“And he [Jesus] went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.” Matthew 4:22-24 (ESV)
The last week and days were filled with sickness that touched not one but all of our boys. Our youngest was first and probably the most ill-affected as his vivacious temperament was drastically brought down to minimal movement, difficult congestion and hours of sleeping driven by a fever knocking on 103 for hours on end. Then, three days later when things were looking up, I got a call that our 2nd child needed to be picked up from school as he suddenly became lethargic with a fever. We ended up calling him “The Carrier” because he was well within a few hours (or day? I’m lost). However, just a couple of hours later, our oldest (who RARELY gets sick) began to complain of a headache that ended up dragging him down to a fetal position and fevers on and off for two entire days. Of course, all of this occurred while I was preparing art to sell for an event that I also had to teach at. I knew something was headed my way to test my faith, but geez… that was a bit much.
As a parent, when you get to that point when you realize “Oh… now, they’re REALLY sick!” it does something to you, especially when you see them suffering as this thing rides itself out. This is why I was and always am thankful for my God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and PRAYER. Without my faith in God, I would’ve probably been in the ER or doctor’s office EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Thank you for Jesus. As I prayed over and with these little boys EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, I became more aware of just how powerful this tool is. No, my babies didn’t get well instantly, but they didn’t have fever-induced seizures due to high temperatures, vomiting or blackouts due to a migraine, or severe pain that may have led them into the emergency room. God gave GRACE in the PROCESS. Never once did I feel “inadequate” or “insufficient” or “overwhelmed” (except for when using the SnotSucker one day made my head spin b/c baby boy was so badly congested … o.m.g.) I can honestly say I was just glad to be present in His presence. To automatically know that I’m unable but He’s able. To be grateful for Motrin and the wisdom He gave man to make it. And to have the opportunity as a mom to be at home. Yes, it PAINED me to see their little bodies suffer with what was abnormal and unwanted; every mom wants to take that feeling away. However, it led to great opportunities for all of us to pray over each other. Serve each other with water or blankets. Speak gently to each other with words of encouragement (“It’ll be okay. Jesus will heal you” sounds THE cutest from a 4-year-old). And even see the power of brotherly love as baby boy laid his head in his 6-year-old brother’s lap who, instead of being weird about it, rubbed his baby brother’s curls (insert the ugly face “AWWWW!”). Thankfully, and finally, with much prayer and laying on of hands in the form of hugs, all are healed and mostly back to their normal selves. We even got a well-deserved beach trip at the end of it all 🙂
There have been other times and with other physical issues, however, where I’ve felt Jesus was not hearing me or seeing me in the midst of everyone’s ailments. Like with the issue of eczema. I’ve felt like God didn’t want healing to occur for whatever reason. That it was one of the forbidden illnesses to be healed (truly leprosy like). I just questioned completely the validity of His Word and what He was recorded to have done while here on earth as stated in the opening verse – “and he healed them”… All? Riiiiight (my honest, sinful reaction). However, at some point, I came to the realization that my time is not the same as His. He is the author of time as well as the author and finisher of my faith. Those people who were waiting for Jesus to heal them probably had many thoughts such as mine as others way ahead were healed. Can you imagine the crowd? Maybe even the sun’s heat? Lines upon lines of people waiting to be healed. And that’s it. At some point yes, they-were-healed. So maybe – just maybe – God’s doing something in the midst of an ailment that is perfecting and finishing my faith unto healing that won’t look or compare to that of another person with the same issue ahead of me. For instance…
When I first started visiting our new church in May 2016, I was invited to Pray-&-Play – a gathering of moms from church who pray while their kids play together. I was new, a stay@home/homeschool mom and saw it as a great opportunity to meet people and for the boys to do the same. The first or second day, we were going around asking how things were and I mentioned being a little down with our baby boy and the eczema on his skin. It was currently out of control – I didn’t really know what else to try or do. At the same time, I told them I was convicted by the Word of God to be more persistent in prayer, like the widow in Luke 18. I asked if they could just pray that I not lose heart and really just contend for wholeness. Well, tell me why the woman who invited me to the group stood there in shock, goosebumps on her arms and gasps from her mouth because her daughter also had eczema related to severe food allergies. It had become so bad, she could only eat from a minimal meal list with special preparations. But you know what? I’m not going to tell you what happened… I’ll let her share the story herself. Welcome, Erin 😊
4/27/2016 (the day after meeting with the elders)
“[My husband] and I firmly believe that God still heals people today in supernatural ways. Not every time we ask, but sometimes he does! In the last 9 months we’ve seen [our daughter]’s allergies worsen and she’s started reacting to foods like oats, tomatoes, and corn, almost anything from a package, adding to the list that she already had–peanuts, tree nuts, whole wheat, soy… So, yesterday we met with the elders (pastors) of our church to pray for [her] healing of food allergies. It was a really sweet time of prayer and I felt God’s love and nearness.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14 (ESV)
“Although we left the meeting and [our daughter] was not healed (she had a small reaction to her homemade dinner I prepared for her), we were really encouraged.
“So, we’ll continue to persistently pray for Her healing and we’re not losing heart.”
“Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 (NIV) *Persistent widow parable follows*
That day, at Pray-&-Play, Erin shared the above details as well as what follows. Only God would have placed this woman in my life because for us to be focused on the same passage of Luke 18 related to the same illness in our kids was MIND-BLOWING. Right then and there, she asked to pray for our son and I as she tells us how the story ends. Below, she updates everyone in a social media post this year what happened literally two weeks before my family started visiting the church last year. Part 2…
“Wanna hear something amazing that will make your day? Last year, I asked you all to pray for [our daughter] with her food sensitivities. She was reacting to so many foods, I was going crazy trying to figure out what to feed her, making pretty much everything from scratch. Well, we prayed with the elders of our church last Apriland within a week of praying, [our daughter] was able to eat just about everything (except for nuts, of course–the life-threatening allergy for her). It will be a year at the end of April since her healing of the sensitivities. Our daughter is still well! Praise Jesus! As far as the nut allergy goes, I think she does still have that one because she had a reaction at a wedding last year. But that’s one reaction in a whole year! Before, she was reacting almost daily. I had tried different diets like GAPS diet, Whole 30, Anti-Candida diet, none made much difference. We’d seen a few holistic doctors, 3 allergists too with little improvement. Praising God now for answering our prayers, YOUR prayers! Thank you for praying too! “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.” Psalm 71:23.
I know none of this was a coincidence -from her miracle to meeting other parents in the church whose kids experienced the same thing and are now healed. As I’ve gotten to know Erin, I am so grateful for her example of faith, love for the Word and prayer life. I’m learning (again) we don’t control God with our requests and demands in prayer. We are asking simply out of a trust that He will in His wise-timing respond. He will give us wisdom with each persistent prayer as well as show us TRULY the Creator that He is. Yes, my baby boy still has eczema flair ups, and yes, I honestly ask God, Why him? But in the same breathe, I fall under the weight of conviction of being jealous and doubting His abilities, then asking for forgiveness and the joy to praise with others as I still believe for my own. It’s in that moment I see just why my faith is still in need of perfecting. Also, that God is working something greater out in my son’s life story in a way that will point directly to who and how God IS ALWAYS GOOD even when it doesn’t feel good.
Whether there is a temporary illness in your family or a diagnosed condition, I pray this testimony encourages you to grow in your faith in God’s Word. As much as I love learning about the human body and having a scientific basis for things, my faith must and still guide my thoughts and actions with wisdom. I have seen too many answered prayers, heard too many stories, and read the Word too many times in my lifetime to deny God His ability to grow my faith through His power over our bodies. It is a struggle considering the magnitude of doubt and “proof” our world resides in, but what an opportunity it is for us as the church to believe and seek to live by the words of Jesus in order to be a light in the midst of darkness, especially in our response and actions related to sickness and disease.
So, I dare you… Pray and Believe. Then feel the grace of God in YOUR process as He heals maybe more than what is physical… but heals also your faith to see that He really IS Jehovah Rapha.