I Believe in Miracles by Larry W. Peebles January 27, 2017 17.02
For the skeptic, this article might be a challenge. For the believer, this article is intended to encourage. The story I am about to tell comes from the follow-up reports we continue to receive since our last trip to India (see “First Impressions”- dated 11/18/16 on our website archives at thykingdom.com). The Bishop of the Christian churches we connect with in that country relayed this story directly from the local pastor of one of the small home churches that was involved in our meetings.
A Hindu woman was invited to attend the meetings described in the “First Impressions” article in November. Surprisingly, she came to all three of the night meetings. We do not know why, but perhaps she was intrigued by the obvious lack of tropical rain on our meeting grounds in spite of surrounding downpours from the hurricane to the east in the Bay of Bengal. She, along with thousands of others, was able to walk to our meetings without being drenched, sit on dry ground, and see that our outdoor lighting and equipment remained dry at the meeting site. Our vehicles were drenched as we drove to and from the meetings each night, so I can attest that there were heavy rains not far away. In any event, and for whatever reason, she came to all the meetings to hear about the one true God, and to hear of Jesus and His love for her.
The third and final night meeting began with powerful praise and worship. The Gospel message was impactful and ended with prayer for healing. Everyone was asked to put their own hand on the part of their body where they had pain or sickness, and we prayed God would touch them with His healing power. The woman had been diagnosed with cancer of the uterus, confirmed by tests done by her doctor. Her affliction was noticeable because of her protruding stomach. She had no insurance, but rather was saving her money for the necessary surgery. She placed her hand on her stomach as we prayed. She immediately felt what was described as heat on her hand and on her stomach. She said she felt as though fire was burning on both her hand and stomach, yet she could not or would not remove her hand. This continued for a long while until it finally subsided.
The next day she awoke to find the swelling in her stomach gone. She returned to her doctor as soon as possible for a check-up. He was furious with her because he thought she had the surgery performed by another doctor. He was quickly able to tell that there was no incision, and after testing her again, there was no cancer. Her body was free from cancer. She had been healed by the One True God.
The pastor who relayed the story to the Bishop had a small house church immediately behind the grounds where the meetings were held. The woman came to his church, and received Jesus as her Savior and Lord. She became a believer, and now regularly attends the church. When we were there in late October and had dinner at the pastor’s home, the church had about 40 members. This woman’s testimony, together with the other things God did during and after the meetings, has caused this small house church to grow to over 300. Other home churches in the region are reporting similar growth. The name of Jesus was exalted, causing Christianity to explode in the area. Remember, all of this happened in a country where only an estimated 2% of the population is Christian.
I know the stunning amazement and profound humility and gratitude the woman felt as she was touched by God. Years ago I personally received a sudden and dramatic touch from God that healed my back injury. In fact, I was asked to share that very testimony during the meetings as a witness to God’s incredible love and care for His children, and as a demonstration of His power to change their situation. He does hear prayer, and He knows the needs of His children.
Answer to prayer comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is sudden and dramatic, like the woman’s cancer and my back injury. Sometimes the answer is not what we anticipated, or does not give the result we were asking for. Some time may pass before we see the answer. God moves and operates outside of time, as He is eternal (the beginning and the end of all things). Some answers we may not see until we get to Heaven. No matter the timing or the result, God answers prayer. When it is sudden and dramatic, we most often refer to that as a miracle. A change or medical healing that takes place over time is no less a miracle.
God answers prayer regarding large as well as seemingly small matters. One day after school my oldest grandson was off campus working on a video project with two of his classmates. All three had taken off their backpacks and set them on the ground so they could be free to shoot the video for class. When they finished, they returned to find only two backpacks remained. One backpack had been stolen—my grandson’s. He is an excellent student-very responsible and conscientious, but in that moment when he was absorbed with completing the project, he took his eye off his backpack and it was stolen. His school computer, his favorite spare jeans and flannel shirt, his cap, some food, and his wallet were all gone, along with a very nice substantial backpack his grandmother and I had given him. He was heart- broken. He stayed until after dark to finish a police report so he could account for the computer the next day with the school. When we learned what had happened, my wife and I immediately prayed. We prayed the school would understand and give him another computer without charge. We prayed over his anxiety and sadness at the loss of the other items, especially his wallet and driver’s license. I felt a strong urge to pray a bold prayer for a miracle–the return of the items. I asked that the items would not be a blessing to whoever stole them, and that person would have no peace until they were returned. I sensed an inexplicable confidence that God was going to do something.
The school issued another computer without charge, and my grandson pulled out last year’s worn backpack to take to class. He began the process of requesting a duplicate driver’s license. The sting of being stolen from was still there, and the whole incident left a bad mark.
The next week, the school called him into the office. His backpack had been anonymously turned in to the school. His computer was in the bag, along with his jeans and wallet containing his driver’s license. The food, the cap, and the shirt were the only items missing. My grandson reasoned that someone who was cold and hungry took the shirt, the cap, and the food. He was consoled with the thought that perhaps they needed it more than he did. The flannel shirt went on sale after Christmas, and was replaced for five dollars. The cap can be replaced when he comes to visit this summer, as it was from a waterfalls state park gift shop near us, and had special meaning from a previous summer. God provided a miraculous answer no one would think possible—the return of the stolen items that really mattered the most.
God is really into the details of our lives, and everything matters to Him. Cancer, back injuries, and a student’s backpack all matter. Our eternal lives matter. Jesus’ ministry was filled with many miracles, as evidenced in the New Testament accounts. John 21:25 says “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 20:30-31 tells us why-“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” God has no limitations on what He can do, as He is infinitely powerful. He does not do the ordinary. Everything He does is a miracle. Psalm 72:18 says-“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” (KJV).
I believe in miracles. I believe that nothing is too difficult for God, and that He cares for His children. Mark 11:22-24 says that if we ask in faith without doubting, God will move mountains on our behalf. If you need a miracle today, ask God. If you do not know Jesus, ask Him to miraculously reveal Himself to you today. It will change your life forever. Ask my grandson or ask the woman healed of cancer if this is not the case.