I’ve seen it. I’ve seen God intervene in “hopeless” situations. I’ve seen families, ours included, told to prepare for a loved one’s imminent death. I’ve seen that person get up out of their hospital bed in the ICU and go home. I’ve seen it more than once, and on this last day of the year, the day for counting blessings, I thank God that this year he allowed me to see it again.
I’ll leave the telling of details and the giving of evidence to my friend when she is ready. I have also learned that people who believe God no longer intervenes in our lives with healing miracles tend to dismiss the documented proof anyway. Even when our daughter and son-in-law included the testimony of a doctor who was involved in his case in their book (While He Lay Dying), some people disregarded it, thinking there must be another explanation.
One person said, “Okay, he got better this time, but who’s to say he won’t get hit by a bus tomorrow?” Another, who couldn’t handle the truth because of her own disappointment, said, “Sometimes I think we give God too much credit. Sometimes these things just happen.”
Believe it. Don’t believe it. It’s not my job to convince you. It’s my job to give God the glory and to thank and praise him for his goodness.
I hadn’t seen this friend for at least three years. When we attended the same church, she gave me a ride home from another city where we had both been visiting family. We had a great time. I knew she wanted children and we prayed about that. Life changes resulted in moves and being in different circles, but I saw the occasional Facebook post. I was happy to see God granted their prayer for children.
The day I saw her post asking for prayer for their little boy I knew somehow that God was going to answer again. I think sometimes he gives us a gift of faith for a specific person. The basic facts were these: the child’s body was overwhelmed with a lung infection and then sepsis, treatment had been unsuccessful, his heart stopped for four minutes during last ditch surgical intervention, the parents were told to say goodbye, they were on the other side of the world in the same country where I support a child whose dream is to someday live in a house that has a real cement floor.
I remember a friend who is a physician telling me that one of the hardest parts of practising medicine in an isolated area is knowing that the advanced technology that could have saved a patient is far away in a teaching hospital in a big city. She told me about the time her patient with a severe case of the flu was saved with a heart/lung machine that was not available in most places. When our son-in-law was at his lowest and we were told to say goodbye, he was too fragile to be transported to a city with such technology. But God intervened anyway and miraculously saved his life.
At first, I prayed for an ECMO machine for my friend’s child, then stopped because I let the limits of my logic get in the way. I didn’t think a bypass machine would be an option in a less developed country. If small cities in Canada didn’t have them, I thought they probably didn’t have one where this family lived now. I kept praying for a miracle and invited my Facebook friends to join. Bless them, many did, and kept up with bulletins.
This is where my ignorant assumptions needed an adjustment. A hospital on the other side of this huge city not only had an ECMO machine, they had one that was portable. They were going to attempt to use it and transfer the little guy to the larger university hospital. It was a risky mission. The mom told us that vehicles in this city were not in the habit of letting ambulances pass them. Traffic is a major problem. (I’ve seen the videos. Yikes!)
They needed to move quickly. One of my Facebook friends (who I’ve never met in person and who lives on the other side of Canada) said that while she prayed for the child, she had an image of angels parting traffic ahead of them to get him there. We prayed for rapid transit.
The next morning, I checked Facebook on my phone as soon as I woke up. My jaw dropped and tears came to my eyes when I saw a video Mom filmed from the front seat of the ambulance. Traffic, which was extremely heavy, parted like the Red Sea ahead of them and the road was clear. They made it in record time.
The little boy recovered much more rapidly than anyone thought possible. He awoke from the coma without any brain damage and was soon home riding his favourite toy.
The beauty of many people joining to pray is that no one person can take credit. I am so thankful for advances in medicine and don’t believe a healing using modern medical methods is a second-class healing, but medical people face limitations all the time. It must be so hard when they have to say, “I’m sorry. There is nothing more we can do.”
In the end, all healing is from the Designer of these bodies.
Sometimes he intervenes in a totally miraculous way, sometimes he speeds ups the healing process, sometimes he becomes people’s keeping power through pain and testing and, I believe, sometimes he sets people free from suffering by allowing them to step out of their broken bodies and into his presence.
I don’t know why some people are healed by miraculous intervention and some are not. I only know that those who pursue the healing Jesus’ stripes bought us see a lot more miracles than those who comfort themselves with a self-protecting theology formed by disappointment. No matter the outcome, when we continue to draw closer to the One who loves perfectly, our relationship deepens.
On this last day of the year, when it would be so easy to look back and count losses as I adjusted to limitations of a body that is not yet healed, I choose instead to say I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living with my own eyes. To God be all the glory!
I trust you, Lord! More, please!