“Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.” James 1:7
All things are from Him. It’s hard to accept that some times. Instead, we question are we good enough, have we done enough to deserve such a gift or a current blessing that He has bestowed on our life? And then there are times when things don’t look all so “good” and we wonder where He is in all of it…yet “all things come from the Father”. There is reason and perfect timing in everything in the life of a follower.
So many times these last several years I have begged God to make my husband, my marriage like __________. I prayed that He would change him and me and that we would allow our lives to be solely about Him and nothing but Him. I prayed that my husband’s heart’s desire would be to fall in love with Jesus more each day. That he would know that Jesus is enough and we are deserving of His great gift, the ultimate gift…salvation. I prayed that he would understand Jesus amazing grace.
All of these prayers are biblically sound. It is truly what God wants for all of us. But for me, I wanted it right now. Instant. This minute. My time. I often wondered “God can you hear me?”
Oh but His timing ….it literally overwhelms me to tears as I type this. I can look back and see that the picture is bigger than just my four walls. He has painted a beautiful picture and in every stroke His hand is seen. It cannot be explained by any other reason. No one can take credit for it… it wasn’t because of anything I did. And the picture is beautiful, the detail of love He puts into each of our lives. Thank you that you know best Father, that your timing is perfect, that your ways are greater and all things come from you who is never changing.
So Easter weekend….my husband and son take off in a van to head to SOTO (Shepherds of the Ozarks) on a youth retreat. This is a time that is always good for both of them. A time that is filled with God’s word, surrounded by His beautiful creation and lots of fun…I mean how much better does it get?
Except, my husband texts me at [1:30] Thursday afternoon and says his meeting is running late and one of his vehicles and an employee from work is missing. He can’t do anything about it until the meeting ends and he can’t go to SOTO because he has to find the vehicle and his employee.
Now at the time I didn’t see this as a big deal, sometimes life happens and its beyond our control, but now I see this as the enemy. I told him to keep me posted and I would pass the message along to our Family Pastor. So I did.
I waited and heard nothing back for a while from my husband. Around [3:30] he calls me and says he is just done with his meeting and heading to begin the “search.” Our Family Pastor had texted him and they had figured a way for him to come up later. One family was waiting to leave around [6:30] that night and he could ride with them. Everyone else was leaving at [4:00], but it just so happened that this family was waiting on one kid …coincidence? No… all things Jesus!!!
So, within the hour the vehicle and employee were located and it was back on…my husband and son headed to SOTO. Coincidence? NO….all things Jesus.
SOTO weekend is usually filled with a speaker, worship time and then free time for two days. It just so happens that the speaker is the man that discipled my husband for 2 years. Coincidence? NO ….all things Jesus.
This man had spent many hours with my husband teaching him the word, teaching him how to study the word, teaching him how to lead his family, showing him Gods love, forgiveness and grace in his life. This man and my husband have a deep bond.
Friday morning came with its free time and my husband decided to go play disc golf with some boys. To say the Ozarks are hilly is an understatement. Not only were there hills everywhere, the cabin they were staying in was filled with stairs to get into the house, stairs to get to your room, stairs, stairs and more stairs. For my husband this is difficult to say the least.
He had knee surgery about 3 years ago and at the time the doctor told him that in the next five to seven years he would need total knee replacement. In his right leg he literally had no more cartilage, just bone on bone with a bone protruding from his leg. At this current time it had became so bad that most days his pain is more than he can bear. He limps constantly and his days are filled with walking, so by evening he is done both physically and mentally.
The week before, he had attempted to become a part of a medical study for this exact problem and they had told him the Wednesday before he left for SOTO that his knee was too bad for this study. He felt defeated….all coincidence? NO ….all things Jesus.
So to say that Friday free time was going to be “fun” ….not so much for him. By about 5 holes into the disc golf he told the kids he was done and he couldn’t walk any more so he headed back to the cabin. This pain plagued him physically but also mentally and in turn spiritually. There have been times he has thought this was punishment for things he has done.
Later that night after the worship and sharing of God’s word my husband and the speaker were able to sneak away for a few minutes and try to catch up. It had been over a year and half since they had last seen each other. As they began talking and the speaker began to ask him questions about how life was going, he asked, “How are you doing?”
My husband broke down and explained the pain he was in and the defeating news he had just received two days prior. The speaker stopped him and laid his hands on his knees and began to pray. My husband described it as one of the most powerful prayers he had heard in a long time.
The speaker began to ask over and over again…”take this pain from him Father”, “ if it be your will, just take it from him”. “I’m asking you to please take this pain from him”. After some silence and some tears it ended. My husband said they sat in silence but they weren’t alone…the spirit of the living God was among them.
After finishing their conversation they went on to bed. The next morning came and it was time to begin breakfast and loading up the vehicles and trailers etc., which meant many trips up and down the stairs. After about the fifth trip, my husband noticed his knees weren’t bothering him but didn’t give it much thought. It was time to load up and head out on the three-hour ride back, a task that is always daunting for my husband. After hours in the car he can hardly walk.
But this time ….it was different. Coincidence? No ….all things Jesus.
We got home and later that night as he and I sat at the kitchen table he began to tell me about what had happened. The tears flowed …him and me. He knew that as he had gone to sleep that night and God had touched him. He had been healed. He knew that he was struggling in knowing if God was strong enough to handle a situation that was coming to light in our lives and now God had showed him nothing is too big for him.
He knew that in that moment the Father had showed him that He doesn’t just work in “the good Christians lives,” the ones we see as “worthy” but He loves and valued him. Jesus saw him and worthy and useable. He told the youth later that next week as he shared his story, “Maybe God healed me and it’s just for a week or for a month but what he has showed me through this will last a lifetime.” He said, ”Before, I used to joke and say if it was me and a bear in the woods I would just have to surrender and let it eat me because I sure wasn’t going to run, but now I wonder if that bear wasn’t the enemy and I was just throwing my hands up and saying have me, I’m done trying to run, its too hard you can have me. But I can tell you now if a Bear and I were in the woods, I would run. I want to run, I want to get away, and I don’t want the enemy to have any victory in my life.” Coincidence? No …all things Jesus.
We are now four weeks later, he has still had no pain and his “knot” or bone that was protruding is going away. Coincidence? No….all things Jesus. Oh if we only had hours for me to tell you the perfect timing for this in his life, in our lives. It could be no more perfect. I am overwhelmed by the detail God puts into painting a perfect picture of His amazing love for us. I know some will read this and wonder, “How long will that last?“ or, “its too hard to believe” or “was he really healed?” Don’t worry these are all the same doubts and questions I had. But there is one thing I know for sure, more than just physical healing, God has began a spiritually healing in my husband and me that is worthy of His praise.
Thank you Jesus that you are the healer, both physically and spiritually! Thank you that there is power in the name of Jesus! Our prayer has been that God receive all glory and honor from this!! I have to leave you with an old hymn that sums this all up……Love these words!!
“He touched me, Oh He touched me
And O, the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole”
Coincidence ….Never….all things Jesus!!