This (true) story that I am going to tell you happened in our church last Thursday, but it actually had started couple of weeks ago during one of our church services. It was at one of Wednesday services that we really felt the Lord was there during the prayer and worship part of the service. At one moment, one of the ladies from the church fell down to her knees and started to pray. She had been earlier diagnosed with a kidney stone, which was only the last in line of the troubles she and her family experienced lately.
Those of you who attended our services know that our prayer times can be very intensive (at least to say) so we are all used to people expressing their hurt, emotions and generally pouring their hearts in prayer. But there was something different about this lady’s prayer that made me approach her. What I felt at that moment was that her prayer was not only emotional, but also deeply genuine.
So, I approached her and I laid my hands on her. Among other things, I prayed for her complete healing so that when she goes to doctor’s (she was going for it the next day) “we will all be amazed by the healing God will perform as a sign of His love”. I normally would not have said anything like that, but this was one of “those moments” when I simply “knew” God is going to do something! And I did expect it to happen!
Last time I felt such an urge to pray for someone’s healing was while we were still meeting in Konik 2 camp. Someone called us to let us know that Albijan’s stepdad was on his death bed. Couple of us went to his house right after the church service, only to see Bayram (that was his name) only a few inches away from dying. His kidneys were collapsing and the doctors said they could not do anything more for him. He was released from the hospital only to die surrounded by his family and friends. Soon upon arriving to his home, I felt an urge to pray for him. I did not have a plan what to pray for, but I felt like the Lord was telling me to do it. So, I did. The other 4-5 church guys that were with me prayed along, supporting me. The rest of the room, around 20 men, all Muslims, were looking at us in shock! And I prayed like no one was there but Bayram and I. The next day (or was it two days later), Bayram stood up from this bed. He was healed and had lived for another 3 years.
But this time, the news was not great. Instead of the healing we were literary expecting, the lady returned the next day reporting her condition was worse than they’d thought. Instead of the minor surgical treatment, the doctor said they will have to perform a real surgery because the kidney stone was way too big to be flushed or removed in any other way. Still, they had put her on a stronger therapy for another week hoping to avoid what had seemed inevitable – a surgery.
The lady had to put up with several severe episodes of pain, late-night rushes to emergency, while I was in a rather depressing mood. I struggled with the questions like “How is it possible that I was so wrong? I am not the “God-told-me” kind of guy and I rarely make strong statements that someone’s going to be healed, etc, but this time I felt it so strongly! When I prayed for her, I prayed in faith, without pre-meditating my words and I was as sure as I can be that the healing’s going to happen! How could I be so wrong?! Will I be able to trust myself ever again? What will she say? What will the people in the church think of me and my relationship to God since I’d made such a huge mistake? What kind of prayer is this that makes things worse than they were?!”. Yet, it was what it was and I had to leave it behind. The lady, though, was preparing herself for what was forward – the surgery.
And then, just like it so often happens, in the times when we even forget what we have prayed for and/or make peace with our prayers not being answered…a miracle finds a way into our lives. On the day when the surgery was scheduled, I received a phone call from lady’s husband.
“He threw the stone” – he said (as native Albanian speakers often do confusing male and female gender when they speak Serbian).
“Who threw the stone?!” – I asked thinking that someone just broke the window on a new van he’d bought, as the night before he told me he was afraid somebody may do it.
“Kika! Kika threw the stone!” – Bashkim told me. I realized then that a) he was talking about his wife and b) we’ve just witnessed a miracle.
The lady, Kika, has been doing just fine since then. Thanks God that right before surgery the doctor in charge wanted to get another recording of Kika’s kidney stone, without cutting her open first. The new findings showed that there was no trace of any stone whatsoever.
I was humbled for my little understanding, reprimanded for being of little faith, reminded once again that we serve God who is always capable of surprising us, whose ways are so much higher and greater comparing to ours. I was reproached once again on who is in charge and that He will always be faithful and truthful, but only under His conditions – conditions by which we are the ones to comply, submit, never doubt, surrender all (including our understanding of the Bible) and only then, He is truly glorified. He is never late, never negligent, but He will NEVER give His glory to someone else.
May all glory, honour, power and majesty be given unto Him forever and ever! Amen!