Listen to this devotional:
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (KJV)
Hebrews 11:1 – Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. (CEV)
Exodus 15:26b – I am the Lord, who heals you. (NIV)
In 1996, I became so ill that eventually I had Red Cross homemaker service and used a wheelchair. Slow death was my future. In desperation, I asked people of the church to pray for me. My husband prayed. Today, at age 58, I do paid work two or three days a week and live independent of medical aid. God gave me healing. It came by way of a faith relationship with the Lord who heals. It was not a quick fix, but gradual improvement. Almost fourteen years ago, I began a day-by-day journey that continues.
The turning point from slow death to full life happened in the summer of 1997, when I believe that Jesus spoke to me directly through John chapter 5. That morning when I read the passage in my Bible, the words Jesus spoke to the man at the Pool of Bethesda who had been an invalid for 38 years "jumped" off the page. I "heard" them:
John 5:6 – When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" (NIV)
From then on, I deemed insignificant any symptom contrary to my "Yes!" in response to Jesus' question in that Scripture, "Do you want to get well?" Over the years, the symptoms melted away.
The experience of hearing directly from Jesus revolutionized my faith. I moved to a "now" kind of faith, real hope where I was sure of what no one could see. I was healed. Jesus called me to live! Jesus' words set me up to expect wellness. The prayers of others helped me to be ready for this faith. Since then, daily in faith, I search the Scriptures for wisdom, and I pray. A major benefit of the conversations I enjoy in my private prayer and Bible study is His guidance. My faith helps me seek, find, and celebrate His every blessing so that I may share His blessing with others.
Romans 10:17 – No one can have faith without hearing the message about Christ. (CEV)
I "heard" because God, in His profound mercy, hooked my attention on that summer day.
After this event, a Ziggy cartoon was published which I posted on my bedroom wall. Ziggy, standing with his back to the reader, was backlit by a sunrise filling the horizon, casting a long shadow toward the reader. Ziggy's face peered over his twisted torso and shoulder. The caption read something like, "When all seems dark, maybe you need to turn and look in a new direction."
Prayer: Father in heaven, we ask in the name of Christ Jesus that You would lead us to a "now" kind of faith. Make us ever-expectant of hearing You speak to us, and make us sure of Your merciful lovingkindness. For Your honour and glory, may we give effective witness to Your powerful, living presence in creation. May we hook the attention of others and direct them to You. Our hearts rejoice in gratitude for Your every good and perfect gift. Amen.