You may choose to believe or not. I just simply ask you to digest this story and use whatever part you can to build up your own personal faith in Christís blood.
We are told His stripes are for our healing. It happens all the time. But, this one instance is very special to me.
As it happened, I had a great heartache that was threatening to take over my life. I sang in a gospel trio and the other two girls were like sisters to me. In all our years, we never had a disagreement or an argument. As they watched me pinning away, they had great empathy for my heartache and prayed with me on numerous occasions.
One of the women in the church had a father-in-law who had been stricken with lymphoma. Our prayer line had been activated several times to pray for him the first time he had chemotherapy. The second bout with it, we were called even several times a day. This man was a full time preacher in a little country church.
One particular Wednesday night, I took my heartache, again, to the altar for prayer.
That night, our lead singer, Reta, was also helping with those who came for prayer. She began to pray with me and, soon, our tears were mingled together. Shortly afterward, I felt her body swoon and she collapsed on the floor ~ still weeping.
I stayed there awhile, then slipped back to my place in the pew. But, she kept weeping and just lay there praying. This continued throughout the service. Once, she made it to the altar, but went back to the floor. Toward the end of the service, she got to the pew but lay over; still weeping, quietly.
Later, Reta told me that, during this time, she saw hands. They were oily, and she had recognized them as her own. When the service ended, her face was swollen from tears and weeping, and she felt compelled to pray for 'someone'. The father-in-law was mentioned. But, he was in a hospital 120 miles away.
Another suggested we call the father-in-law's home and see if he were home yet. Getting no answer, it was decided that our pastors and Reta would go on to the hospital, even though it was already late.
As they started out the door, someone suggested, "Try one more time." So, they rang the number, this time getting an answer. The father-in-law had just arrived home. Some of the congregation had met him and helped to carry Rev. Lloyd Mattocks in, and set him in his recliner. Our pastors and Rita asked if they might come, right then, and pray for him, and he agreed.
It was an hour's drive to his home and, when they arrived, they were welcomed and offered coffee ~ which they declined saying, "We came to pray."
Our pastor had brought the bottle of oil and, as we usually did, he started to touch the tip of Retaís finger to the bottle. She said, "No, preacher. Just pour it over my hands." So, he did. They began to pray, all together; some in the heavenly language.
Rev. Mattocks had a tumor in his stomach, large enough that he could feel. This man was 6' 5" and, in his prime, weighed about 220. This night, he weighed 127 pounds; a walking skeleton. Someone in a concentration camp might have looked better.
Reta laid her hands on his stomach and they prayed on. Somewhere during the prayer, they both looked up. "Itís gone!" He said and they began to praise the Great Healer. Joy overflowed them all!
Rev. Mattocks never went to sleep that night. Instead, he prepared sermons all night. Toward morning, he was still feeling good and noticed the grass around the church needs mowing. So, he got out there and mowed the grass.
Next, he decided to do the bar, ditch, and edge around the trees. Then, he decided to mow the neighbor's grass, to wake them up and surprise them.
Today, Rev. Mattocks stands tall and sturdy, with his full weight back. Doctors have searched, a number of times, for any sign of the cancer (which almost took his life 3 different times). But, no sign of it has ever been found.
The first time the lymphoma was found, he went through chemotherapy and his reaction to it was very adverse. Rev. Mattocks almost lost his life.
The second time it came back, the chemo itself almost killed him.
The third time, the doctors said they had literally burned up his blood vessels and they would certainly cause his death if they tried again. They felt it more humane to just send Rev. Mattocks home to make funeral arrangements. They gave him 10 days to possibly, but not probably, 60 days to live; on that Wednesday morning. But, the evening gave him a whole new life.
Something serves as a catalyst for a raindrop. Perhaps itís that way for a miracle, too. The yielding of Reta's spirit may have triggered it; her sweet compassion for my ache.
I will ask when I get to Heaven. Though, when God does a miracle, He does it well. I do hope you can find the faith to believe it. If so, your own miracle may not be far behind.
© 2003 by Joan Clifton Costner
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