PRAISE GOD HE STILL HEALS OUR AFFLICTIONS I AM LIVING PROOF CHAPTER 4
This is the 4th installment written about the massive stroke I suffered on August 19, 2014, exactly 2 1/2 years ago today. The first two covered the diagnosis of the attending neurologist and my progress since the stroke. Chapter 3 dealt more with the emotional and faith aspects. This one deals with the nature of my enemy, satan. Satan (called allah by moslems) is a created being, an angel originally named Lucifer, who led a rebellion out of pride and was cast out of Heaven onto the Earth where he reigns today. Satan is a liar, a deceiver, and although I have never seen it referenced, satan is an arrogant moron. Satan is slick, crafty, and devious but he isn’t smart enough to know he has already been defeated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe the stroke I suffered was an attempt by satan to thwart God’s plan for my life by killing me but God did not let that happen nor did God allow the secondary diagnosis that I would be permanently paralyzed and would be a mental vegetable come to be. Lately satan has attacked me mentally, as I mentioned in the last article. I believe this tactic was intended to try to drive me away from God but it failed, instead moving me closer to God and strengthening my faith. Oh, I struggle with discouragement as it is difficult to see each day come without seeing the healing I have been promised be manifested in its totality but not enough to turn me from my healer and savior.
I believe satan is doing the same thing to me that he tried to do to Job in the Old Testament. Now, don’t think I am putting myself in the same class as Job because I would never be so presumptuous. For one thing, Job suffered much more than I have. I am merely saying that I believe satan is using the same tactic on me that he tried on Job to turn me away from God, expecting me to blame God for the stroke or to turn away because all of my faith and the prayers of myself and others haven’t yet brought the total healing I am believing and praying for. I firmly believe that the dream I had last May that I woke up one morning totally healed is still valid and I believe the completion of the healing is on the way. I hope it will come soon, but I know it will come. One of my pastors has a theme, things we have never seen in 2017. This word was reaffirmed one Friday night a few weeks ago when a young member of the church shared a word of prophesy similar to what Pastor Don Couch of Vision Ministry had given on Friday night, December 30, 2016. Most of the people I attend church with at Vision have never seen a miracle happen before their eyes. All of them have heard about the miracles others have seen and they have weekly seen my struggles and my disability since I began attending there back in August 2016. And they will most definitely notice when I come in without hobbling and am able to raise my left arm in praise. Many of them know my story and all of them have witnessed the physical problems I have currently. I fully believe that the healing I seek will be one of the things they have never seen. I have benefitted from 2 marvelous miracles in this health crisis and I expect another one to come very soon now. Another of my pastors, Dr. Ted Estes of Lifechanger Church in Claremore, told me several months ago that some people get immediate healing and some have to go through a process and for me not to give up because it looks like my healing is going to be a process that I will need to walk out. Everyone has seen the progress in my ordeal and they understand that I am walking out the process in faith and with a positive attitude.
I am also expecting an answer to faith and prayer about my finances, that God is going to give me the financial means to help pay for some Kingdom projects I desire to help pay for but don’t currently have the resources to finance. Just as Job turned to God in a time of seemingly impossible circumstances, I have also and I absolutely believe that my response to the satanic attacks will be rewarded greatly by the God of the universe, the Creator of all things. As I have stated before, satan attacks me daily trying to undermine my faith and expectations but like the arrogant moron he is, he underestimates the influence of Jesus Christ in my life. I end each day with prayer that the next morning will find my body healed completely and my checkbook just as healthy. Each night satan comes to ridicule and mock me but each time I affirm my belief in God’s faithfulness to honor His promises to me through His Word, that if I will stand tall and remain strong He will see me through the current situations and show me the reward He has put aside for me. Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of my sins but also to provide for my health and financial needs if I will turn to him, and I have continued to do so in the past 2 1/2 years since the stroke and will continue to do so for as long as it takes to see fruition There is a praise/worship song called “I Am Healed” that the chorus/refrain goes, “I am healed, I know I am, because My God says I am”. Every time satan attacks God brings this song to my mind, an affirmation that I should continue to believe and pray in the Name of Jesus.
Although it is difficult at times to continue hoping for recovery, I know that faith and prayer, along with my physical efforts, will be rewarded and this phase of my life will one day merely be a bad memory combined with a testimony to the goodness, faithfulness, and power of God. Part of my effort at physical recovery is volunteering at the Claremore Veterans Center. The time I spend at the Center provides me with inspiration and reasons to be so thankful because I could be much worse than I am. It is impossible for me to feel self pity when I see so many people worse off than I am. My left arm doesn’t function at all and my left leg makes walking into more of a hobble. Even though they are non and minimally usable they are still with me and will be fully operational one day. Some of the patients at the center are missing limbs and some who have all of their limbs are much more impaired than I am. I aim to provide hope, inspiration, and encouragement for them. Some have told me that hearing my story and seeing my progress over the last 2 years has given them hope for their own recovery. Family members of patients have also commented about my progress and how the progress they see in me gives them hope for their loved one. I have seen several of the patients working very hard towards recovery in the last few months. It is very encouraging to see others being inspired to work harder towards recovery. I have seen them using a “hemi walker”( a short A frame walker that is used with the good arm and hand) in the hallways, slowly walking and working on their balance. Some have told me they see themselves at my stage very soon. One of them has been in a wheelchair for 15 years, accepting the diagnosis that he would never walk again, and just started walking in the last few weeks as a result of hearing my story of recovery, and wanting to accomplish the same mobility I have. It is so rewarding to see others wanting to follow my path to recovery. I pray for their recovery also and I have told them that it is a slow, tedious, and painful process but is well worth the effort. I am really looking forward to being fully recovered and looking back at this as an event that brought me closer to God and expanded my testimony of His greatness, love, and mercy. God is using me just as I am but He loves me too much to leave me here. Healing and complete mobility WILL come, I have no doubt. I just have to go through what another of my pastors, Rick Burke of Cedarpoint Church in Claremore, calls “patient endurance”. I am enduring and trying to be patient to the best of my ability. My wife has joked in the past that I could never be a doctor because I have no patients (patience, LOL). She has a point because patience has never been a quality in me but I am learning how to wait on God. His timing is perfect as is His plan for my life. God has big plans for me if I will just wait on His timing, and I will. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by keeping my faith in His love and mercy for me and I will continue to do so for as long as it takes.
I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.
February 19, 2016