Tag Archives: Scripture

I Believe in Miracles

Some years ago, I had a very humbling experience. My wife suggested I went see a lady in the village whose husband was very ill. When she showed me in, I saw that her husband was barely conscious. She said he was suffering from a tumour on the brain and the prognosis wasn’t good. I helped shave him, but before I left she said, “Only a miracle can save Jimmy now.” Such was my fairly new faith, that I quickly replied, “I believe in miracles.”

I visited again and after several visits, I noticed her husband had deteriorated further and had slipped into a peaceful coma. She continued to care for him and lovingly conversed with him,  even though he couldn’t respond. We didn’t know whether he could hear, but who was to say he couldn’t.

This was a completely new experience for me. I felt inadequate and extremely humbled by what I saw. However, I felt a part of what was happening and just gave what little I could and did my best to answer her searching questions. Each time before I left, she asked me to say “a little prayer.”

As the weeks and months passed by, I saw no physical change in her husband, but something was happening for her. One day, after we had prayed, she asked me if I could buy her a Bible. It wasn’t long after, that her husband passed away. The miracle that we had been praying for didn’t happen, at least not in the way we expected. She came to know Jesus personally and was a changed woman. That in itself is a wonderful miracle.

What I learned from this experience, was that God sees the big picture and always works to the good.  Years later and I still believe in miracles – and that includes healing of all kinds, including chronic fatigue syndrome – although I have personally only experienced what I would call ‘minor’ miracles.  Even so, I am always amazed at how  and what God does when He is given a free hand.

My wife and I have things in our lives that seem without solution, but we are fully expectant for miracles in our lives and that goes for our family and friends too. I know that if we are completely surrendered and committed  to God, He will act in awesome ways. The ‘how’ and ‘when,’ we have to leave to Him of course.

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Surprised by Angels

I once thought of angels as fluffy beings with wings, like the images portrayed in books, magazines and greeting cards. I was aware of recent reports and biblical angel encounters, but their existence remained theoretical, outside my realm of experience. As a pragmatic male, I believed Christians should concentrate on following Jesus, rather than an “experience”. While grateful for those blessings, or ‘consolations’ I received, I had no idea I was destined for my own very personal angelic encounters.

I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after several months of acute loneliness that defied any human solution. It was a most painful emotion of abandonment and anxiety, that kicked in after an eye operation that didn’t go to plan. I felt I was the only person in the whole world, like an infant, left out in the cold. I didn’t know which way to turn, except to God. The problem was He seemed to have left and was nowhere to be found. I had no sense of presence or awareness whatsoever. It was my own Dark Night of the Soul.

Even though He seemed far away, God had caught my attention as never before. I wanted to trust Him to take me through, but desperately needed answers and reached out to Him the best way I could. I spent time searching the bible, to see what was relevant to my situation. I recorded in my journal all that spoke to me, including my feelings at the time.

I liked to be outside in the freedom of the fresh air and was in the habit of going down to our beach. I used to sit on a low rock, just ‘being there in my wilderness!’ I became very aware and sensitive to those things close to hand, such as the surf gently washing in and rattling back over the shingle. I sat there one day, when I became aware – I can’t put it any other way – of Jesus kneeling at my feet, saying “What can I do for you?” This just stunned me. This was my God, kneeling at my feet, desiring to meet my needs.

A week or so later, when my anxiety levels were still high and I hadn’t driven far for a while, I drove my wife and a disabled friend, to visit a garden. On arrival, I left them in the formal garden while I explored a shady wooded area. I sat on a moss-covered tree stump, relishing the lush quiet all around me. I reached out to God in my isolation and almost immediately, I was aware of angels surrounding me. Some standing and some sitting, but all looking at me, protecting, waiting. It dawned upon me, that they had really been with me from the very beginning. I recalled some of the verses I had written down: I know it’s hard …. but you will come to no harm …. I will send my angels to protect you.

About three months later, after a brief appointment in town, my wife and I drove on to a favourite garden. It’s an incredible mix of several gardens, where there’s always a riot of colour, just like an artist dipping his brush in a paint box of flowers. After an hour or so, while my wife explored an old building, I wandered into a small secluded walled area. I was immediately struck by the quiet intimacy of this ‘secret’ garden. I sat on a sturdy wooden bench at the end of the close-cropped lawn. The seat was inviting like an armchair and so old, that the oak was bleached white with the sunlight.

As I soaked in the atmosphere, it suddenly felt like I was sitting on Father’s knee, with His arms around me. I could feel the warmth and comfort of His gentle embrace. I sat there enthralled, mesmerized, not wanting to move, in case He went away! I just sobbed with relief! That was a precious moment, Father and son together and possibly a promise of more to come?

Then, nearly five months after the onset, the state of desolation left as suddenly as it came. My senses began to return, the aching void inside receded and I felt covered by a warm comforting blanket of love.

I look back at that time now and just know that without me having to do anything, God did something deep inside. He knew my deepest need and just how much I could take and arranged those ‘angelic’ visitations to reassure and comfort me that He really was with me. Not the feeling, but the real God.

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You Are What You Eat

Those who take food and diet seriously, sometimes quote the phrase, “You are what you eat!” I looked it up and found it originated in the 1800’s or earlier in Europe. The German, “Der Mensch ist, was er ißt.”translates into English as ‘man is what he eats’. Much later in the 1960’s, it was adopted by the champions of healthy eating and is currently the title of a popular TV dieting series.

After I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue I looked into diet in some detail, partly because I became intolerant to certain foods. My wife and I tried various recommended diets, but they didn’t seem to produce the promised results and in any case they began to take over our lives and was in danger of becoming a god.

Recently we watched a TV programme about families who were following an extreme raw food diet, omitting all meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, wheat and flour and certain fruits. The food preparation room looked more like a laboratory, rather than a kitchen. They appeared physically healthy, but we were given the impression that it had become the top priority in their lives. A filmed teaching session was shown, that appeared very much like an evangelical Christian service of praise and worship.

So we continue to eat sensibly, buying plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and keeping fat and sugar to a minimum, plus taking certain vitamin supplements. I still avoid foods that don’t agree with me, although now most of the intolerance seems to have vanished. Having said all this, I admit that whenever diet and exercise is mentioned, I always have that niggling guilt that I am not doing enough!

My top priority however, is taking food of the spiritual variety. I have found that by opening up my life to God and seeking what He says about me personally, is life-changing and healing. When I take in His Word and inwardly digest it, it has an amazing freeing spiritual, emotional and physical effect. It reaches the inner parts that other foods just cannot reach.

I think however, that many of us would rather pop pills, follow a diet or even take part in a sponsored walk across the Mongolian Desert, than allow God to show us what is going on inside and heal us. It can be just too scary to let the hurting recesses of our hearts be exposed. The truth is that He is very gentle and we can trust Him.

I continue to enjoy my food and follow a balanced diet, physical and spiritual – I am still learning.

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