For the past few years I experienced intense pain in my joints that resulted from a bad fall I had when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I had been to too many doctors and physical therapists to count. I had surgery to remove a large lump from my right hand. I took countless medications to alleviate the pain, but nothing worked. Three years later, the pain got progressively worse. I couldn’t get a full night’s rest because I would wake up in pain and not be able to get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. One morning it was so bad, that I broke down in tears and cried out for God to help me.
That’s when it all made sense. I had been looking to the wrong things for my healing. I put my faith in doctors, therapists, and specialists, hoping that their expertise would be enough to diagnose me and their medications enough to cure me. Ask me today if any of those doctors ever had a definite cause or cure and I will honestly tell you that they didn’t.
Throughout the Bible are examples of God’s omnipotence. Since He is my Father, since He is Jehovah Rapha, why hadn’t I sought Him—not just for ephemeral relief, but for actual healing? I KNOW first-hand what He can do, and yet…I hadn’t sincerely sought the help of the Master until the morning that the pain had become so intense that all I could do was cry out to Him.
At the end of March, I decided that on April 1st I would do a five day fast for healing. For five days, I ate fruits and veggies and drank only juice and water. I also prayed without ceasing. While I prayed I sang, “Because of Who You Are (I give You glory).” I felt so close to God, secure in His arms. A number of exciting things happened over the course of those five days. For the first couple of days I prayed for healing. The next two, I was led to stop asking and start thanking Him for healing. On the fifth day, for some reason, I felt compelled to petition God to show me His vision for my life. In 29 years that’s something that I hadn’t done. His vision is so important, and yet, I had never asked. I’ve always just done what I wanted to do and then asked Him to bless it. How backward is that?
My fast revealed the following things to me:
• There is power in my words. If I truly want healing I can’t walk around speaking of intense pain. When someone would ask me how I was doing, my answers were always: “I’m tired. I didn’t get much rest last night. You know my joints hurt,” “I’m ok, but my arms are killing me,” or I couldn’t do this or that because “I’m slightly injured.” If I’m speaking those words, how can I expect God to heal me? The first thing God wanted me to do was trust in Him, speak to my situation, and claim victory. (Proverbs 16: 24, 12:18)
• In addition to my words being potent, there is also power in my actions. I was so used to waking up in pain every morning that I would hold my hand above my head to get out of bed and typically keep it that way until I was alert and able enough to lower it gently with the least amount of pain. I expected the pain and I acted accordingly. On the third day of my fast I got out of bed in normal position—arm straight up—and God spoke to me and said, “Put your arm down. You are healed.” I put my arm down immediately. I didn’t feel any pain. The second thing God wanted me to do was act like a victor because He had given me the victory.
• Again, in the past I visited numerous doctors and they didn’t have any answers or solutions. The third thing God wanted me to understand is that I should not look to anyone or anything else to supply my needs. God is Jehovah Jireh. He is Jehovah Rapha. My first consultation should always be with Him…and He will direct my paths. (Proverbs 3: 6)
• I decided to go to prayer service on the final day of my fast. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have someone else touch and agree with me for healing. When I went up to the altar, the minister didn’t ask me if I had any requests. He just began praying. While he was praying, I prayed about healing—until I started to hear his words. His prayer for me was for God to show me His vision for my life and to bless me in my giftings. He prayed that God would enhance my writing abilities and allow me to use them for His glory. This minister has no idea of who I am nor what I do in my spare time…so for his prayers to be for vision and giftings and writing was confirmation that God heard my prayers. I couldn’t stop thanking God for all His blessings. “Thank You, Lord…Thank You, Father.” I left church with a red nose and puffy eyes, but I also had new, clearer understanding.
• I started blogging while my hands and arms throbbed. Writing had always been something that I LOVED doing. I even majored in Creative Writing in college. In spite of my love for writing, I hadn’t been able to find the time to write anything, aside from my name on checks. Even through the pain, blogging felt so right. I wondered how long I would be able to write anything at all. The ideas just kept coming and coming. They came so quickly that I couldn’t write them down fast enough. When my hands would hurt too much, I would take a break, but I couldn’t wait to sit back in front of the computer. I would even wake up from naps with ideas that I just had to put on paper. On the fifth day of my fast, I realized that had it not been for the aching in my hands I never would have had the thought that I might not always be able to write. Had I not had that thought, I might not have had the desire to use my hands to write about the lessons I’ve learned in my life (with the hopes of giving them to my daughters as guideposts for their own). Had I not had that desire, I never would have started blogging. And had it not been for me setting weekly goals with my blogging, I would never have pushed myself to produce as much material as I have over the past few months. If it hadn’t been for the positive and encouraging responses that I received as a result of my blogs, I might not have asked God to show me His vision for my life. Had I not asked God to show me, I might not have received the confirmation that I am supposed to use my writing to encourage and inspire—I might not have known that my next challenge is to write a book of Christian fiction for teenaged/young adult girls. God had to get my attention some way. The pain caused me to seek Him and listen. Hallelujah.
• Finally, I tossed out my old journals about a month ago (http://loureva.blogspot.com/2011/02/with-open-arms.html). In hindsight, one of the reasons they HAD to go was because the material that was in them is not appropriate for what I am to write. There didn’t need to be any temptation to look in them to gain insight on my adolescent thoughts or experiences. God will give me a fresh word.