The weather does make it tricky for Gabe to get much flying in though. He and Trinity are blessed to have several airplanes now up and flying and instructors with a heart for the Lord. So we are praying for sunny skies and no major mechanical issues for now, though the latter provide great learning experiences :-).
Right now we are both taking a class at our church called MIT or "Ministers in Training" and really growing a lot from it. Reading a lot of great stuff, including Radical by David Platt and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, both of which we'd highly recommend! We're also enjoying the wisdom of our pastor and others in the class who have been doing the work of the ministry far longer than us! We are just so blessed to be a part of South Hill Calvary Chapel. It's a better answer to our prayer for a church we could get plugged into serving than we ever hoped for.
But what does all this have to do with the title of this post? Well, as we look back on the last year, and sometimes wonder "what have we really accomplished here?" the Lord patiently reminds of what HE has accomplished in us. One of the most significant things is the physical healing he has given both of us.
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. "
A little background: in the spring of 2011 I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which basically meant my esophagus was so inflamed with white blood cells that I had constant pain, worse with eating. I was on medications for it, but they didn't help a whole lot. By May of 2011, Gabe was hearing the call to missions and I didn't want my illness to hold him back. So I went to the elders of our church in Tucson and asked for prayer. They also offered to anoint me with oil in accordance with the above Scripture. However, the two praying for me were in disagreement; one felt Gabe should give up on the idea of missions and take care of me, while the other saw my illness as a tool of the Enemy to keep us from following the Lord. So I had two prayers for healing but from different views. My friend Debbie also prayed for me on my way out that night, specifically that I would figure out what to eat to help heal me. The next week I saw an allergist who recommended the "Six Food Elimination Diet" in which I gave up dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts, fish and soy. Finding things I could eat on this diet was interesting! I stayed on it for about six weeks, gradually reintroducing the eliminated foods and discovered dairy was the hardest for me to digest. I saw a lot of improvement on the diet, but have to give glory to God for the healing that took place through it. (click on the link above to see a study detailing the effectiveness of this diet).
Then I got pregnant with Asher and had to change my medications and stop taking some of them. But God was good, and I had almost no heartburn through this pregnancy, which was a big change from the previous two! However, three weeks after his birth, the esophageal pain was back with a vengeance. Only now we had no health insurance; mine would end at six weeks postpartum and only covered one of my expensive medications. So once again, in obedience to the Word, I went to the elders of our church and asked for prayer and anointing with oil.
I haven't needed my medications since! I have had almost no digestive issues.The only time I've had stomach pains has been right before a Bible study or the above mentioned class. Seems like more than coincidence to me. As soon as I get home from the class where I hear more from the Lord, the pain is gone. All I can say is, He healed me and it's about time I gave Him glory for it!
Now on to Gabe's experience. For about the last two months, he was having pain in his lower groin area. He had a vasectomy scheduled with the VA in Tacoma and mentioned the pain to them when he went in for surgery. They did an exam and told him he had a hernia and would need additional surgery. For the week following the exam, he was in a significant amount of pain from the hernia. God was faithful and got him an unheard-of quick appointment for an ultrasound at the VA in Seattle for the following Monday. That Sunday he went to the elders and asked for prayer. The next day, neither the ultrasound tech nor the radiologist could find any evidence of a hernia. His pain has been gone ever since! When the nurse practitioner from the VA here in Tacoma called to follow up with him and he told her about the Lord's healing him, she couldn't get off the phone with him fast enough!
If you're like me, you may be reading this with a fair amount of skepticism or think it's just coincidence. That's ok. Jesus will meet you there. I can't answer why He would heal us and not others. All I can say is He loves us and wanted to show His faithfulness in our lives. I could go on and on with all the answered prayers and faithful provisions this year, but I'll stop here for now. Just think though...what He might want to accomplish in your life to show Himself strong?