This is not a finished report. It’s more of a status report from the last few hours. I’m sure there’s more and the story, the battle, will continue.
First, there was the dream. All I remember of it is that I was on “Canadian” crutches. For the past year and a half, in my dreams, I am always normal, healthy, walking and talking naturally. This is the first time I have dreamed of myself in my current condition of brokenness.
In this dream, I laid aside the two crutches and took five or six steps without them, and without falling down. I was fully aware of fighting to keep my balance, wobbling as I have done in rehab when the therapists had me walking, leaning only on their arm. The vividness of this feeling was unusual. My dreams are usually “movies only” with no added physical sensations.
I woke up and, realizing it was only a dream, lay there wondering what to think about it. Last summer, Melanie dreamed of seeing me walk with a cane while my therapist also watched and grinned. That dream has not yet come to pass either.
When I got up (leaning on my walker) Melanie was also awake. She got me a drink of water (poured in my stomach tube) and I went to my office and turned on the computer. It was not yet sunrise.
I had wanted to search for sermons by the late John Wimber and typed in his name. Among the entries I found was a report of a meeting with some Australian pastors back in 1990. They had put some questions to John when he arrived to conduct some meetings.
At the time, one of the topics John was gaining attention for was his call for Christians to pray for healing. I was one who learned a lot back then from his books and teaching in this area.
The Australian pastors asked if John was seeing any difficulty praying for healing. He said he was seeing almost no results when he prayed for children with Down’s Syndrome. In 200 cases he had prayed for, only one had shown improvement and that was slight.
The pastors took that as raising serious doubts about expecting God to reveal works of healing in our day. I felt my own heart sinking. “Lord, I do believe You still heal us today,” I thought. But I could sense a cold, wet blanket dropping over me as I sat there by my walker in the light of the monitor screen.
I returned to the kitchen for breakfast. Melanie poured it into my stomach and turned on her smart phone and played the morning devotional from the Jesuits at Pray As You Go (linked at the side of this blog screen). The reading was from John 6, where some of his followers became offended by his teaching and turned away from Jesus.
Next, we listened to the Daily Lectionary. The Gospel reading was in Matthew 4, describing people bringing their sick to Jesus. He healed them all.
I felt confidence and peace returning to my spirit again.
Melanie picked up a book we’ve been reading the last several days, The Prayer That Heals by Francis MacNutt. She read:
I find that almost always when we have time to pray with a person over a course of time, wonderful changes begin to take place.
And I remembered something I had just been studying and writing about in the book I’m working on right now. It is a review of the parables that Jesus taught on the Kingdom of Heaven. I had just wrapped up the chapter discussing the blindness that we have from trusting what we can see or understand with our natural minds. It is the habit that explains why his critics wanted to see a sign first before they would commit to trusting God. God’s pattern is that the signs follow trusting His Word, not come before it.
Thank you, Lord, for preparing me for another day’s battle and teaching me how to resist fear and doubt while I keep praying.