Tag Archives: healing

It’s A Miracle! (Genesis 30)

Have you ever wondered why God didn’t set Jacob straight when he thought putting strips of poplar and almond branches in the water trough would cause perfectly white mating sheep to produce striped and spotted lambs? Does it surprise you that God increased Jacob’s flock in spite of this ridiculous practice?

I remember a well-meaning Sunday School teacher saying the branches in the water frightened the sheep, and the trauma from that shock caused the offspring to be spotted and striped. Interesting.

But does the Bible actually teach folklore or hocus-pocus? Of course not!

I went to Google and found several different theories about this. But most of the articles I read agreed to some degree. Here’s what I found:

First, let me ask you this: How many of you take herbal supplements? Have you ever eaten a handful of almonds for their health benefits? I think Jacob, through God’s leading, might be the first recorded herbalist. (If you want to know more about it let me direct you to answersingenesis.org; Jacob’s Odd “Breeding Program” of Genesis 30. I found that article very interesting).

However, setting all the science aside, the best explanation of Jacob’s breeding program  is found in 31:6-12 when he describes his vision. The bottom line is…

it’s a miracle.

It was God who caused the increase. It was God who strengthened the sheep and produced striped and spotted offspring. God did that, with or without the medicinal benefits of the branches.

God has given us doctors, medicines, even herbs to aid in healing. But do not be misled, healing is a miracle. It is of God, not science, not medicine, not hocus-pocus. If God uses the science He created to bring about healing – it’s a miracle! If God heals apart from any scientific explanation – it’s a miracle!

We can spend all day trying to figure out the “why and how” of Genesis 30. I’ve spent too much time on it today, myself, when I firmly believe God just wants us to see Him in this passage. Period. God could take two perfectly white animals whose genetics would naturally produce perfectly white offspring, and create a spotted lamb in order to bless Jacob. That’s the bottom line.

It’s a miracle!

 

September 23; The Point of the Matter

Psalms 146-147; Nehemiah 7:73-9:37

Is God interested in you? Does He give a thought to the tiny details of your day, or consider those things that lay heavy on your heart? The writer of Psalm 146 tells us to praise the Lord, to put our trust in Him, that the Creator God blesses those whose hope is in Him alone.

Then the psalmist says this about God: He upholds the cause of the oppressed, feeds the hungry, sets prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down, watches over aliens, and sustains orphans and widows. The psalmist assures us the Lord loves the righteous, and He is always faithful.

Let’s not hold God to being a God of material blessings only. We can look at the list above and argue that there are starving people and blind people in the world. There are prisoners and destitute orphans, so either the psalmist didn’t know what he was saying, or God is a liar.

Well, let me make this perfectly clear. The psalmist wrote the words God breathed through him, and God CANNOT lie.

I’m reminded of the account of Jesus’ ministry as recorded in Mark 2, when a paralyzed man’s friends went to the extreme to bring him to Jesus who had been healing people’s physical ailments all day. The friends cut a hole in the roof above Jesus, and lowered the man right down in front of Him. Jesus took one look at the paralytic and said, “Your sins are forgiven.”

What? They expected the guy to get up and walk. No one said anything about sins.

Jesus used this situation to make an important point. The physical healing was a bi-product of His real purpose. He never came to earth to give sight to blind eyes, make broken bodies whole, or cure cancer. The point of the matter is Jesus came to save sinners. He came to forgive sin.

I go back to the psalm I read today and see an important word I almost overlooked. God loves the righteous. Not just nice people, not people who do good things and don’t break laws. We are righteous who wear Jesus’ righteousness.

God loves people who accept what Jesus’ blood bought us – forgiveness of our sin. Then and only then, our eyes are open, we are free and fed, no longer aliens and strangers. We are His children, loved, protected from Satan, with the assurance of eternity with Him. We place our trust in Him, our hope in Him alone.

Then yes, God cares about the tiniest detail in the lives of His children. He knows our thoughts, our struggles, our fears. And because we have heard Him say, “Your sins are forgiven,” we can get up and walk, trusting Him to do all things well.

And He does.

Will You Pray With Me?

I know most, if not all of you, have burdens on your hearts too heavy to carry on your own. Whenever I see a request for prayer from a fellow blogger, I almost always take a minute to bow my head and talk to my Father about whatever is going on. But most of the time, I forget that prayer request as soon as I get up from my computer. I’m too often one and done.

I’m going to ask you to pray with me today for a request that has my heart breaking. And I will praise God if you go to Him just once, right this minute.

Please pray for Landon, a four year old boy who is fighting for his life. They have diagnosed him with HUS, a serious complication from ecoli. They gave him a blood transfusion last night and his blood count seems to be improving. They are not sure the damage to his kidneys, or if dialysis is in his future at this point.  There is danger that this disease could effect other organs of his tiny body, including his brain. And the danger is not just immediate. The effects of this might not show up for years.

Landon’s parents, Kelly and Zach, are a young couple who love the Lord. Would you pray with me for them, that God will be their strength in a visible way to those around them? Would you pray that God would wrap His arms around these dear parents, that they would know the comfort that only He can give? Would you pray that London’s body will be able to fight off this disease, that doctors will have wisdom and make decisions that will benefit this little guy? I am praying for complete healing.

And I am praying for those who are close to Kelly and Zach, their extended family, their church family, my own nephew and and his dear wife, Sara. Sara (niece of my heart) has been Landon’s babysitter for years, and the two couples enjoy a deep friendship.

Would you pray that Landon will be healed, and that Jesus will be glorified in this situation? May God bless you as you join us in our petition on behalf of Landon, Kelly, and Zach.

Thank you!

March 28 – God’s Promises Are A Done Deal

Joshua 19-21

So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. (21:43-45)

Did you catch what Scripture tells us? The Jews were given the land just like God had promised Abraham. None of their enemies stood before them. None of the promises God made to them failed. Not a one!

Can God be trusted to keep His Word? 100%

Would you mind if I share a personal burden I am carrying? I have a friend who is having surgery today to remove a large tumor from her brain. I am praying for complete healing, although this is not the only cancer invading her body.

I read passages like this one in Joshua, and in others like Matthew 4:23 where Jesus healed everyone who came to Him. Or like in James 5:16 that says we should confess our sins so we can be healed. And I am tempted to believe physical healing is God’s promise. But is it?

God promised the Israelites He would defeat their enemies. And he did. Promise kept.

But I am reminded that cancer is not my friend’s enemy. Her enemy was defeated when she asked Jesus to save her. She is a godly woman, a servant, an encourager. Her life has been a testimony for God’s grace for the forty plus years I have known her. She has touched thousands of lives through her years as a music teacher, a member of the city’s Philharmonic Orchestra, as her church’s organist and praise team member. Her unwavering faith these past couple years as she has battled this disease has shown a bright spotlight on her Savior to people in and outside the church.

I pray for a miraculous healing in my friend’s body. I pray for the doctors, for her husband and daughters. I pray for her church family and the community who loves her so much.  I pray that God will be glorified in this surgery today. No matter the outcome.

I know God will keep every promise He’s ever made to my friend. He will never leave or forsake her. He’s gone to prepare a place for her where she will live forever cancer-free, and in God’s Presence.

Would you pray with me today for Sheri? May God be evident in many ways, may hearts be drawn to Him, and may Sheri know the healing that God has in store for her.

He will keep His promises.

 

March 6 – We Are Family

Numbers 26&27

These chapters in Numbers are about family. Moses was counting the men from each family because God was preparing them to receive their portion of the Promised Land.

Reading this certainly has me thinking about my family. I like being one of the “Zehner girls.” I am blessed to have been born into this particular family, even with all our imperfections. We were raised by parents who loved each other, and us. And we were encouraged to love the Lord.

However, the generations of Zehners before us were people who largely ignored God. Alcoholics, unfaithful spouses, kids from the wrong side of the tracks. So when a Zehner married a Kindinger, that ball stopped rolling.

Yes, I was blessed to be a part of this family, and my sisters and their children continue to be a blessing to me all these years later. But not everyone reading this blog has had the same experience as me. Some of you have been wounded by your family, and wear the scars of neglect and abuse.

So did my Dad. But I thank God he made different choices than other members of his family. So can you.

I worshiped this morning with people I love, none of whom is remotely related to a Zehner. I walked through those doors and was greeted by people glad to see me. I made it a point to say Hi to someone I hadn’t seen in a few weeks. And it was my pleasure to invite a woman visiting for the first time to sit with me. I sat there and shared the Lord’s Table with these dear people, sang hymns and songs of worship together with them, drank in the message about Jesus’ last days on this earth.

Here’s the thing. All of us, no matter to what family we were born, have an opportunity to belong to a family of believers. I hope you are a part of such a fellowship, loving and serving and worshiping and caring for each other.

Family is important in the Bible. Moses was preparing the people to enter the Promised Land. But they weren’t going solo. They were going together with their families.

I would encourage you to cherish those people in your home. And if you find yourself alone, I pray you will find a Bible believing fellowship where you can develop close relationships. Yes, we who know Christ as our Savior are members of the Church, the Kingdom of God. Everyone Moses counted that day were members of the Jewish nation, the children of God.

But they each had a smaller, more intimate identity, too. It’s called family.

I’m praying for yours.

Father, Thank you for coming up with the idea of “family.” Thank you for Bob and Ginny, Peggy, Kathy, Nancy, and Sally, my family. Such good memories. Such blessings yet today. Thank you for nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, all of whom I am privileged to love. And I thank you for my two church families. Bless those dear ones at Bellville Baptist Church in Ohio. Bless the Frederica Baptist Church family in Georgia. I love being a part of both of these fellowships of believers. I pray for those reading this blog who have been hurt by family members. I pray for those who have been hurt by church family members. God, I pray that you would heal and encourage each one. And, God, I pray that we all will find that family connection within our church walls. We want to enter that Promised Land shoulder to shoulder with people who love us, and who we love. And thank You for being the best Father ever. Above all, I love being Your child.

 

The Great Physician

I am thankful for doctors. When my sister had cancer, I was and am thankful for the doctor who caught it, the surgeon who removed it, the plastic surgeon who did the reconstruction, and the care she’s received since then. They are worth every penny! Even though they did not heal her.

I remember the morning of her surgery, I was standing in front of the mirror drying my hair when a thought came to me I can only attribute to God: Peggy has cancer. But today we’ll be able to say, Peggy HAD cancer.

And that’s exactly what happened.

I won’t go into detail about all the miracles we witnessed that day but I will tell you the surgeon was able to remove all of the cancer, and see that her lymph nodes were clear. Eight years later, my sister is still cancer-free. And we know who healed her.

Like the woman we read about in Mark 5, Matthew 9, and Luke 8 who knew that if she just touched the hem of Jesus’ robe she’d be healed. She did. And she was.

I don’t know why God healed Peggy of cancer, yet Mom died of the same disease. No one had more faith in her Savior than my mom. So “faith” is not the magic button we push when we want healing.

This New Testament story isn’t about healing. It’s not even about faith. It’s about Jesus. The woman healed of her ailment still died. Peggy will still die. But God revealed himself through both of those women, just like he revealed himself when he took Mom home.

I am reminded that everything that happens in this life happens because God is intent on saving souls. Some are saved through good times, some are saved through hardships. Some need to witness a miracle in order to believe in the Son of God.

So I will continue to go to the Great Physician for physical healing for myself and my loved ones. I will go to my doctor for regular checkups and do what he prescribes. But I will also say with Paul, “… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Read Philippians 4:10-13)

And may people see Jesus in me.