Over my life as a Christian, I have learned a lot about God. Often I realize in retrospect something He has taught me. I listen attentively to sermons to glean what I can, I seek out a deeper understanding through my own studies. I pray for discernment and understanding. However, it is rare that I am aware of being in the midst of being actively taught something by the Lord.
I recently attended the New Wineskins Mission Conference. I attended two break out sessions on healing. I believe miraculous healing through prayer can happen. In fact, I have received healing twice, once a physical healing and the other healing of a deep, long standing emotional wound. As I sat in the sessions, I decided I wanted to learn more about healing and, even perhaps, how to be an instrument of God’s healing. So, I bought 4 books on the subject.
As I flew back to Honduras, I thought maybe I should start with myself. I have carpal tunnel in both my wrists and thumbs. (Side note to all you avid thumb texters…you will be here one day. As I told a doctor once, I am like a cat – clever but ineffective since I have no use of my opposable thumbs) I prayed with complete faith and belief for healing.
Here is what happened. First of all, the Lord taught me about daily bread. “Give us this day our daily bread” is not just about bread! This is something the Hondurans know very well. As Angel says, “Yesterday is gone, we don’t know if there will be a tomorrow, all we have is today. Live today as though it is your last.” Anyone in recovery understands this concept as well. “One day at a time.” Instead of waiting for a dramatic healing event, I understood the Lord was teaching me to pray for healing one day at a time. All I need is for my hands to be pain-free today. “As Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matt.6:34) So I start each day with a prayer, please heal my hands for today. Tomorrow is another day.
After several days, I realized He was teaching something else. Throughout each day I will have moments when I realized my hands don’t hurt. I say a quick prayer of thanks. Occasionally, my thumb or my wrist will start hurting, sometimes in the middle of the night. I say a quick prayer asking for healing. Within a minute or two the pain subsides. I was pondering this and reflected on the time He healed me physically. I had a bad case of tendonitis in both Achilles tendons. I could hardly walk. I had a huge knot on each tendon. I had just started my ministry here and worried it would severely impact my ability to fulfill my responsibilities. Two orthopedic doctors had examined them and both had said there was nothing to be done. One day, I met an extraordinarily spiritual woman. Suzy introduced her as Sister Lupita, a prophet. I asked her to pray for my ankles, which she did. That afternoon, the knots were gone and I was painfree. It was a miracle! Dr. Jim, one of the orthopedic doctors who had examined me, was amazed that my tendons were totally healed. This was over 8 years ago and I haven’t had a twinge since. I suddenly realized that I rarely think about them or what God did for me. Sometimes I will tell the story to illustrate our miraculous Lord, but mostly I just thoughtlessly enjoy healthy tendons.
This time, with my hands, the Lord didn’t give me a one and done miraculous healing. Instead He helps me one day at a time. This is my lesson – to depend on God when I have needs, to lean on Him in times of trouble, to be thankful at all times for all things, and to walk through this life hand in hand, day by day with Him.
I don’t know how my hands will feel tomorrow but today, despite hours of painting which should have left me writing in pain, today my hands don’t hurt. I talk to God all day, asking for help and thanking Him for His grace and mercy. I think I like it this way best. (By the way, I haven’t opened the books yet!) So pray with me, “Lord, give us this day our daily bread”…whatever that may be for you and take His hand today.