Recently I’ve been reminded of the choice Pharaoh made in Genesis 8. Pharaoh asked Moses to plead with the Lord to take the plague of frogs away and in return he would let the Israelites go. Moses replied, “You set the time” and Pharaoh answered “Do it tomorrow”.
Why would he not say “RIGHT NOW”? Why would he choose to spend another night with the slimy, smelly, noisy frogs? Why not ask the God of the Universe intervene ASAP? I have always thought Pharaoh short sighted and downright stupid, and hoped I would make a more intelligent response. However my recent journey shows me how easy it is to delay expectation of God’s Power and Promise.
I have suffered an undiagnosed pain for a couple decades. At times it has been tolerable and others, debilitating. There have been several types of doctors, exams, tests, ultra sounds, theories and referrals, but no answers. These last two years have been the worst and have damaged my general physical health through inactivity, my soul through isolation and darkened my spirit. Many health care providers discounted what they couldn’t explain and in the process caused me to doubt myself and lessen my self-worth. Trying to work eight plus hours wore me out and sometimes I couldn’t make it through the day. Movement caused pain and anyplace I couldn’t control my circumstances I wouldn’t go, I felt captive in my own body and “mostly dead” (Princess Bride reference).
When the opportunity to go to Bethel Church in Redding, renown for successful healing prayer, I was sure that was the answer, it had to be- I was desperate. The worship was amazing, the teaching was inspired, the company was delightful, and the prayer was anointed. During worship the first night I saw scar tissue over my spiritual heart caused by the relationship trauma throughout my life. The last service I saw a bolt of lightning go into my mouth, but had no idea what it meant; since that time I feel that it was the Holy Spirit melting the wounds and freeing my heart. We all came back richer for having been there and I came back feeling less the pain and feeling that I had been healed.
Four days later I was in more pain than ever and incredibly discouraged, I felt a failure…
While in California, we saw our friend Lee posting testimonials of his most recent trip; he operates in the gifts of the Spirit, especially healing and had even prayed for my pain several years ago. When my pain came back I called him to see if he had any insights as to why this had been a temporary relief. We went over the process through which Bethel took us, and Lee offered to pray for me again, after fasting. I took the next few days and inquired of the Lord, and then along with his wife Lisa and some friends, we met. The two women on whom I have most depended were present, each has a wealth of personal experience with inner healing and had received her own treasures from Bethel. By the end of the session, I felt no pain and knew the heaviness of spirit had lifted.
The first day after, I kept poking myself to see if the pain was still gone and at the end of the second day I realized it was so completely gone, I hadn’t even tested it. I have had soreness from the muscles and ribs that are two years out of shape due to protecting the area of pain and right away there was the accuser trying to snatch away my healing. It’s been a delight to see how quickly it comes to my mind to STAND in my health – physically and spiritually, I have learned to contend for that which I have been given. My heart is open, my mind is clear, my spirit is light, I feel more whole than I ever had.
So those frogs????
Why did I not go to the available resources before? Why did I spend all that money and time with doctors? Why did I endure years of pain? I knew Jesus heals. I knew Lee prayed successfully for people all over the world. I knew miracles still happen. Why did I spend years with the frogs when the Creator of the universe (and me) was available to touch and mend me? I have pondered this for days and now have a thought on it-a few pictures actually; a recipe, a jigsaw puzzle and a mountain path.
While the group was praying for me I felt like there was a recipe and each of these intercessors were bringing different ingredients to add to the whole of my healing. Physical, soul, mental, spiritual and relational pieces were all there and together, these wonderful friends presented the substance the Holy Spirit needed to mend me.
Jigsaw puzzles are put together piece by piece; the structure of the whole is assembled with common connections. I saw my life being fit together by the hand of God, some sections went together easily, and others were very elusive. Once constructed, sections joined together showed big surges of growth but I had key pieces missing. As the Hand worked I saw more of what to expect the finished project was to be, but until those missing links were joined I was still fragmented. I longed with all my will to be complete but had to wait as bit by bit, with Divine strategy the image became more complete. This time of prayer had to wait until the adjoining pieces were in place.
The mountain path image comes from an experience decades ago when my friends and I decided to climb the Middle Sister. Because of many delays we didn’t start the ascent until dusk and the majority of the climb to base camp was done in the dark. All I could see mile upon mile was the back of the foot of the climber ahead of me, illuminated by my flashlight. After hours of dark path we finally set up camp in the blackness. The next day, in the light, we scaled the summit and got ready for the descent the following day. Trekking the territory we had traveled in the night, I realized I could not have made it had I seen the entire mountain. I would have been overwhelmed by its enormity and by the dangerous cliffs at the edge of the very path on which we walked. Because I could only see the next step, it was something within my ability and I had faith I could move my foot one more time. Then in the light of day, that amazing panorama was visible.
Another night with the frogs? No. My images convince me that I had to wait until the needed ingredients were available for the recipe, the connecting pieces were not yet in place and the toughness of this path would have again overwhelmed me if I concentrate on anything other than the next step. I do believe that I am seeing one of those vistas right now because my pain is gone, my faith has been amplified, and the Touch I received is one of Love that has melted my calloused heart.
I am grateful.