And the Lame Shall Walk
October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Today it is my great privilege to have my friend, Sarah, share a portion of her faith journey as she raised the risk to travel as a missionary with World Race. Thank you, Sarah, for being the hands and feet of Jesus both at home and abroad.
God bless you, and may you be encouraged and spurred to action as you read her post.
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” – Psalm 5:5.
Her name is Grada. When I walked into her bedroom, I held back tears as my gaze landed on the frail woman huddled in the corner. She was sitting on the floor with her legs stretched out in front of her. She had morsels of food stuck to her face and held a clenched handful of rice. Her eyes and smile held a sweetness but told the story of a mind no longer able to fully comprehend. Her daughter had accepted Jesus as Lord only moments before and eagerly brought us in to meet her mother. A believer for less than 10 minutes and already she possessed stronger faith than mine as she requested prayer for healing. We asked for the circumstances surrounding the health of her mother and listened carefully as she explained.
“Her legs are paralyzed.
She has not walked for 10 years.
We have brought her to see the witch doctor and Prophet Joshua (a false prophet within the community) but they have been unable to heal her.”
I, along with two of my teammates and our translator, gathered around her. We layed our hands on her and lifted her up to the Great
Physician. We prayed that she would be able to walk again, that her confusion would be lifted, and her mind made clear. And at the end of the prayer, we stared at her lifeless limbs hoping they would move.
Nothing happened. Or so we thought.
The next day, we returned for a follow-up visit. This family had remained heavy on all of our hearts and we wanted to check in and see how they were doing. Upon arriving, the daughter said something in Swahili which we didn’t understand and then walked away. We stood there awkwardly for a few minutes. I turned to my teammate, Ellen, and whispered, “can you imagine if Grada walked around the corner towards us right now??”
And that’s exactly what happened.
I turned away from Ellen in stunned disbelief as this precious woman turned the corner and walked towards us. Walked! All by herself without any help, she was walking! We couldn’t believe it. Ellen and I turned toward Dawson, our translator and repeatedly asked him multiple questions all in one breath. “She was paralyzed right? It had been 10 years since she walked? Did we misunderstand due to the language barrier?” Dawson looked at us and answered our questions and seemed a little taken aback by our unbelief. He said, “this lady has been healed.”
This is a moment I will never forget and to God be all the glory, honor, and praise. Grada’s daughter said continually, “God has healed my mother!”
After spending some time with their family, after praying for continued healing over Grada’s mind, and promising to return back soon for another visit, we stood up to leave.
As I was saying goodbye to Grada she clenched my hand and wouldn’t let it go. She stared deeply in my eyes as her own filled with tears. She tried to speak but I couldn’t make out the words. She continued to hold my hand and my gaze for another long moment before motioning she wanted a hug. It was a moment I never wanted to end.
We were standing there, the two of us, locked tightly in a moment that will last forever in our minds. But it wasn’t about her. And it wasn’t about me. It was an awareness that something beyond the two of us had occurred. Something bigger than us. And not a something, a Someone. A Someone who reached down with love and healing and changed a life.
Make that two lives.
I witnessed this incredible transformation and learned about the power of prayer while in a tiny village in Tanzania where I was staying for a month while on a mission trip. Each time we returned for a follow up visit, God had worked yet another miracle in Grada’s heart and life. By the time we left, not only was she walking, she was also beginning to speak and a light had filled her once empty eyes. I had seen God work in a powerful way as a result of our prayers which was life changing for me. I began to understand in a deeper way how deeply God loves us and truly listens to us when we pray.
Beth Moore says, “when we pray, God is so close to us, He may as well be leaning over the edge of heaven, and bending down to hear. His Presence through His Holy Spirit literally surrounds us when we pray. He eyes are fixed on our faces. On every word we are saying. On every expression we are making. How the angels must marvel at our boredom as we pray, as their faces behold our Father in
Heaven who is listening intentently to our every word?”
I wonder how deeply our lives would be affected if we snapped out of our boredom and really began to grasp the power of prayer. If we spent time each day in passionate prayer interceding for loved ones, praying for the sick and the unsaved, and asking God to draw us closer to His own heart. I think for a lot of us, we just don’t get it. We pray because that is what we know we are “supposed to do.” What if instead of praying out of empty tradition, which is religion rather than a relationship, we take a step forward in our prayer life? Find a
quiet place, get alone with God, spend more time with Him than you normally would, ask for the impossible, and then wait in expectation for His answer. Because we serve a big God who tells us that nothing is impossible through Him. Try it. Step forward into this new adventure. And then watch in amazement at all the incredible ways He will work. Who knows? You may even witness a
*You can read Sarah’s complete journey with World Race here.