Christians I have met frequently believe in Supernatural Healing. Some friends in the Christian community express a believe that the healing ministry was only for the apostolic era as were gifts displayed in the book of Acts. Generally those of the later state God could allow such at any time and therefore it would not be fair to say that healing and acts of the apostles could not happen.
I attend a church where there is not only a belief in the power of Prayer and the move of the Spirit to manifest Healing but there is an expectation of such. I am not intent on debating theology in this article but will address by personal confession circumstance as witness and some thoughts from conversations with numerous people.
Recently I’ve been asked if I could address a time of healing and write about it. I commented I would not know just how to address the seemingly easy question. One could say you either believe in healing or you do not. It seems if you have been healed you could itemize the moment and manifestation of the healing. Deciding I would give this some thought I now try putting it in perspective. It is difficult to think in narrow terms of the one time or moment. Please bear with me. I cannot think of a time I have not had God’s Spirit with me. Those of you who are not believers will say things like luck of the draw, chance, or fate but will choose not to credit God. I will not only credit God but will go to the extreme when I conclude. I note additionally in childhood my brothers and I were packed off to church on Sundays. We attended a Congregational Church and there had been numerous preachers in the family from my mother’s side. My father was a private person and life had taught him to keep things personal close. My mother never left you wondering what she thought as she would tell you. I think my character drifted more towards my mothers side.
Having attend church and Sunday school I may have come to Christ in my youth but as an adult I made a conscious, intentional and very public profession of Faith at age twenty-six. I had been a believer since I can remember. Even in grade school I was raised in a time when the Bible was read in class and even in our newly constructed Jr. High School the Ten Commandments were posted on the wall at the entry. Many times I stood reading those words and wondering at the God that declared them. This back ground is pertinent as my belief was grounded in the fact that Christ was real and the doubt many have was not present. Only the many unanswered questions I contemplated which is another post.
My thought: What would one consider healing? What is the moment that God moved in your life? My thought goes much broader as you will see. At what point in my life has God not moved would be a more appropriate question. I will recap moments which have had a significant impact on me over the years. In doing I trying to guesstimate the age accurately when they occurred.
- At age twelve my mother and family friend with her children visited the Strike Dam. Having a picnic, including a tour of the dam’s interior. After coming our of the interior mother and friend were taking pictures of us kids. I sat up on a railing above the spill way and the turbines which were stirring the water at an extreme rate. As the picture was take my mother and friend turned away and the other kids did also. I was coming off the safety rail in a black and yellow zone which was intended to warn of danger. I should not have been on the rail and as I went to get off I lost my balance and began to fall backwards toward the water. To this day at age 69 I still have a mental picture of the moment and do not know how my little hands gripped the rail and pulled me upright so I could come off the rail. I just know one moment I was going to fall and the next I was safely down. All others we oblivious of what just happened.
- At age sixteen I had my own car and frequently drove all over with out hesitation. I had been to the mountains in an area of Pine Idaho. I had my brother and a friend with me and we were heading to Mountain Home Idaho. The highway was under construction. The new road bed was being built and was closed to traffic. The old highway was next to it and we had been watching the process for weeks. It was growing dark when we headed down the mountain and it was completely dark when we got to the section with the new road bed. It had a large road closed sign blocking entrance but we decided to try the new road out as it was nice and smooth being finish graded so we were going to be cool and drive it. I was racing down the road at sixty and seventy miles an hour and suddenly had a thought I must stop. Neither passenger could understand why I was making a panic-stop and neither could I. It was in my spirit, the inner voice, that I had to stop now. Just as we came to a halt my headlights fell on a cutout in the road for a culvert placement. It was several feet across and several feet deep. The ensuing wreck had it occurred would have been horrific and deadly.
- At age seventeen I worked on a Ranch on the Idaho Nevada border area called the Riddle Ranch. It was adjacent to an Indian Reservation. Being a bunch of single young ranch hands you can imagine that mischief was not far away. One night several of us decided to take my vehicle to Mountain City Nevada and see if we could get an Indian to buy us a bottle of whisky. (I was driving my parents 1959 Chevy Suburban with seating for eight) Arriving in Mountain City we found an Indian who said he would by us a bottle, we gave him the money and of course he ditched us and took the money. We were returning to the Riddle Ranch and I was driving at my usual pace which was always fast. On a straight stretch of road I was running about one hundred and five mph when for one tenth of a second or less I saw a speck of white and locked up my brakes. I had six guys yelling at me wanting to know why I was stopping and what was wrong with me. I stopped about five feet from one of five Black Angus cows bedded down on the road. One of them had looked at my headlights for a split second and that was what I saw. Again, we were spared from a horrific accident
- Again at seventeen I and some friends were out cruising the night. We were traveling a rural road that intersects Highway Thirty south of Mountain Home. The road also was aligned with a railroad crossing. As we proceeded down the road we could look at the right and see a vehicles head lights going down highway thirty. I had a reputation for being an extremely fast and capable driver and the challenge came up to beat the car to the intersect and I could take the rail crossing. The race was on and I was going a very high rate of speed. Again that voice in my spirit, that inner voice told me to stop. I stood on the brakes and the passengers again started yelling what are you doing you have him beat! I could not ignore the voice and came to a stop at the stop sign and waited for the coming car to pass. It took a minute and when it passed I kicked my headlights on bright and started across the road. My blood ran cold a moment later as a string of black coal cars were parked across the rail crossing and it was unusable. We would have had a high-speed impact with those cars.
- I won’t even go into the eighteen month tour in DaNang Vietnam which cost my best friend and 59,478 others their life. I came home and was untouched by injury.
- At age twenty hauling a load of cattle over Donner Summit and had just started down the Nevada side when I was passed by a suburban with about eight or ten people in it. Coming off the summit I reached a point where I could pick up a couple of gears. I looked in my mirror to check traffic and when I looked back to the road in front of me I see the suburban was in the lane in front of me at a near stop with all occupants looking over the road side at the view. In a split second I thought to leave the road over the edge which was sure death, I glance in the mirror as I simultaneously pulled the air horn with one hand, standing on the brake and pulling myself out of the seat with the other. A car passing me realized the danger and floor boarded his car lurching past me and another starting to pass me stood on his brake and I squeezed between. The suburban literally disappeared beneath my large Kenworth hood as I missed by mere inches. This would have been a very bad wreck.
- At age twenty-two I was going up a mountain road in winter ice and snow conditions when I began going down hill backwards in a forward gear. I knew if I went over the hill backwards I would roll the truck. I got out on the fuel tank and was standing there with one hand reaching in the cab to hold the steering wheel and debating to jump. I wondered if I did could I survive the temperature, could I survive the jump, could I survive a roll over in a loaded semi? I got back into the cab, sat down and did the best I could to control the truck. I felt that I should pull the trailer brake which was against ever instinct I had but I did anyway. The trailer wheels dug into the frozen gravel on the off-road side just as you go over the edge and stopped the truck. I sat for hours in freezing windy conditions until some one came along at daylight that could call for help at the next city. I had heat and protection the whole time.
- At age twenty-five I had a logging truck and was hauling a load out in the winter from a logging road. As I started down the mountain it was raining real hard and the road and hill-side turned to mud. My loaded trailer went sideways on the hill side and tried to pass me. I was going down hill facing upcoming switchback turns and had to accelerate to keep my load from passing me. I do not know how but I got straightened out and around the turns and down the mountain but I did in seconds.
- At age twenty-six I was flying an airplane, a Grumman Tiger and at the time was selling them. I had flown to Mountain Home the previous night and was making a daylight departure on a cold frosty morning. As I sat at the end of the runway I friend that ran the local FBO came on the radio and said hey Mark I hear that Tiger is a real performer why don’t you give us something to watch this morning. Non pilots will probably not see the significance of this but those who have flown will. Some will have names for me like stupid, lucky or other epithets we wont imagine. I radioed that I will see what I can do. With that said I made a decision to execute a maneuver I had never done before. I have always been very good with anything mechanical and always had a good feel for how things operated and great confidence. I did a full RPM static Mag check twice at the end of the runway “literally” and rolled the trim tab all of the way forward to help keep the plane from flying out of ground effect. As I checked and cleared the pattern area I did a max run up with brakes on and then released. Flying the full length of the run way I pulled the yolk into my chest and proceeded to do a hammer-head stall at the end of the runway. Coming back down I proceeded to the other end in ground effect again and did the same maneuver but instead of doing the hammer head I rolled out flat in a standard departure. What is the point, in retrospect this is a very dangerous maneuver which went off flawlessly and could easily been in the local news headlines as the death of a local pilot when he stalled on departure.
- Most recently I made what could have been a fatal error.I love to ride motorcycles. I quit ridding when I had a family do no convenient time to purchase another bike. My last had been a 650 which I loved to ride. Some months ago I had been through a heart attack. When I was in the hospital (only two days) I thought if I am ever going do some of these things I want like riding a bike again I had better do it as one of these days I could wake up dead or unable. Long story short I bought a 1200 cc high performance Victory Octane. I knew I needed to be careful to get my safe riding habits back and at this point have ridden nearly three thousand miles on the bike. About three weeks ago and several hundred miles back I made an error. I was on a high way and decided to turn around and take a different route. I also decided to make a rolling u-turn rather that a full stop and proceed after clearing traffic. Not a good decision. I cleared the traffic in the on coming lane and looked in my mirror to clear the rear. Simultaneously I hit some loose gravel which got my full attention diverted and thinking I had a clear lane I began my u-turn. As I did this I immediately heard the screech of brakes in a panic stop and turning my head left seeing an approaching white SUV. I understand how inertia and forces work on a vehicle. I know when a fast-moving vehicle locks its brakes the nose of the vehicle dives down. I know when you turn left the right side dives down and the left rises. As I turned my head I also locked my brakes stopping in half the length of my bike. What I watched happen is not possible. I looked at the vehicle approaching with the right side of he vehicle was so high in the air I could see all of the right tire, the suspension and the axle and even the axle across to the other side which was elevated about half as much. This while I sat with not one bit of fear and watched as this SUV was suddenly in the other lane and pulling off the road around the front of me to park. What I just described is beyond physical possibility. The vehicle was a deputy sheriff and his first words were Your Guardian Angle is working today. Yes, He was. I don’t make rolling U-turns anymore.
One more story which is about the hospital, my cardiologist and our conversation. For information he is a new cardiologist to me. I want to recap this story as it is major in what I want to say.
I had this last heart attack on October 1st, a bit over ten months ago. I also had one eight years prior to that. In the first instance I was admitted from the emergency room when I stopped in because I did not feel right. It resulted in a three-day visit to the hospital and addition to my life style of a cardiologist and blood pressure medication. This was through St. Luke’s Hospital.
In the time between the two I signed up for my Veterans benefits at the V A Hospital which I had never exercised. Needless to say when I had my second incident I had called the VA emergency and described a heart rate I could not get down and was told to come in. The result was a picture of every thing internal and test of every kind. As all of this culminated I requested all of my records in one location and one doctor which resulted in my receiving a new Cardiologist at the VA, Our conversation will recap the results.
The doctor sat me down explaining I had a heart that could not be repaired with surgery. Additionally I have an aortic aneurysm starting two inches from my heart which runs full length to the point the aorta splits and goes down my legs. The aneurysm goes down both legs to its end. The primary artery coming out the top of my heart has been at some time 100% blocked and collapsed and my body made a new pathway for blood flow on its own. The aneurysm for all practical thought is not repairable and if it were to rupture I have a few seconds to live. I was asked about pain from the hear attack and said I never had pain. The doctor said when did you tear your aorta and I said I have no idea. He said you have to know when you had that kind of pain. I said no, never had any.
The doctor retorted that people who have a heart attack say the pain was so bad they thought they were going to die. People that tear their aorta say they had so much pain they pray they are going to die and I have to know when this happened. I said no I have never had any pain period.
I then told the doctor that he had told me two very important things. First. except for a drug regimen there is nothing he can do for me and second that it is by the Grace of God alone that I was talking with him. I know that if I look at everything the doctor says I should not even be here “if”, my condition is all you look at. I am however and am better now then I’ve been for some time.
The point, I want to come to is “When Has God Not Been With Me”? As long as I can remember I have had things happen that protected me and kept me going. I have long been aware God never falters it is only we the fallen mankind that gets lost and rejects any fault in themselves. God gave me over to conception, he breathed life into me and he has sustained me for 69 years. I have been unworthy and at times unmindful of He, His Truth and His gif of Salvation. With out that gift I would be condemned and judged.
How many times has God sustained you and kept you in your times of need, moments of sorrow and how many times has he kept you from death and destruction that you never even knew was there? We can choose to deny, we can even be given over to our own choices. None the less, you are not without a spiritual reality beyond what you see and feel.
Christ I thank You for your Saving Grace, Renewal and the gift of “Awarness of the Holy Spirit of God”.
Born on the Fourth.
July 20, 2016