When I pray for people, I tell them, ‘If you’ve received an instant miracle, tell everyone, and thank God for what he’s done. If you know something’s changed, tell everyone, and thank God for what he’s doing. If you are not sure something’s happened, tell everyone that it’s not possible for God NOT to answer prayer, that you’re believing for you have not YET seen, and thank God that something’s changed, even if you don’t know what it is – YET’. Chinese Pastors in Guanzhou, 30 odd years ago, battered me with ‘it’s not possible for NOTHING to happen when you pray for God to heal, as all his promises are true, and he cannot NOT answer prayer’.
For 16 years now, many of you know that I’ve had – then – one very bad knee (actually injured here in Cali, Colombia, crossing a 6 lane road on a red traffic light, a speeding taxi clearly not going to stop, and my knee ‘popping’ as I ran to avoid death…). Being the true Brit with True Grit that I am (ha! ha! – idiot?? perhaps?), I thought I could ‘walk it off’. Time proved otherwise, and in Bucharest, Romania, 9 years ago, taking friends to a very spiritual event (again, ha! ha!) – well, they loved music, and never had the means to go to a live gig that would be good – this happened to be Elton John, live, immediately outside Ceausescu’s Palace (and it WAS good!), I turned a corner as we walked through the city, and everything of my body, except my left knee, turned with me… it decided that going straight on was the best course of action, and people with me heard everything in it ‘rip’ and tear…. Osteoarthritis was not long in finding a home in this typical Brit ‘I can walk it off’ body, and subsequently, many of you know the story….
The day after arriving here in Cali, I had an appointment with an Orthopaedic consultant, for the delightful (NOT) big cortisone injections into my knees, primarily so that I could get through this trip. It was the day after our long journey here, and I could harldy walk…. his advice, the same as advice from home, and another Orthopaedic consultant here last year, was the same: there’s only one course of action left (humanly and medically, of course) – double replacement surgery, at a mere US$7000…. he gave me the injections (always…er….interesting!), which, I’d have to say, over the next 48 hours, didn’t seem to make a great deal of difference.
If you read the blog from Monday, about being honoured and blessed on Sunday, by the leadership of the church, Mision Abrigo Internacional, their ‘blessing’ included prayer for my knees…. I don’t know how many times I’ve had my knees prayed for over the years, and – if you know me well – you know that I believe that God will heal them, thank him for it, even when I’m still pretty immobile…. what has happened in the last few years has been a blessing, in that, having experienced first-hand the pain of arthritis, which once upon a time I’d have just thought was middle-of-the-road and par for getting old, God’s done wonders in healing people with it, especially knees (strangely!) – and I started counting 4 years or so ago how many knees and pairs of knees have been healed: it’s well over 600.
What’s happened to me since the weekend is, for me, moving towards the miraculous, in that the pain levels are significantly reduced; mobility much, much easier; I’m walking more upright, and ‘rolling’ less (!!); and my legs straighten and bend at pretty much the right times….. I can pinpoint this unfolding wonder to that time with Hein Hoere, Wilmar Gomez, and Jhon Jairo Gonzalez, and the church, got round me, prayed for me, and blessed and honoured me, humbling me beyond words….
The last couple of days have been so, so different. Yes, there’s still some pain, I will still protect them as much as I can while the strength increases: and believing that they will indeed, be healed. I’d be very remiss against my own ‘advice’ to other people, not to declare that there’s a great improvement, easier than they have been for some years, so – thank you, Lord, for what you’ve begun, for what you’re doing, and what you’re going to continue to do. I believe it, receive it, need it…. and thank you, Wilmar, Hein, Jhon Jairo, and all at Mision Abrigo Interncional, for your prayers, your deep friendship, and your honour. God bless you….
Wednesday night’s affirmation from Pastor Rafael added to it, I believe: and I’m so grateful to God for a 6-7000 mile away ‘home away from home’ group of churches and pastors, who love and care for me, and bless me beyond anything I deserve.