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Larry’s Transition in God’s Design

Praying-Hands-Bible

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16B  (KJV)

“Ruthie! Ruuthiee!” Was I rightly hearing my husband calling outside our second floor bedroom window? It was a beautiful snowy Christmas Eve as I hurriedly ran down the stairs and out the door.  There sprawled across the cement slab at the bottom of the steps lay Larry in excruciating pain with the inability to move. The ambulance came and transported him to the hospital. I hurriedly called a nearby family from our church to come take care of our two little boys.

The next day the doctor operated on Larry’s shattered hip. “You will always walk with a limp! It was very hard to even try to repair it with all the damage. A pin was inserted to hold it together as good as I could with a probable hip replacement needed within two years.”

Convalescing at home, Larry pondered and asked God, “Why did you let this happen? Why so much pain? How would this be your plan while I pastor  this church?” Immediately he heard within his heart the voice of God saying, “Remember when you prayed and asked for a miracle of healing? Do you have faith to believe now that I can heal you?”

On crutches, Larry finally improved enough to assume his place behind the pulpit.  Before  preaching that morning’s message, the Board surrounded him and prayed for his healing.  Larry finished the service, then placed his crutches down beside him and slowly walked down the steps of the platform to greet the people in the back of the church.  Hurriedly his former day and night nurse at the hospital who attended him and were at the church for the first time, urgently instructed him to use the crutches.  Larry reassured them that he had to do what he knew he should.

And the healing continued.  On his first visit, the surgeon said “According to these x-rays, I can’t even tell where your hip has been broken. Either I am a good surgeon or you had a miracle healing!”

Shortly afterwards, those two nurses had miracles of their own. They gave their lives to the Lord and became faithful in church attendance. One became a children’s church worker and one, a medical missionary to Alaska.

We truly become part of the answer to every prayer that we pray when we leave all the results in His capable hands!

 

 

 

Brothers United

 

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The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. John 1:41-42 NIV

“I’m just a nobody! I can’t do anything!” Richard cried and sadly proclaimed to Larry in his halting speech.  His countenance mirrored the turmoil going on within. Dejected, frustrated, of little value were feelings that clamored in his cerebral palsied body.

Larry gently and compassionately answered him.  “Richard, it was you who faithfully got on the church bus each week by yourself.   During verbal prayer requests, you would say, ‘Pray for my brother, Larry.’  One night at a youth rally I heard the message of Jesus’ love and forgiveness so committed my life to Christ. I started attending church with you and  was told of your faithfulness in having others pray for me. Later I was called by God into the ministry. There’s something you need to realize, Rich, that for all the lives that were touched and changed in this ministry, it  really started  with you. Think of the people in heaven who will rejoice in how faithful you were to pray. The results–eternity we all get to enjoy with God!”

Richard responded with a simple word of surprise -“Really?” to which Larry replied, “Really!” His tears disappeared, replaced with a joyful heart reverberating within as he glimpsed God’s plan from the beginning…

My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in (your) weakness. KJV

 

 

God’s Big Heart for Little Ones

 

People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them.  When the disciples saw it, they shooed him off.  Jesus called them back. “Let those children alone.  Don’t get between them and me.  These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy.” Luke 18:15,16 (MSG)

Sitting at the front of the church, dangling my legs, at the end of the third pew near the center aisle; I sat in my Sunday best among all the other children.  I tried not to fidget or to gawk at others around me but it’s hard when you’re only five years old.  It was difficult enough to behave myself when I sat with my parents in the back, but now I was in their line of vision, too, with the speaker nearby right in the front of us.

My ears perked up, my eyes opened wide, my attention captured as my heart’s door began to slowly swing open with awareness.  Was the big people’s God really interested in me?  Had Jesus given his life to forgive the naughty things I had done? He really wanted me to be His child and live forever with His Dad and best friend–the Holy Spirit?

These hands pushed off the pew, little feet hit the floor as I flowed to the front and bowed my head.  I wanted this big, wonderful God to fill my heart, claim me, knowing I was His own pride and joy all along. It was then I became aware of Him having adopted me into His very own family long ago before I was ever born.  I was so happy!

Through Swirling Waters

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Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:1B,2A (MSG)

The panic arose as I, a child, could tilt my head enough to see the creek surface above continuing to amble along.  I had slipped off the swimming tube, somehow, and didn’t know what to do next.  Time marched by and I knew I was drowning.  Just when I needed a rescuer the most, my uncle saw my hair floating on the water and pulled me to the surface.  No CPR was used as my body combated all the extra water within.  However, I knew lying there on the bank that I was going to recover…  I had been saved.

In “Oceans” by Hillsong United is the lyrics for life surrounded by God’s presence.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now…

I am Yours and You are mine.

God, when fears apparent or imagined come into my life, You summon me by name and promise to be with me through the varied streams, rivers or oceans that swirl around me.