I have seen so many people healed, but there are certain instances that really teach me something about God or about faith. This healing from a stroke was one of those times. This was also one of those miracles that was directly triggered by me responding when the Holy Spirit highlighted a scripture to me. It made a deep impression on me.
Before this happened, I was at a four day long Christian conference which I attended annually. For some reason, I was having a really hard time at the conference. I’m not sure why it was. On the last night of the conference I began to cry loudly. I have often cried when the Holy Spirit touched me, but this was different. I felt an overwhelming emotional pain, and I didn’t know why. I felt so much pain that it seemed that it would never end, and I didn’t know how to overcome it.
Some people came to minister to me. They asked me if I had been sexually abused. I had never been sexually abused, but it was not surprising that they asked. That was how loudly and desperately I was crying. They tried to counsel me, but I really didn’t know where the pain I felt was coming from.
I left weak, physically exhausted. The next few days were very difficult. The pain I felt was overwhelming. I felt like I had no strength, but I just kept holding on knowing that God is faithful and I had to keep going.
Nicky Cruz Meetings
Just a few days later, I went to some meetings at a large church in my area which was hosting Nicky Cruz for a few days. I was sitting in the meeting feeling exhausted and emotionally crushed. Yet at the same time, somewhere to the side of where I was, I saw a man sitting in a wheelchair.
When I was a child I read the story In Acts 3 of how Peter and John met a lame man. Peter said “What I have, I give you. In Jesus’ name, get up and walk.” As a child and teenager when my thoughts were wondering I would sometimes fantasize about doing what Peter did. I could see myself taking the hands of a man in a wheelchair and saying “In Jesus’ name, get up and walk.”
But the thought was terrifying. I think I even tried it before and nothing happened. Or else I was too scared to be so bold and only timidly prayed for the person, with no results. Now in my twenties I had begun to see many people healed, but I never helped someone get out of a wheelchair!
If You Believe, You Will See The Glory of God
Yet as I sat in that meeting, feeling depressed and weak, I couldn’t stop thinking about the man in the wheelchair. As I saw him, this scripture kept running through my head again and again:
John 11:40 (NRSV) Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
In context, Jesus had commanded the stone to be removed after Lazarus had died. This was his reply when Martha responded that there was a stench because Lazarus had been dead for four days. God would be glorified by a miracle, which was in this case, the resurrection of Lazarus. In my case, I needed to believe if I wanted to see the man in a wheelchair walk.
I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I felt like I had no strength. But I wanted to see God glorified by seeing a man in a wheelchair walk. It was scary. I could imagine the embarrassment of doing something so bold in a public place and nothing happening. But I didn’t care anymore. If I would believe, I would see the glory of God. I wanted to see this. The scripture kept replaying in my mind.
At the end of the meeting I walked up to the guy and said “What’s your name?”
He attempted to reply, stuttering very slowly, “I-I-I-I d-d-don’t know.”
I felt like I had never before seen such an expression of extreme frustration on the face of a human being in my life. His condition was worse than I had realized! It seemed to be very severe.
In Jesus’ Name, Get Up And Walk!
But I wanted to see the glory of God. So I said, “Do you want to get out of that wheelchair?”. He could barely respond but managed to nod his head “yes”. I said loudly “Then, in Jesus’ name, get up and walk”.
Every head around turned. I was in the spotlight and it felt like my heart was in my throat. If this didn’t work, I was going to look so stupid. But if I believed, I would see the glory of God.
He hesitated, afraid. I said, “Come on, I will help you”, and I took his hands.
He got up and walked, with great difficulty at first. As he began to walk, I started to yell, “In Jesus name, strength come into his legs now! In Jesus’ name, everything be whole now!”
It seemed that every step was a little stronger. He walked for about 15 feet with me holding his hands and then sat down again, tired, but radiant! Just as before it seemed that I had never seen such an expression of frustration, it now seemed like I had never seen such joy on the face of a human being. His family was around, ecstatic. They kept thanking me again and again.
I couldn’t sleep all night. I still felt emotionally weak and tired, but the scenario of what had just happened kept playing through my mind. I kept seeing the picture in my head of the joy on this man’s face after he walked. Although this was about eight years ago, I still usually can’t help but cry when I tell the story. That is how great the emotional impact of it was for me.
The next day after work I went to the night meeting again and talked to the man and his family some more. They told me he was a heavy equipment operator, but he had a stroke and the doctors didn’t know if he would ever walk again. He wanted very much to recover and return to his job.
This was not an instant miracle of being 100% better in a moment. Even then, it was remarkable. I try to tell everyone that happens as accurately as possible. If I tell you the truth about these things without exaggerating, maybe you will also believe me when I tell you of others that were more dramatic, such as a finger growing back after it was commanded to do so in Jesus name, or large tumors dissappearing. Knowing the fear of the Lord, I speak with sincerity, openly stating the truth and persuading men, as Paul did. Even though this was not the most dramatic miracle I have seen, it was one of the most emotionally charged ones.
Skeptics might point out that he still left in a wheelchair that night. He was also sitting the next day. However, I was able to have quite a conversation with him. Although he still had some difficulties with speech, it was a huge difference in comparison to the night before! He was able to communicate. Remember that the previous night, he had literally been unable to even tell me his name, and could barely speak at all. It was remarkable that he could speak so well now and that he had walked, taking into account how his condition was.
He and his family were very happy, now expecting recovery. This was a huge deal. The weight of the doctor’s words, that he might never walk again, was no longer pressing on them. Although I got the contact information of the family, I lost it somewhere and so lost contact with them. However, I believe that he continued on to full recovery.
Spiritual things are foolishness to the earthly minded. (1 Corinthians 2:14). The early-minded person says “Look, he is still not completely better.” Yet the earthly-minded response foolishly ignores what has been manifest of God’s work. Romans says that when people don’t give thanks, their foolish hearts our darkened. (Romans 1:21) Yet if we are spiritually minded, we are like Elijah, who as soon as he saw a little cloud coming out of the sea, cried out “It’s going to rain”. We thank God and rejoice for what is about to happen even before we see it happen. We stand firm(Ephesians 6:13), rejoicing, until the full manifestation. We lay our hands on the sick and they will recover. (Mark 16:18) It’s a fact.
This reminds me of my grandmother’s recovery after a near death experience. As God’s power touched her head, she immediately began to say things that she couldn’t say before. And there was also a continued recovery after that.
Finally, this experience has really helped me to grow in my confidence in the Lord. I still don’t understand exactly what I was going through at that time or why I felt so much emotional pain. It was a very hard time. But I know that God will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). His promises are true, and they don’t depend on how I feel. Whatever I feel does not change the facts about God’s faithfulness. What I feel does not change the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in me and is ready to help people around me. Though you feel weak, God, who has given you his Spirit, is strong. May you be encouraged in remembering that no matter what you are feeling emotionally, God’s promises are true.