Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One of the "All Things"

My family believes in divine healing. We've experienced it many times. My grandparents received many miraculous healings from God, which are recounted in my book, Frontiers of Faith.

As a young teenager, my mother lay dying of mastoiditis, a severe infection of the bone behind the ear that resulted from a middle ear infection. God healed her in answer to prayer. Years later, when she experienced an attack of gall stones, after prayer, she had no more attacks.

In 1972, when the doctor told my mother that she needed major surgery, she refused, deciding she would trust the Lord to heal her this time too. After months of hemorrhaging, though, she became weaker and weaker. Why didn't God heal me? she wondered, as she finally submitted to surgery.

At the time, my parents were pastoring a small church in Valdez, Alaska. To have the surgery, she had to travel five hundred miles to Fairbanks. Her hospital roommate, upon learning that Mother was a pastor's wife, began to tell her about a ministry need at the Pioneer Home in Fairbanks. Her mother was a resident, she said, and no one ever came to the facility to conduct church services. My mother began to pray that God would send someone to minister to that need.

Little did she know at the time that within the next six months, she and my father would move to Fairbanks. As soon as they were settled, Mother went to the Pioneer Home and offered to hold services. She was told that she could not read the Bible or quote Scriptures to the residents but she could play the piano and sing whatever she wanted to.

What they didn't know was that my mother not only played the piano and had a lovely soprano voice, but she also wrote songs. So she set the Scriptures to music and sang them. Many lives were touched. In the two years my folks lived in Fairbanks, Mother led many of the residents to the Lord, and she was asked to sing at many of their funerals.

Through that experience, Mother came to understand that sometimes God allows His children to go through hard times, even surgery, to work out His purpose in our lives and in the lives of others. If she had not had surgery and met her roommate in the hospital, she would not have learned about that need in the Pioneer Home that she was uniquely gifted to meet.

Didn't God promise in Romans 8:28, 29 that "all things [even surgery] work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose"? How has God proven this verse to be true in your life?

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