After searching for several years, which included taking classes, attending conferences and going through catechisms with various denominations, I concluded that what I had been offered in those various churches wasn't anything more than the dry and empty religious forms than I already had in Judaism. I had developed a portfolio of religious study, including Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Catholicism; Latter Day Saints; and the more common Baptists, Methodist, Brethren, Lutheran, etc. Everything was based on "faith", and since I neither could feel, weigh, purchase or taste this elusive commodity, I decided to continue in my own "religion", since it made little or no demands on me anyway!
By this time, I was married, (to a non-practicing Methodist), and had 2 small children, and my time was filled with responsibility that cut short my search, but I was ever opened to anything and anyone who could give me more light on experiencing God.
When my son, David, was 18 months old, he was hit by a car and dragged 18 feet on a gravel surfaced driveway, caught by the undercarriage. He was in very serious condition, and was left with a brain concussion, 3 broken ribs, nerve damage in the left ear which rendered him 90% deaf, a dislocated left hip and kidney impairment. The gravel had scarred his face and scalp, tearing out his hair on the left side of his head. By the time he came home from the hospital, because his world was now silent for him, David didn't make any effort to speak, just content to play quietly in his own little world. We were told of a Dr. in Iowa who was doing some remarkable work with bone surgery in handicapped children. Our doctors made the contact, and after looking at David's x-rays, he told us he would take David as a patient, and so we moved to Iowa while David was under his care. It was a very difficult time for us, making a transition at a time I was expecting my 3rd child, and now moving somewhere without benefit of friends or family.
I was very angry for all the tumult in my life, but most of all, because an innocent little child had suffered so. I couldn't correlate this suffering, and all the other suffering in the world, with a God who supposedly loved us. I stopped searching...I was angry with God, if there really was one! And now I was on a new quest...to disprove to story of this Jesus!
David, meanwhile, was seen by the Dr. who was now waiting until a time that David's body would enter a growth phase, at which time, surgery to relocate the hip was planned. David had by this time acclimated himself to his new lifestyle...he walked with a decided limp/drag of the left leg; played by himself because he wasn't aware half the time of what the other children were saying or playing. He communicated to us by pointing or grunting, and his scalp on the left side was bald, giving him sort of a lopsided look!
It was 6 months after we moved to Iowa that our next door neighbor, who told me she was an atheist, invited me to go to a tent revival, just to observe how the "religiously fanatic" carry on. I couldn't go, but she went, and the next day, she told me how she had witnessed what seemed to be miraculous healings...cripples leaving crutches, people walking out of wheel chairs, etc. I assured her this was a sham, and she agreed probably so...but she went again, and a few days later, she invited me to come and bring David.
This time, I could see a positive change in her attitude, and in even her countenance, but I wanted no part of this, and felt badly that she was being "taken in" by all that hype. She persisted in begging me to take David, and finally wore my husband down. In the effort to be neighborly, he suggested just letting her take David if I didn't want to go...and so she did. That evening, she brought David home, asleep in her arms, and I just put him to bed.
The next day, David struggled to walk without falling down every few steps. I couldn't imagine what had happened to him, but suspected that maybe the preachers at the tent had pulled on his leg or shook him...or whatever...THEY were responsible! I made an appointment with the Dr. for the next day, and then marched next door to make my accusations, which she firmly denied. She insisted that I come that evening, just to see what they do...now I was ready to go!
The tent revival had moved into a church building due to the weather, and was very crowded. I sat through a Pentecostal service, filled with various forms of praise, people speaking out at different times from various pews;others waving their hands, and what seemed to me, total irreverence for the speaker. What I really came for was to observe the "healing service", which came at the end of the service. By the time the many people came forward to be prayed for, I couldn't see for the crowd. So, I took David and stood in the last aisle, last person, pretending to be one to be prayed for so I could get a first had look at how and what they did. My plan was to get lost in the crowd one they came close, but before I realized what happened, the ministers left their place across the sanctuary, and walked directly towards me. I tried to move back, but people had filed in behind me, making it impossible to move away before they approached me. The minister asked me " If God will open your child's ears, would you believe in Him"" questions were racing across my mind...how did he know I wasn't already a believer? (I had taken off my Jewish star necklace). How did he know what David's problem was? Why did he cut clear across that sanctuary and skip countless people to get to me? I mumbled something about at least trying to open my mind if his God would give David back his hearing...and then what I came to observe finally happened...unlike what I had suspected, instead of shaking the baby, or pulling on his body in some frantic chanting exercise, the minister placed a drop of OIL* on David's head, stepped back and simply asked God to restore this baby's hearing, in Jesus name. I never tested David, but instead, wrapped him up and left as soon as I could!
The next morning, David kept pulling at his left ear, whimpering . I checked him for swelling or sign of infection, and then went on to our Dr.'s appointment. Dr. Barnhouse observed David's faltering walk, examined his ears and then told me he wanted to observe overnight in the hospital...it was time to prepare for his surgery anyway.
The next day, he called my husband and I into his office, where he had 3 sets of x-rays mounted. He began by reviewing the first set of x-rays with us. Those were the x-rays we had brought with us taken right after David's accident. He pointed out the 3 broken ribs, comparing those x-rays with the ones he had taken 1 month after the accident. The broken ribs were still quite evident. Then he pointed to the last set of x-rays, taken that day, 6 months later, where there was no evidence of broken ribs. The Dr. brought out the fact that the amazing thing about the last x-ray was that although he expected to see healed ribs by this time, he was not prepared to see no sign of the ribs having been broken. He explained to us that whenever bone heals, it leaves a trace of calcium cataract, where the broken bones join in a healing process, as evidence of the break.These x-rays looked as if the ribs had never been broken! The hip socket in the first set of x-rays revealed the dislocation, but the 3rd set revealed a normal hip socket. The Dr. said the reason David was stumbling and falling was he inability to walk with the corrected hip, but he was already making the adjustment. He went on to the nerve damaged ear, telling us the damage was gone, and that David had normal hearing, which, after 6 months of silence, was so overwhelming to him that it was painful, but he was doing well, and would have normal hearing. We were stunned...how could a hip be healed without surgery? and nerve damage healed? Nerves never regenerate! Question after question, and all the Doctor would do was to shake his head. He finally put the matter to rest with one statement..."Obviously, you've had David to another physician." I responded immediately with denials...and he interrupted me, explaining," You've had him to a greater Physician than I...take you son home and thank God everyday for a miracle." I hadn't told the Dr., either before or after, of how David was prayed for...I didn't have to, because on that hospital staff were people that went to that church, and when word spread about the little "miracle child", they began telling people how David had been prayed for.
Both my husband and I were stunned. We were groping for explanations. People came to our house to see the " miracle", and I numbly answered their questions...how could this happen to people who didn't even believe in Jesus, or even knew what they believed in? All I knew was that every time my little 2 year old ran across the room, playing with his sister, yelling like a little Indian, laughing and animated, it was as if God, Himself, had placed an invisible placard on David, saying, "Can you deny I am real now?" Within a few days, the bald scalp was fuzzy with blond hair, and within weeks, David had a head full of blond curls, where they said scar tissue had formed and he would never have hair!
The pastor of that church came to visit, but I didn't want to talk about what happened. I couldn't deny it, but there was no rational explanation, and that made me uncomfortable. He invited me to come back, and I felt obligated to go, but just one last time, in respect to the pastor. It was at that "last" service that the Presence of God began moving me, and I sat there, tears streaming down my face, not understanding why these emotions were out of control...not even understanding why I was crying! At the end of the service, the minister invited anyone to come and pray if they felt things weren't right between them and God. He reinstated a belief I had always been taught...that one day, we will stand before God, and have to answer for our lives. I had never been able to put a form or face on my God, but always envisioned the end of a pointed finger in my face, demanding judgment.
Now, I was given an opportunity to do something that would set all things right between God and myself, and both He and I knew that if anyone in this world needed that to be done, it was me! What amazed me was that I was in a Gentile church, and they had not invited me to "give my heart to JESUS",or "let JESUS come in", or one of the many traditional phrases I had heard over the years. The Gentiles were always pushing their "other God", when Jews "shall not have any other God" but the One God , Jehovah, Y'weh. I could never call on the name of JESUS without feeling like a traitor, or even cursed, knowing He was the 2nd God in a trilogy type of Godhead! Even to say THAT name gave me "globus hystericus."...a knot in my throat! But this preacher didn't invite me to Jesus...he just said I could come to GOD! I could do THAT! I found myself at the altar, wanting to make things right, but didn't know what to do once I got there!
The Pastor was very perceptive, and realized I knew nothing about prayer, and so he knelt with me, and asked me to just listen to him pray, and then quietly, I could pattern my prayer from him. For someone who knew only the prayer book prayers, this was a breakthrough in learning how to talk to He Who would one day be my Judge, and here I was, pleading my case before Him. I wept and sobbed...talked, remembered some more things that needed addressing...wept even more, even longer, and was long past caring who saw or heard or what they thought...it was just He and I, and I felt as if a ton of bricks had been removed from my chest! Then I felt a hand on my shoulder...a comforting touch, sort of reassuring me that everything was all right now. I reasoned that it was probably the pastor, ready to wind this portion of the service down, and so I lifted my head, and dried my tears. To my surprise, the sanctuary was empty, but for the Pastor and I...I thanked him for his comforting hand, but he told me he hadn't touched me..."the hand of God has touched your life tonight" was his explanation, and to this day, His hand has still been on my life. All the doctrines and tenets and "isms" I had studied never revealed God in the way I had experienced Him that evening, nor had I felt any peace like that before...a peace that comes with repentance. Shortly after, I was baptized, according to the Scriptural pattern,(in Jesus Name), and finally experienced what I had been looking for all those years...the reality of experiencing God, as His very Spirit swept over, in and through my physical frame*, and He took over my emotions and my heart, and out of the abundance of my heart, my mouth spoke out words and utterances of praise as the Spirit gave me words*.
Never, since that day I received the over flowing baptism of His Holy Spirit, have I ever doubted His reality. I have lived in the memory and the ever abiding reality of that Presence daily. I look back on the events that transpired in my life, and realize today that the only way I would have ever believed was to have been a part of the anguish and fear of David's accident. It had to have been something personal to make me believe, because I would NEVER have believed it had someone told me this could have happened, or even happened to them. I would have listened as a skeptic, and God, Who knows the end from the beginning, knew exactly what it was going to take to convince me. He had to bring me to a place where I was stripped of all my defenses and desperate, if not for my sake, but for my sons?. Surely, "all things work together for the good to them that love God*..."
Back to Who Am I?
Oil James 5:14 "is there anyone sick" He should call for elders of the church and they should pray over him and pour a little oil upon him, calling on the Lord to heal him.?
Frame Acts 2:4 "and everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages they didn't know, for the Holy Spirit gave them this ability."
Words Acts 2:4 "and everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages they didn't know, for the Holy Spirit gave them this ability."
God Romans 8:28 " and we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans."