GOD IS FAITHFUL and he still does miracles!
Were their prayers different than mine?
Was their faith greater than mine?
Why were their ‘really big’ prayers being answered? Talking about the real-life stories of lives being radically transformed in Brooklyn, New York. Where did I read such accounts? The first time was Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire1 in Spring of 2000.
Don’t get me wrong - I have been praying since I was a little girl, trusting in the God of the Bible, knowing that Jesus is my Savior, without a doubt. But ‘see the hand of God move in answer to my prayers? No, not really. But as I read the miraculous stories of what happened when people just like me prayed bold prayers, I was more excited to pray every day and I too began to pray bolder prayers. Looking back now, it seems like I was investing in a Savings & Trust account deep within my soul. Truth: hearing about answered prayer is inspiring and gives us courage to keep the faith and keep on moving.
Of course, I had no idea I was about to take a huge withdrawal from that account. In late summer 2000, our family of six moved to San Clemente, a Southern California beach town. We were settling into our new neighborhood nicely, which was no small feat with Matthew a senior, Amy a junior in high school, Dylan 5 years old and in kindergarten and Danny, two years old. Just six weeks in, Danny came walking into our bedroom on a Monday morning limping - odd because it came out of nowhere. A little later, he was reluctant to walk and I thought I better take him to a doctor. [I know this is a repeat story for some, but I have to tell this story once a year for new folks, and also to remind all of us that God is good and he truly answers prayer!]
After being reassured by a leading pediatrician that there was nothing wrong with my boy (except for a mild ear infection that he treated with Zithromax), I returned home. The next day, he was swollen around his eyes, and still limping. Allergies? Hmmm we did not have allergies. Three days later, I returned to the same physician, who once again assured me there was nothing wrong with my little son. I grabbed him by his forearm and said, 'Look, I'm not an overreactor; he is my youngest of four children. . . but something isn't right here. . .' The doctor patted me on the back and told me my son was just fine.
A couple days later, I took him upstairs to give him a bath and as I pulled down his little black Nike sweatpants, his legs were very swollen, but worse, his diaper was drenched with dark red (sorry) blood. I'm no rocket scientist, but I knew we were in big trouble—kidney trouble. After a call to the same pediatrician, he told me to take Danny to Children's Hospital immediately and to pack a bag because we were going to be there a while.
It did not take long to learn that Danny was very sick; the next day we found out that indeed his kidneys had failed. His blood pressure, sodium, potassium, cholesterol, and kidney levels (B.U.N.-blood urea nitrogen) were off the charts, and the specialists could not figure out the cause.
Three days later, I left the hospital for an hour to go see Amy's varsity volleyball game, (yes, my other kids needed me too). An interesting thing happened that God used in conjunction with the stories of bold prayers and great faith from the Brooklyn Tabernacle. While at the game, a saintly-looking lady approached me and said, 'Honey, I know your son is very sick, and well, I want to pray with you and ask God to do a miracle.' I looked at her and said from my broken hearted, sleep-deprived state, 'yes, okay, please pray.' She did. I'll never forget that lady; I'll never forget that encounter. In all of my growing up years as a Christian, no one had ever told me I could ask God for miracles . . . that is, until this lady.2
After five days in the hospital, we were sent home with no prognosis, no diagnosis, and not much hope. Danny was continuing to lose blood; there seemed to be no stopping it, and we were being treated by ‘the experts.’ They couldn't figure out what had caused it but sent us home with blood pressure meds, steroids, hopes and prayers . . .
The first of the following week, we took Danny for blood work and then got the call, 'take him to CHOC Orange Intensive Care Unit he has lost so much blood, he is in dangerous territory.' We took our sick little guy, admitted him and soon had IVs in both arms and legs. Danny was prepped for a needle biopsy to get kidney tissue to be analyzed for diagnosis and treatment. The day dragged on while we waited for the nurse to take us to the O.R. for the procedure; instead, a team of six hematologists came and surrounded our bed. They had found a bleeding disorder, (Von Willebrand's Disease), and if a needle biopsy was performed, Danny would likely bleed to death on the table. What?! He was just playing with his bud, Cameron, fellow two year old and new next-door neighbor, trying to ride a skateboard to keep up with his brothers, and now, a bleeding disorder? Kidney failure?! It was just too much. It was the first time I realized that his life was literally ebbing out of him and maybe we wouldn't take him home at all.
Nonetheless, after meeting that lady at Amy’s volleyball game, I was believing God for a miracle ... the next briefing will show you that my trust was well placed.
But before we get there, Friend, I want to tell you that your trust in God is well placed too. No matter what, God is good; no matter what, God is trustworthy; no matter what, God is with us. And as Paul said, ‘all things work together for good for those who love God!’ Romans 8.28.
Whatever miracle you need, turn to God. Pray to him, ask others to pray for you as well . . . place your trust in him as he alone has the answers you seek~
Because he is trustworthy
Because he is the Miracle Worker, we pray.
to be continued,
1 - Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire Jim Cymbala
2 - Perhaps you know her - Mrs. Braden from CVCS, San Juan Capistrano