In the spring of 2014 I dropped by a friend’s house unannounced. Because he offices out of his home people come and go without knocking. So after stepping out of my car I entered through the side door and climbed the stairs. I called out his name and his wife told me he was taking a nap. His wife, Sue, is a teacher and had taken the day off. I asked how she was doing and she said, “I’m not well. I’ve got something going on with my digestive system and I’m bloated and in pain.” I asked if I could pray for her and she said, “Yes.”
Surrey, British Columbia was once recognized as the car-theft capitol of the world. It still competes for the bragging rights but nobody in the Vancouver burb seems disappointed that they’re no longer number one. Cindy and I drove from Portland to the southwestern corner of Canada in May of 2014 where I spoke at a men’s conference at Cedar Grove Church.
Between our time in Bonaire and our trip to Canada, I had continued to see God work in amazing ways. But Cedar Grove church stands out.
For 19 consecutive years Bonaire has been voted the best shore diving destination in the world. The boomerang shaped island is almost 24 miles long from north to south and only 3-7 miles in width. There is little current on the leeward side and over 70 marked dive sites where divers park their pickup, don their gear and wade into the turquoise water.
I have no idea over the course of my life how many people I’ve asked God to heal. It has to be a lot though. Through the years I always gratefully accepted invitations to pray for the sick. I prayed with sincerity and I believe my prayers accomplished something good. They brought comfort to the sick and their family. They brought God into the situation. And they strengthened my relationship with the people involved. But nobody got healed. At least, none that I’m aware of.
Now days I expect people to be healed and occasionally they are.
Does God speak to people today? I mean on a regular basis and in a way that will enable them to bring encouragement and healing to others?
If you had asked me that question three years ago, I would have said no. And then I would have given a little slack for the fact that God could speak today, just like I could win the Powerball Lottery—if I bought a ticket. Yet, I would have stressed that winning the lottery or hearing God speak or healing someone are long-shots. I would have insisted, we have the Word of God and there is no need for God to speak to us apart from biblical revelation. Anything beyond that is pure imagination. And healing . . . hey, someone always wins the Powerball jackpot.
And then three years ago God spoke to me.