Peter had been miraculously freed from a high security prison (See "Facing
Unimaginable Odds, Part 26a: The End is Not The End"). He headed straight to the
house of Mary, where fellow believers had been praying ardently for his release.
Their prayers had been fulfilled, but they didn't yet know.
When Peter reached the house of these faithful believers, he knocked, and Rhonda, a servant girl, came to the door. Before she opened it, however, she recognized Peter's voice. Excited, she turned on her heels to announce the good news to her fellow believers, leaving poor Peter standing outside!
"Peter is at the door!" She exclaimed excitingly.
With such terrific news, the house should have erupted into an uproar, but this was not the case. Instead, no one believed her (See Acts 12:15a), and these ardent believers exclaimed: "You are out of your mind!"
Where was their faith? Hadn't they been praying for Peter's release? And now that their prayer had been answered, they still didn't even believe it!
So many times we act the same way. Do we truly believe?
Peter, however, was still locked out. He continued to knock on the door, but to no avail. No one believed he had been freed. Eventually they did open the door, and only then did all of them believe. How could they not believe, after all, with Peter standing right in front of them?
Why do we have such a hard time believing in the impossible? After all, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1John 4:4, NIV2)
The prison guards as well didn't believe that Peter was gone. They searched the entire prison, but they came up empty. How was it possible that the two soldiers attached to Peter hadn't even seen anything? No wonder Herod had them executed.
I, too, faced skepticism when I was completely healed. Let me backtrack to what happened to me last year.
Late Summer, 2014, I was diagnosed by a cardiologist as having an abnormality in my heart. No wonder I could hardly do any exercise. I couldn't play sports any longer, as it made my brain spin, and at times, even walking would make me so dizzy that I had to stop in my tracks. Going up stairs was slow, just one step at a time. I had become an old man years before my time.
The reality of it hit me head on while I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 2nd, 2014. We were heading for the Tattoo, a famous music festival for all those who used to be or are still part of Great Britain. We had to take the bus, and one was coming a bit too fast. As we weren't yet at the bus stop, I started to run. Within seconds, I was confused and completely dizzy. In fact, I almost blacked out.
Once back home, my first stop was to see a cardiologist, the best in the region, and the news was grim: My heart was enlarged, and worse, I had two parts to the aortic valve leading into my heart chamber instead of the normal three part, confirmed by several tests that I had to undergo. I remembered back to when I was sixteen. I had been diagnosed at that time with a heart murmur, probably as a result of the same thing. Now, with my age working against me, I would have to slow down, and it was recommended that I start taking beta-blockers. After praying about it and researching the beta-blockers, I became convinced that these beta-blockers would not be for my benefit, so I didn't take them. I decided to trust in my Heavenly Dad instead. At the same time, however, I began to prepare myself for my possible demise. I began putting together instructions on how to continue our online ministry if something were to happen to me.
My wife and my children prayed for me, that I would continue to live so that I could be an encouragement to others at all times. As the former cardiologist had no bedside manner, I requested a referral to another cardiologist. This one was the exact opposite of the former one in mannerisms. He was friendly and encouraging, and he wanted me to do more tests.
One day in October, amidst a tumultuous time at work, I woke up completely refreshed, assured that I was healed. I hadn't even seen the second doctor yet, but after this time, I didn't experience any more dizziness. I was able to run up the stairs and play sports with my students without problems. I knew in my heart that I was healed.
Just yesterday, February 13, 2015, 4 months later, I had a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist, and he told me that at times it is hard to discern all the flaps of the heart valve with an ultrasound. However in the latest ultrasound, it was clear that I had 3 flaps. My heart valve was completely normal. In fact, he found nothing in my heart that was of concern. However my former cardiologist had performed several tests that confirmed that I had but two flaps in one of my heart chambers.
Doctors always have to look for reasonable explanations. Instead of concurring,
I asked my Father what His take was on this, and His answer was clear: "Filled
with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,'
he said. 'Be clean!' Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured." (Mark
1:41-42, NIV) God had healed me completely. God gave me another flap to my heart
valve so that I could continue with ministry. What else could explain that the
dizziness had evaporated in the blink of an eye?
What happened to me will happen to others as well. Do we truly believe this? You can be healed my friend! You can experience victory. You can be freed from anything. Just depend on God's Holy Spirit for direction. With Him at the helm, you have nothing to worry about.
Specialists can leave us doubting, only our Heavenly Father can confirm whether it is of Him or not. Doubt will never leave us satisfied. We either believe or we don't. If doubt starts to intimidate us, may we remember to let our Father intimidate doubt.
What is your take?
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