"He Looked Beyond My Faults"
Several years ago arthritis developed in my back, causing me pain and a stooped posture. It was necessary for me to use a cane to compensate for the forward weight. Family and friends were praying for me, but I knew my healing was hindered because of a grudge or hate that I held for two persons. I used to say "I forgive them" but it was only from the lips and not from the heart. God looks into our hearts and my true feelings were clear to Him.
During the last two years of her life, my wife was confined to her bed and it was at this most difficult time of my life that I experienced something that would change my life forever.
Either in a dream or in a vision, I saw the two persons I could not forgive as miserable, pitiful individuals. They appeared so destitute and in need, that I felt compassion for them and began to pray for their salvation. As a result, true forgiveness rose up on the inside and was now established in my heart. This was God's way of lifting the burden of unforgiveness from me. I knew at that very moment I was eligible for healing.
Intermittently my wife was hospitalized for tests and treatments. It was during one of these stays that I arose early in the morning so as to arrive at the hospital before breakfast time. I dressed and went to the hospital, not realizing I wasn't using my cane. When I entered the hospital room, Helen, my wife, said, "You look so good standing up straight again." Until that very moment I was not aware of God's healing during the previous night. We both cried with joy, then I began to experience a feeling of guilt for being so late in giving thanks to God.
Immediately I thought of my hands, because of the awful arthritic pain I had experienced in the base of my thumbs that restricted the use of hand tools. When I needed to remove excess water from a washcloth, I placed it on the counter and pressed it out. It was just too painful to use the conventional twisting, wringing method. Praise the Lord! My thumbs were also normal again!
Now in my living room, there are two trophies to God: my cane and the pain-relieving drug that I once used. I see them every day and the memory of God's blessing often bring tears of joy to my eyes. There is no way we can give adequate thanks for what He does.
For the past six years I have resumed favorite activities that would have been impossible without the healing, golf and ballroom dancing. God gave these back to me. He is such a wonderful God who always desires to bless us abundantly.
In hindsight, I can see how I spent many months of unnecessary discomfort and pain because I was stubborn and simply would not forgive. If this can be a message to anyone who has a parallel problem, please pray and pray for a soft heart so as to make yourself eligible for the many benefits that God is waiting to bestow upon you!
"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25 (NKJ)
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