There are many discussions going on these days concerning God and modern day miracles. There are various beliefs on whether God heals in this day and age. There are questions about whether gifts of the Holy Spirit like speaking in tongues, prophesying, and healing went away when the New Testament apostles died. I am going to address one of these areas from a recent personal experience. I believe you will come out of this post with a clear understanding of where I stand on the subject of modern day miracles in the form of healing in particular.
God has been working in my life over the past few months on the subject of healing. It was on February 14th of this year during my son’s scheduled visit to the cardiologist for a sedated echo-cardiogram that we were told that Caden would need open-heart surgery to repair a Supra Valvar Aortic Stenosis. The surgery was needed soon (in as little as 3-4 weeks) due to the seriousness of the condition. That message came as a very big surprise. We had seen our son through an open-heart surgery once already when he was six days old where they repaired three major defects with his heart. We almost lost Caden during the events associated with the first surgery and that scared me. This diagnosis was different. This time I was even more scared. I am sure that the bond that had grown between Caden and I had a lot to do with my emotions, but this situation was weighing more on me than just about anything I have ever experienced.
I didn’t know what to do. I got agree, sad, scared, plus about six or seven other emotions that I could not even describe with words. It was a few weeks after the Valentine’s Day appointment that we took Caden in for another test. This test (a sedated CT-Angiogram) verified the original diagnosis. We were told that he would need the open-heart surgery to repair a narrowing of his aorta. The cardiologist offered no other options and he stood firm that this diagnosis was accurate and a serious condition. I believe he used the word urgent. I specifically asked what “urgent” meant. He said he has three basic categories for heart conditions that require surgery. The first is elective or recommend surgeries that can wait for an relatively undetermined amount of time. The second is urgent. That means that the surgery is not an option and that the condition may become life threatening in a short amount of time if not repaired soon. The third is emergent which means that the patient need surgery immediately or they may die at any time. The cardiologist was so certain about Caden’s condition that he had already referred his file to the heart surgeon for scheduling of the surgery in the next non-emergent slot.
It was during this time that my emotions got even more intense. I started questioning God. I had been taught and had learned from my own study of the Bible that God could heal Caden. I thought that I believed it, but I also thought that I needed to do something to get God to heal Caden. I thought there was some unconfessed sin that was in the way of Caden’s healing. I knew I had plenty of sin in my past and I must have forgot to ask forgiveness for one of them. Maybe I had not forgiven someone that had wronged me in the past. I could not figure out what God wanted from me. What did I need to do? What did I need to stop doing? Was there some unconfessed or unrepented sin that was keeping my son from being healed? What needed to be done? I begged my friends who believed that Caden would be healed to tell me what needed to be done in order to see that healing that we all believed in and had been praying for to be manifested. They could not tell me exactly what needed to be done even though they wholeheartedly believed the healing would come. For some reason believing in God and his healing ability was not enough.
“4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians’s 12 4-7 (NIV)
So what does a person have to do in order to see God’s gift of healing to be manifested in their life? A common answer to this kind of question is something like, “we will all be healed when we receive our perfect body and join Jesus up yonder.” Another popular answer is “there is no promise of modern day healing, God stopped healing like that after the times of the disciples.” I knew that these were answers that many people including many pastors used due to ignorance or they just didn’t want to tell people what they believed because it might give them a image as being a radical Christian. I spent weeks searching for answers after the diagnosis of my son. I must have talked to a dozen different people who I considered to be Godly counsel. At one point I got down on my knees with my face buried in the floor crying like a baby and begging God to show me what I needed to do to receive the healing for my son that I believed in.
I was at the end of my rope. While God was being very creative at answering prayers to some serious financial needs in our family during this same time, I just could not from my answers and get past the emotions that were boiling inside of me over Caden’s heart diagnosis. I had asked everyone I knew to ask how to receive God’s healing power for my child and no one was giving me an answer that made any sense. I found the most influential and convicting information advice coming from within a small group of believers who gather at my house every Sunday night. Our meeting is sort of like a small church service. We all attend different Sunday morning church services for different reasons but we all seek a deeper understanding of God and how to better serve Him. One member of the group responded to my questions in a way that made me feel like it was all my fault that God was not healing Caden. What he said and what I heard were not exactly the same thing, but the gist of the end result is that he was right, there was something wrong. It was about this time that I went to a faith conference with some of my small group members. I heard some great messages from Jerry Savelle, Creflo Dollar, and Charles Capps. I had also been spending all of my commuting time between work and home listening to other pastors as I still do today. At that time I was listening to a series of sermons on Peace by Charles Stanley. All of these teachings and all of my questions along with my own journey through the Word of God landed me at a point where God showed me the answer. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had finally done what I needed to do for my son to receive from God the healing that we had been asking for all along.
Jesus said in Mark 11:24 …whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (NIV) This scripture came up again during the faith conference. I say it came up “again” because I landed on this scripture in my daily Bible reading during the first week of March. What I did not fully understand until this time was the true meaning of the word “believe” as it applied to this situation. To “believe that you have received” is to have faith in God as if He has already given it to you. This level of faith is like the faith you have when you put on foot in front of the other while walking down the sidewalk or across the floor of your house. Most everyone takes these steps as they walk on the floor or ground with complete faith that the surface will be there for their next step to rest on without ever looking down. You move forward when walking without concern for the consequences of the next step because of your faith in the surface being there. Now, what does that kind of faith look like when working with God in matters of healing you or your child? The answer: You have to surrender to God the control of the situation to the point that you are not concerned with the next step. “You” the one calling on God for a miracle have to relinquish all of your concern for the possible outcomes of the situation and trust God. For me this meant that I had to be okay with whatever God did concerning my child. I had to give up my desires for this child’s life in exchange for God’s desires for the life of this child.
The heart surgeon took a look at Caden’s file and decided he wanted a heart catheter done for diagnostic purposes. The surgeon’s secretary called us and said that the cardiologist would contact us in a few days. This was the first time that anyone mentioned a heart catheter. The cardiologist did call within 24 hours and told us that the surgeon wanted some more information on Caden’s anatomy in that area of his heart. There was some concern about the proximity of the coronary arteries to the area where the repair of the aorta was needed. Three days later we had Caden in for the heart catheter.
The cardiologist who performed the catheter came out to see my wife and I in the waiting room. This is when God gave me a front row seat to his miraculous healing power. The cardiologist proceeded to tell us that he could not explain why, but Caden did not need open-heart surgery. There was no Supra Valvar Aortic Stenosis found during the heart catheter. He told us this with what seemed to be a bit of caution. He even commented that we were taking the news rather well. As the cardiologist explained his findings, Sherry and I just grinned from ear to ear as we looked at each other. The doctor must have thought we were crazy. He explained that many parents would get upset after going through weeks of believing that our son was in need of urgent surgery. Sherry told the cardiologist that this was an answer to prayer. Sherry and I explained that this news was not that surprising to us at all.
We asked in for healing in prayer, believed, and then we received. Praise God!!! The LORD has done what he promised.
Read about another recent experience with God’s healing power by Jay Adkins.