by Jesus be a sign of my own unresolved grief over the loss of my father?

One of the healing school leaders was able to not only reassure me, but to speak some words of life to me that day that have remained with me; it was a pivotal moment in my journey of faith. She told me something of John G. Lake’s story; she told me how this man of great faith was compelled to learn all he could about the healing power of Jesus, as a result of the trail of sickness that he experienced in his own family.

“Before my knowledge and experience of the Lord as our Healer, we buried eight members of the family. A strange train of sicknesses, resulting in death, had followed the family. For 32 years some member of our family was an invalid. During this long period, our home was never without the shadow of sickness.

As I think back over my boyhood and young manhood, there comes to mind remembrances like a nightmare: sickness, doctors, nurses, hospitals, hearses, funerals, graveyards, and tombstones; a sorrowing household; a brokenhearted mother and grief stricken father, struggling to forget the sorrows of the past, in order to assist the living members of the family who needed their love and care.”

– John G Lake

Given all that happened in his family, I think John G Lake could be excused for abandoning hope that God heals, but instead he pursued Jesus the Healer with everything he possessed, going to Africa as a missionary and opening up the Healing Rooms in Spokane, Washington, USA, where more than 100,000 confirmed healings occurred in the space of only five or six years. The Healing Rooms became so successful that Spokane became known as the “healthiest city in America.”

Hearing John G Lake’s story was an inspiration to me to always pursue the healing power of Jesus, no matter how difficult the circumstances, even when faced with seemingly impossible odds.

And when I come face to face with the cross of Jesus Christ, when I contemplate how He died and rose again, my doubts are washed away in waves of His love. I believe that His will is to bring hope and healing, and that all things are possible through Him.

Part three to follow…

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Sickness is Not the Will of God

In this blog post, I share my recollections of my father’s illness and death, and how God used these experiences to call me into a healing ministry.

The Day My Father Died

As soon as the guard approached, I knew. The phone call from my sister confirmed it. You were finally gone. Calmly, I got off at the next station and took the first train back in the opposite direction. I wouldn’t be attending any lectures today.

The frozen fields in the sunshine are what I recall. Staring out of the carriage window, the thin, wintry sunlight was weak and pale, with too little heat to melt the hard white frost on the meadow.

“You were already dead to me,” I thought. “I lost you long ago.”

The eyes which attempted to look up and focus, as I spoke to you, stared at me from out of an empty shell of a man. The illness stole you from me, years before you left this earth for good.

My heart felt as bitter cold as the frosty fields. Frozen in a moment in time, my heartbeat stopped the day I heard the diagnosis.

“You mustn’t tell anyone,” we were told. So I kept the secret sickness locked away in the deepest recesses of my heart, together with all the fear, the loss, the pain of losing my Daddy.

I missed you; or at least, I missed an illusion of who I dreamed you might be for me. The dream of a father who would protect me, love me and honour me, as I developed into womanhood, died, too, with the diagnosis.

My femininity terrified me, even more so now, with you gone. Chained to that wheelchair, your crippled body and slurred speech concealed a brilliant mind, the disability robbing you of your true identity. How could I ever know what kind of father you wanted to be? What kind of dreams did you have for your daughters, what kind of legacy would you have left, had the illness not taken you prematurely?

The frosty day that you died is a picture memory, unforgettable in its numbness.

In Pursuit of the Healing Power of Jesus

So many years have gone by. I’m a new creation now, with heart unlocked, led into healing and wholeness through Jesus, filled with warmth and freedom.

Yet I still hate wheelchairs and all the losses they represent.

My father had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a crucial time in my life, as I was entering puberty. I know only too well the devastating effects that sickness and disability can have on whole families.

When I started following Jesus, I quickly embraced Him as my personal Healer, and I started on a journey of learning everything I could about healing ministry in His name. I meditated on Bible verses and stories about Jesus healing people, I listened to healing testimonies, and I prayed for everyone I knew who was sick.

“When I saw for the first time by the Word of God that sickness was not the will of God, everything in my nature rose up to defeat the will of the devil.”
– John G Lake

When I saw that sickness is not God’s will, I started pursuing the healing power of Jesus with a passion. All of my past experiences knitted together into a future purpose, as I heard the call of God and discovered what I was born to do!

Part two to follow…


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Encounter in Jerusalem

imagePhoto by Rob Bye, courtesy of Unsplash.

This is the story of a spiritual seeker, a search for unconditional love, and a powerful encounter with Papa God. The story is true; that seeker was me. 

“You’re a lovely young woman. Your mother must be very proud of you.”

His words struck her like a sledgehammer, causing her heart to jolt violently in her chest.

She took a mental snapshot of the scene before her. The Wailing Wall, the diverse medley of people, milling around under the hot sun, and the middle aged Jewish father, his eyes smiling kindly at her from beneath his traditional orthodox hat.

Why would he say such a thing? She had merely asked him for directions to the Dormition Abbey.

Something about this city caused her head to spin. What a volatile mixture of emotions surfaced, as her senses trembled at the wonderful assortment of sights, sounds and smells.

Anger, cynicism, excitement, joy, danger simmering beneath the surface at every turn. Sleeping under the stars on the roof of the hostel, jostling past the tacky souvenir shops of Via Dolorosa, illicitly walking the city walls at night, taking the early bus tour for Masada sunrise. This city seemed to masterfully combine hate and love, war and peace, trickery and authenticity.

Scurrying away to rediscover the quiet sanctuary of the church, she couldn’t escape the man’s words. Was he a mind reader? She had no experience of anyone saying they were proud of her. She had never been a good, quiet, submissive type of girl; certainly not the kind of girl to cause her mother to feel proud.

Fleeing into the stillness of the church, she sat down, still shaking with emotions she couldn’t comprehend. As the tears started flowing freely, it seemed to her that she was running out of bolt holes. The deluge of pain was becoming uncontainable.

Where was there left to run and hide? Restlessly moving onwards, without direction, wasn’t working. Even if she travelled to the far side of the ocean, settled in a foreign land, reinvented herself again, she knew that, ultimately, there was no escaping herself.

A black robed figure approached her, gently interrupting, checking if she was okay. She guessed he must be a priest or monk. Here was unwanted kindness intruding again. She politely brushed the intruder aside. Solitary tears in this place of refuge were strangely comforting, more desirable than human kindness.

For a few fleeting minutes, she had felt something – or Someone? – reach into a dark place in her soul, bringing illumination and warmth, but… the internalised critical parent was still mightier than hope. When the flood finally ceased, she wiped her eyes, forcibly shoving back into the recesses of her heart any flicker of belief that unconditional love existed.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

It was a few years after the encounter in Jerusalem that she stopped running long enough to look into the eyes of unconditional Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Learning About Love

Transition

What an incredible season I’m in right now. I’m sorry for the lack of blog posts recently. I haven’t found it easy to write, due to a major life transition: getting married and moving to another region of the UK, with all the practical and emotional implications of that, both for me and for my children.image

Learning to love again and to share my life with a partner, after many years of singleness, has been a breathtaking roller coaster ride of emotions. Partnering with my husband, together with God, has been an exhilarating and sometimes painful journey of discovering trust and acceptance.

Occasionally I have experienced flashbacks, where the scenes of former hurts and abuses of trust replayed in my mind. It can be disconcerting when seemingly trivial events trigger old, distressing memories. Thankfully, I have been able to bring the memories to Jesus and receive healing.

Wrist Injury 

Three days after my wedding, I accidentally fell and broke my wrist.

The injury was quite severe, but with a combination of healing prayer and medical help, I was quickly back to normal. My physiotherapist was genuinely surprised at the speed of recovery and the extent of mobility in my wrist for an injury of this type. I’m thankful for the medical staff who treated me, and for the healing power of Jesus.

However, there is a deeper and more profound story that lies behind the physical healing.

History Rewritten

Immediately after the accident, as I sat in the hospital, awaiting treatment, I began thinking about the consequences of my injury. Without hesitation, I started apologising to my husband for causing him inconvenience; apologising for my “stupidity” at having this accident, which meant that I could only do light tasks, and I wouldn’t be able to drive the car for a number of weeks.

Irrational feelings hit me hard without warning. I felt suddenly inadequate, as if I was a useless burden. With my ability to be independent under threat, I felt fearful and out of control. These powerful waves of emotion made no logical sense. My husband was being gentle, kind and supportive towards me, yet a part of me expected him to be angry.

Old memories were resurfacing of situations where I had been rejected, even yelled at, for making mistakes like this, causing me to be on tenterhooks, waiting with trepidation for the all too familiar retaliation.

The retaliation never happened. My husband supported me for the whole time my wrist was in plaster, doing the extra driving and household tasks without complaint.

imageThis touched me deeply, to realise so early on in our marriage, that my husband loves me just as I am. I don’t need to prove myself. I don’t need to perform. He loves me if I’m having a bad day, just the same as if I’m having a good day.

All my old history of performance dependent, conditional love was rewritten in the space of a few weeks.

Love is Unconditional 

This knowledge that I am loved unconditionally has reduced me to tears on quite a number of occasions. Why would my husband love me even on days when I have little to give in return? Because that is the true nature of love: it’s unconditional.

And this love that I receive from my husband is a reflection of what God is like. There is nothing I can do or say to make God love me more, and there is nothing I can do or say to make God love me less. He just loves me, because it’s His nature to love. My security lies within this revelation.

Love: it’s an extraordinary, lifelong journey of discovery, and I’m still learning.

 


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Hope in the Marketplace

When Hope Runs Outimage

As we walk around the town marketplace, having encounters and conversations with many different people, I begin to see common patterns. Loneliness, fear, rejection, pain, and lack of hope.

Often physical illness is combined with past or present emotional trauma, causing people to feel hopeless about the future.

“My Life is Over”

We listened to Graham for some time, as he told us about his various health problems and his life story. At only 62, he was full of regrets, telling us his life was over.

Graham shared with us that he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and if this ruptured, it could be fatal. Surgery was possible if the aneurysm grew slightly larger, but it was a risky operation, and Graham seemed convinced he wouldn’t survive it.

Prayer and Encouragement

Graham was willing for us to pray for him, though he didn’t appear to have much belief that it would make a difference. His whole attitude was that of a man who felt defeated and without hope.

After praying, we talked with Graham for some time, listening and offering encouragement. As we left, I handed him one of my cards, so he could get in touch again if he wished, and I told him I would continue to pray for him.

Seeds of Hope and Faith

Graham has contacted me a few times since. We ended up putting him in touch with someone from a local church, who has been able to meet up with him and offer friendship and ongoing support.

As far as I’m aware, the aneurysm hasn’t yet shrunk or gone away, though I continue to pray for complete healing.

However, seeds of hope and faith have been planted in Graham’s life. He no longer talks as if his life is over, but sounds much more positive about the future.

“Million to One Chance”

In his last text, Graham told me he had just met a man who had successful surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was so pleased to have personally met someone who had been through this procedure and lived. This gave him hope. Part of the text read:

“I know you have been praying. The chap I met was fate, million to one chance to meet him, the answer to your praying. Jesus of Nazareth telling me that I’ll be ok, I reckon.”


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Healing from an Abusive Relationship

imageIt’s a New Day…

Firstly, I want to apologise for not posting anything last month. Generally, I aim to write at least one post each month, but lately, I’ve had some significant life changes.

After many years of being single, I’m now in a new relationship. This summer I’m getting married and moving to another region of the UK.

For a season, my priorities have shifted, as I take a step of faith into a different future.

So, this is a very personal post about my own journey of healing from a previous abusive relationship, and gaining the courage to risk love again.

Manipulation and Control

Living with someone who uses manipulation and control to exert power can cause long term damage. This was the situation I found myself in, and it was a lengthy process for the cycles of guilt, shame and self blame to be completely broken.

Perhaps you can picture the scenario:

He loves me; he loves me not.

He is charming and attentive towards me; he is having affairs.

“I don’t want to be seen with you, if you are going out dressed like that.”

Nothing I do or say seems to be “right.”

He witholds affection, and tells me the problem lies with me; it’s due to my “fear of intimacy.”

When I try to change my behaviour, in an attempt to make the relationship work, he moves the goal posts.

He points the finger of blame at me when he finds situations difficult to handle.

He asks me to cover up for him, even to lie for him.

In moments of intimacy, when I share some of my hurts and insecurities, he initially appears to understand; this is stored up and used as ammunition against me, to confirm that I’m “mentally unbalanced,” and my opinion therefore can’t be trusted.

My emotions become erratic, with extreme highs and lows. I feel close to the edge; my behaviour seems a little crazy at times. I start to fear that I’m losing my mind.

Who am I?

Eventually, I start to forget who I am. My confidence is in shreds. Confusion, depression, feelings of desperation and powerlessness are an everyday feature of my life. The days pass in a blur, as I battle to survive the onslaught of verbal attacks on my character.

Caring for and protecting my children becomes my main focus, which causes more problems, as I’m accused of always putting the children first. My judgement is impaired; I can’t tell the difference between truth, exaggeration, and lies.

After the relationship finishes, it takes me a long time to emotionally let go. Even longer before I’m brave enough to talk with friends and bring the truth out into the light. Longer still until I can read an e-mail from my ex, without feeling fearful.

Severing Unhealthy Ties

It requires two people to sustain an unhealthy, codependent relationship. The person I am now would spot the warning signs and walk away. Back then, I was far less secure, and I engaged in a neurotic process of trying to rescue my ex from his depression and mood swings, and trying to earn his love. This wasn’t a healthy choice on my part. Both of us needed to take responsibility for our personal healing.

When an unhealthy relationship breaks down, the physical connection can be broken off quite quickly, simply by living apart. The emotional and spiritual connections can take longer to sever.

One book that I found especially helpful in my recovery from codependency is “Women Who Love Too Much,” by Robin Norwood.

Forgiveness and Healing of Memories

Choosing to forgive my ex for the hurts he inflicted was an important first step towards healing. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean allowing the person back into your life. In my case, I’ve also needed to establish strong, healthy boundaries, to prevent further manipulation and abuse.

I’ve received a lot of healing through prayer ministry, where the soul ties with my ex have been cut off. I’ve also been able to allow Jesus in to heal specific traumatic memories, so that those memories no longer have power and influence in my life.

Through my relationship with Jesus, I’ve learned so much about unconditional love. I’ve learned to love and accept myself, as well as other people, and to honour the uniqueness of each individual. I’ve enjoyed being single. During my years of singleness, walking closely with Jesus, I’ve discovered my calling and life’s purpose.

Trust Restoredimage

There are layers of healing; I knew that for me, to trust another person in a close relationship again would be the final stage of my healing.

Now I have a relationship with someone who loves and accepts me as I am, who honours my gifting and calling, and is committed to me in a way that sets me free to be me. Occasionally I have flashbacks, as old memories, that were buried, get stirred up. When this happens, we talk about it, pray and hand it over to Jesus.

My new relationship is bringing me into greater freedom than I’ve ever known.

For any readers, who have experienced dysfunctional, abusive relationships, I would like to say:

You are important to God and to me. Healing is possible.

If you would like us to pray for you, you can receive free, confidential prayer, via the prayer requests page.


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Father’s Blessing

Rejection and Fear

As I laid my hands on Julie’s broken leg, praying for physical healing, my heart was filled with compassion, as I sensed the weight of rejection and hurts she had experienced in her life.

Being incapacitated with an injury or illness can cause a person to feel very vulnerable. Losing the independence she was used to, Julie had been forced to rely on the few friends and family members who were willing to help her in practical ways, as she recovered from major surgery to her leg. Most of the time she had felt very alone and unsupported, and fearful about the future.

Julie needed physical healing. But perhaps even more than that, she needed to hear words of affirmation, to be reminded of her value; to be reminded that her life has purpose, that she matters.

She listened intently as I spoke the words that I sensed God gave me to share with her. As I prayed, she felt movement in her leg. There was no evidence of instant healing, but something had certainly happened. I encouraged her not to be fearful; on the contrary, to be hopeful and expectant of good news at her next hospital check up.

Lost Identity

Everywhere I go, I meet people who are hurting. Many of them live outwardly successful lives, yet inwardly they lack confidence. Some have low self esteem, and are plagued with self doubt. Some are more seriously depressed and struggle to believe their lives have meaning.

So many people seem to have lost their identity – or perhaps feel that they never discovered their identity in the first place.

Affirmation

As a mom, I’ve watched in amazement as my children have grown and developed before my eyes. Each child was born with a unique set of character traits and giftings, which can either be positively affirmed and encouraged, or ignored and neglected, or – at worst – even criticised and squashed.

I believe fathers have a special role to play in affirming and blessing their children. This is in no way meant to undermine those of you, like myself, who have been single moms. There is special grace and blessing for lone parents, which I’ve experienced powerfully at times.

There are many reasons why fathers are unable to bless and encourage their children, and this doesn’t have to be due to deliberate neglect. My own father was unable to be there for me as a child, as he suffered a debilitating illness.

This absence of a dad at a critical time in my life caused an insecurity in me, which led me to look for love in unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships. I received emotional healing when I experienced the unconditional love that my Father God has for me, and started upon a journey of discovery into my identity and life’s purpose.

Father’s Blessing

I would like to share the following Father’s Blessing from John Paul Jackson. I pray it encourages you.


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Healing from ME

imageThe following is an interview with a friend of mine, describing her healing from ME, (myalgic encephalomyelitis or encephalopathy). ME is also known as CFS, (chronic fatigue syndrome).

How did you find out that you had ME? What were the symptoms? 

It was my 18th Birthday in October. I crashed out with something that they thought was glandular fever, but the tests were negative.

Then I was involved in a car accident in December, just around Christmas time. And then in February, I crashed completely. I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t stand up, couldn’t do anything; as if my central nervous system said, “I’ve had enough.”

I went with my parents to the doctor, who started to talk about post viral fatigue, and I ended up going to the hospital, where they diagnosed ME. Except for the hospital appointment, I have no memory at all from February to June.

The early symptoms are uncontrollable nausea. I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. I was dizzy, so I fell down the stairs twice. I was sleeping something like 22 hours out of 24 hours a day. Sleep was non restorative, so I would wake up as tired as when I went to sleep.

I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t cope with noise and sunlight. Cricket and snooker were the only things I could cope with on TV, because it was a static picture.

When I was particularly bad, I had a friend who would read “Thomas the Tank Engine” to me and “Asterix,” because I could look at the pictures.

Did you have any kind of treatment?

Only symptomatically, because there was no treatment. So I had something to stop me having dizzy spells and something to stop me feeling nauseous. I had starflower oil and vitamins, because I couldn’t assimilate enough.

So, as a christian, how did it affect your faith?

I was told by lots of well meaning christians that I would get really close to God. The opposite happened. He was miles away. My faith went on hold.

I couldn’t actually cope with it, because I couldn’t particularly cope with human relationships, either. So my God relationship… I knew he was there, but that didn’t do anything, if I’m honest.

I understand your healing was gradual, and you had people praying for you. Can you describe how it happened?

People in our church were praying for me quite a lot in the background. Only a very few people would pray with me in person, because I couldn’t cope with people.

I can remember sitting at the dining table and saying about prayer, and moaning that I wasn’t healed. And my Dad said, “The first question that Jesus is gonna ask you is: What do you want me to do for you? And then: Do you want to be well?”

And I said, “Of course I do.” But it made me really question whether that was true, because at the time I had benefits coming into my bank account, and I was sitting doing nothing, while everyone else was running around for me. And it was only because of this question from Jesus: “Do you want to be well?” that I decided actually I was quite happy as I was.

Then God highlighted the beggar at the Temple Gate Beautiful. (This story can be found in Acts 3 in the Bible). God said to me, “You’re this beggar.” That was the beginning of my healing, because I genuinely realised I was better off well and out in the world, earning my own money, and being able to move around. That’s what turned it around, because my faith levels started to grow.

I was able to return to college, gradually increasing the hours, and then start work for 16 hours a week, gradually increasing to full time work. With the exception of a couple of relapses, where I had to stop and then start work again gradually, I was generally doing pretty well.

The most heartfelt prayer was that I would know when it was done. We were at a church service, and there was a friend there, who had MS, (multiple sclerosis), and we had been praying for her healing.

I happened to be leading worship at the time, and I said, “God can heal you of MS, because he’s healed me of ME.” As I said it, I realised that was the final bit – the completion –  and I knew that I was done, that healing had happened.

I’ve never had any issues since then. I am perfectly well, none of the symptoms have ever returned, and I’ve been working ever since. Mentally, I’ve had to readjust, because my life was like that for so long.

How long were you ill with ME?

Approximately 9 years. Acute symptoms for approximately 3 years.

And how long have you been well?

Over 13 years.

What would you say to somebody who is suffering from ME / CFS right now?

That God can certainly sort it out. That it is not his will for you to be sidelined. It is not his plan for you to be so washed out and so taken out, that you can’t do what you’re put on this earth for. That being healed and being able to walk outside is utterly possible. That God can do it, because he’s done it. You need to agree with him that it’s possible.


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The Gift of Friendship

Every week I meet up for coffee in a local cafe with a small group of friends. We are a diverse group of people, sharing one common thread: each one of us has experiencedimage God’s healing power at work in our lives.

Graham Cooke is quoted as saying: “God heals us 80% of the way. Then he gives us friends.”

Some of my friends have experienced major breakthroughs, in recovering from abuse, mental health issues, or addictions, but they still have to make courageous daily choices to move forwards into a better future.

This is where friendship and community is invaluable, as we support, encourage and pray for one another.

This is a slightly different post today. The following poem was inspired as I sat in the cafe with my wonderful, brave friends, laughing together and sharing stories. I was filled with thankfulness for all that Jesus has done in our lives; for his healing power and love, and for the gift of friendship.

 

Cheating Death

Tales of scandalous grace

Tumbled from their lips

Filling the cafe

With exuberant laughter

 

Aborted suicide missions

And cell doors flung wide open

The self destruct buttons

Of addiction

Exchanged for commissions

 

They talked of angels

And glory dust

And miracles

And the man of sorrows

Praying in the garden

 

Her breath caught

Momentarily in her throat

Silenced at the

Unspeakable mystery

Of love

 

Inexpressible joy

Surged into

Rivers of mirth

Inconceivable redemption

Stories flowed

 

And they laughed

Each one secure

In the certainty

Of a Love

Stronger than death

image

As the year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to thank each one of you who has stopped by to read or follow this blog, or to offer encouragements.

May you be blessed with loving friends, who understand you, share in your journey, and encourage you to be all that you are destined to be.

May you be blessed with love, peace and joy this Christmas, and a New Year filled with hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Biker Meets Jesus

Attracted by God’s Presence

We set up our “healing prayer” sign at a large community event in the city. This time we had a small caravan, providing a welcoming and comfortable environment for people to receive prayer.

As I stood in the sunshine, leaning my back against the caravan, I became aware that a young man, wearing a leather biker jacket, had wandered across and was standing next to me. He didn’t say a word, but he was smiling, looking very much at ease.

Although the young man’s behaviour seemed very unusual, standing so close to me, without any introductions, it didn’t feel uncomfortable. I was intrigued, and I had a sense that he was being “drawn” to us.

This is not uncommon. Wherever we gather to pray, there is often a marked sense of God’s presence and peace in that location. This sensation can be quite irresistible, and people have told us that they don’t know why they stopped to talk to us; they just “felt drawn.”

imageAn Accident and a Bereavement

I introduced myself and learned that the young man’s name was Chris. When I asked him if he needed any healing, he volunteered that he had an old leg injury from a bike accident, so I invited him to take a seat in the caravan, and called over to one of the guys who was with me, so we could pray with him together.

Chris explained more about the accident that had caused his leg injury. The surgery had been successful, but he still experienced pain at times.

The more Chris talked, the clearer it became that his physical injury wasn’t the main reason he had come along to us for prayer; he needed to talk about much deeper hurts.

He proudly showed us his tattoo, in memory of his Dad, who had been tragically killed. He missed his Dad, and he didn’t appear to have an especially close relationship with his Mom. Although he was on the brink of adulthood, the sadness and loss that he carried made him seem like a small, neglected orphan boy.

As my friend and I listened and prayed, we expressed God’s love to Chris, taking the role of spiritual Dad and Mom for a short while. I believe we were able to provide some important affirmation and nurturing, that had been missing from his life. We prayed for both physical and emotional healing.

Chris seemed to be so receptive to our prayers, and not yet ready to leave the warmth of the caravan. There was still some unfinished business…

Inviting Jesus In

“Would you like to invite Jesus into your life?” Chris immediately said yes, with no hesitation. I led him in a very simple prayer, as he handed his life over to Jesus; we welcomed the Holy Spirit, too, to be his comforter and helper.

Chris had already been in conversation with some christian bikers, who also had a stall at the event. He had a few friends who attended a local church youth service, too, so there were people around him to provide ongoing love and support and teach him more about following Jesus. He was drawn to us that particular day, with such a hunger for God, and ready and willing to embrace new life in Jesus Christ.

One year later, at the same event, I spotted Chris in the crowd and asked him how he was doing. His whole demeanour was much more confident this time, as he smiled and told me he was still following Jesus.