Lesson #2: When God Shows Up Everything Is Subject To Change
When I died I was given numerous deadly prognoses. I won’t rehearse them. It is just too painful to bring these up to save one: I was told I would have very limited lifelong mobility. Several “experts” delivered the same message: the most I could hope for would be the eventual ability to walk out to the mailbox to retrieve letters. That would be done with much effort and the use of a cane. Message: “Get used to being a cripple, Bubba.”
But everything changed. It happened in a moment.
I was driving down the interstate minding my own business that day. I was listening to some Christian teaching tapes loaned to me by someone hoping to encourage me (numerous people gave me various aids in hopes of bringing me out of my deep funk in those days; I tried most of them but nothing much worked). I don’t remember what this Bible teacher was talking about. I don’t even remember who was speaking. I do recall this was a pleasant, sincere man who was passionate about the Scriptures.
In the midst of listening, an inspired Thought invaded my mind: “I invite you to begin to walk without a cane.” I call this an inspired Thought with a capital “T” because I didn’t stir it up. I wasn’t trying to concoct something. It was deposited in me. It seemed so natural it seemed like it was my own thought, but I took it to be something from God because I knew that sort of thinking was not in my nature. It scared me in fact.
This business of discerning the voice and leading of God is always subjective. We learn as we go along. We do it with a bit of a loose grip. We can’t take ourselves or our results all that seriously. If we do we will surely quit seeking to be led by Him.
At that moment I knew that I knew that God was offering to provide his strength to me if I leaned into him. At that moment I didn’t feel a rush of power or electricity. This was just a simple invitation.
There seemed to be an urgency to this. I felt I needed to act on this invitation immediately. What could I do to respond to this? I was driving up Interstate 75 at the time. It seemed appropriate to roll down my passenger window… and toss out my cane. I was driving 60 mph. Out it flew! As far as I know, there is a perfectly good aluminum cane in the ditch at the northbound exit of Union Center on I-75 near West Chester, Ohio if you have a need.
Are you crazy?
As I pulled into our driveway a few minutes later it hit me–I couldn’t lift myself out of a sitting position without something to push up on (a cane would do nicely!) It took a while but I managed to pull myself up using the car door. Walking was very slow and deliberate. I did it stiff-legged with a Frankenstein-like gate but going a lot slower than Boris Karloff to avoid a spill. The last thing I needed now was to fall on my face. Eventually, I made it into the house.
Janie shrieked, “What do you think you are doing? Are you crazy?!” At the moment it was a good question. I wasn’t sure I had a good answer.
I now realize that inspired Thought launched a healing process in me. I began to walk out (literally and figuratively) my long-term healing. It began a jumpstart from God’s Spirit. God’s power became assessable to me. I don’t think we can make something like that happen simply as an act of our wills.
In the Church world at large, we hear talk of “claiming” this or “standing” on that in hopes of convincing ourselves that we are ultimately in charge of our outcomes. All the while the real question is this: what has God said? Or has God said something? Anything? God’s written word along with God’s voice, when activated in us, is the most powerful force in the universe. Read and soak.
Listen. Obey. Walk out.
Has God shown up in your situation yet? Ask him to come in mercy and watch what happens. He can accomplish everything you need, all you desire in a short time. A moment even.
Listen to him. Then again, when you are down, there aren’t many other options.