I decided to sell my beloved 10 acre block in September 2014, I think because everything became too much for me. I’ve loved the place for over 40 years but I’d lost my enthusiasm and interest. I wasn’t even interested in my plants and garden, let alone 10 acres overgrown with gorse. Much had been neglected in the years I looked after my mom with alzheimers, sole charge – there was such a lot to be done and so little funds to do it all with.
So spake the enemy.
Fortunately, I’d been born again in October 2006, at a small fellowship in a coastal town half an hour’s drive from where I live. I hadn’t been a churchgoer since I was a child, but out of the blue some friends invited me to their fellowship that day and I decided to go. It would be a change, I thought, especially since my mother was in respite care for a week. No-one at this little fellowship knew me.
Well, the worship and the service had such a strong impact that I was in tears for most of it, and decided then and there to be baptized with three others in a ceremony they were going to hold in the ocean near the church. So in this way the Lord reached out and pulled me into His boat.
Then we went back for lunch, and several people brought scriptures that had come into their minds for me. Out of probably 5 scriptures, 3 were identical:
“So I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten…” (Joel 2:25)
I was astounded. These people did not know my life’s health history, nor did they know that I had looked after my mother with alzheimers for 9 years…
That prophetic scripture encouraged me so much, because I felt it had indeed come direct from God, and thanks to the experience I’d had with the Holy Spirit on that day I really had become a ‘believer’. As very often happens, though, the outcome of the prophetic was not immediate nor has it been instant. Far from it. There is a lesson to be learned for us all in this.
When Jesus walked this earth, He worked many instant miracles – in fact the hallmark of His miracles was the instantaneous. Sometimes though, He required evidence of faith from the people He healed – as when He asked people what they wanted from Him. He knew the answer to that question perfectly well, but He wanted to draw out from them a statement of faith.
Sometimes, He required people to take action in faith – “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8), “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” (John 9:7). For a man afflicted with illness for 38 years who couldn’t get himself into a pool, and for a man blind from birth, these were not trifling commands – they required faith and effort. Sometimes it is so with us, and I believe we are the better for it.
Today, instantaneous miracles are still happening:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13)
This last quotation highlights another aspect. Many miracles were – and are – worked in such a way that there can be no doubt they are sent by God. Two historic examples are the raising of Lazarus (John 11), and the healing of the man blind from birth (John 9:1-7), as Jesus stated there in answer to the disciples’ question.
I believe there are times when the Lord does not just hand out an instantaneous healing because He wants us to trust the process, and learn something. And so it has been with me.
My mom passed away early in 2007. I always baked bread from wholewheat and ground sunflower seeds for her because she loved it – the bread was raised with baking powder, so as to avoid yeast.
Now was my opportunity: I was led to stop baking (and eating) bread, and test out a feeling I had about gluten. So I cut out all wheat products. That helped, but was still not the full answer. Then I was reminded other grains also contain gluten, so I swore off all grains except rice and a little corn – some more improvement, but still not the full answer.
I was noticing a strange cramping in my bowel at times, and the words ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome‘ kept coming to mind. So I researched an explanation:
“The small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed, is supposed to have tight cell junctions to separate the chyme (food turns into chyme in the stomach) from the bloodstream. But a chain of factors causes these tight junctions to degrade. Once the connections between intestinal cells are weakened, undigested proteins and bacterial toxins escape into the bloodstream. This leads to a heightened state of inflammation.” (Empowered Sustenance)
Could this be what was causing my skin problems and ‘under the weather’ symptoms? A condition brought about by years of candida and stress?
The way to treat Leaky Gut Syndrome holistically prescribes avoidance of all sugars and all starches (including grains and starchy vegetables). So the packets of rice biscuits (my bread substitute) went out the window, as did corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes (our NZ kumara) and yams. I put myself on the GAPS diet.
Meantime I’d had polymyalgia, which of course is an inflammatory disease, affecting mainly the legs in my case and almost destroying my mobility. It began late 2014 and thanks to careful management by my doctor, we had a recovery by April 2016. A wise friend suggested that maybe the reason the prednisone worked so well on me was that I have never taken pharmaceutical medications.
Meantime I had started a course of chiropractic to fix some spinal problems, exacerbated by a couple of falls.
After many months of daily pain and limping, I at last began to feel I was starting to come right
Hallelujah! This came like a heavenly benediction on a decision I was in the process of making – the decision NOT to sell my beloved 10 acre block and NOT to move away.
Well, our Father is a God of Breakthrough. He is also a God of knowledge and understanding:
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 3:33)
For over 2 years I’d pursued the idea of selling up and moving – hampered continually by one major thing after another – my health issues, a tree falling on my roof, having another tree taken down with massive fallout scattered everywhere, repair work needing to be done on 3 outbuildings, a huge overgrowth of wandering jew weed – you name it, I had it.
I don’t think I was meant to move away from here, and things were allowed to happen that made it virtually impossible for me to move quickly.
But what does it take to deal with all these problems?
I’ll tell you what it takes – faith, that’s what – and being prepared to trust the process. Being prepared to take action when a fast outcome is unlikely. Being prepared to listen to the still small voice, and obey. Being prepared to step out in faith without having a clue how it will work out.
Plus a healing miracle.
More to come.