Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such
as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Acts 3:6
For those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ as the provider of healing, hope and miracles I heard
a story which brought all of those things together perfectly. A dear friend of ours named Candace told us a story of her miracle
of healing. When God has a plan there is nothing we can do to stand in his way which is what gives Christians everywhere hope.
Candace found out a few months ago she had stage four Cancer in
the linings of her lungs and there was nothing they could do for her except experimental chemo and make her comfortable. Surgery
was not an option to remove this cancer on this very thin fragile membrane which seals the lung cavity to allow
breathing. It was so rare and aggressive there was little they could do but radical chemo and wait a short time before
she died. This was her forth battle with cancer which started years ago, but this was the worst of the worst as we prepared
for her death at a young age.
Candace is the kindest
woman most of us know. She is a Godly woman who led the woman’s Bible study which over five hundred women a week show
up to learn about God’s word. She is the kind of woman who would not say anything negative about a person with a gun
to her head, unlike your humble correspondent who would likely be holding that gun. She is a mother of three, two boys who
are raised and married and an adopted daughter who is recently moved out. She had a large group of ignorant hayseeds praying
to the Lord Jesus Christ for a miracle as many of us prepared for her funeral.
Four months ago when she was taking a radical new chemo she went into shock and died. Her husband related
that the life suddenly went out of her body and the monitors simply flat lined which he said was the most terrified he was
in his life. The doctors brought her back after a few terrifying minutes and rushed her to the hospital next door and she
does not remember anything that happened for around an hour. She had a near death experience and could not remember, bummer.
She became weaker and weaker as she prepared herself for whatever
God had for her. She was ready to go home to her Father and spend eternity with her Savior. When you talked to her and her
family you knew that were not just words but truth as she waited for her journey home. Her white blood count was so low she
was no longer able to go into public places for fear of catching a cold or something that would kill her as she got weaker
and weaker. Her husband Phil would go to church by himself and one Sunday in late February he went and the pastor was preaching
a message in the book of Acts about gifts of the Holy Spirit and Peter walking past the beggar, crippled from birth asking
for a coin. Peter told him to pick up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ. The beggar did get up and praised Jesus the rest
of his days. Peter said it was not in his name, but the name of Jesus who is the healer and provider who caused a miracle.
At the end of the service the pastor in a service of over a
thousand asked anyone who needs a miracle to stand like the beggar did. Phil was in tears as he stood before Jesus asking
humbly for that miracle. The parishioners around him laid hands on him as the pastor led a prayer for a miracle to happen
in his church for anyone crying out through the power of Jesus as Phil wept and prayed. Phil told Candace and received his
miracle as the next visit to the doctor Candace was found clear of cancer. They could find no growth anywhere and had completely
gone into remission. She has had her final treatment and is beginning to get her strength back looking forward to praising
Jesus the remainder of her days. But that is not the end to her story.
Phil was so overwhelmed he wrote the story in an emailed the pastor to let him know what had happened. The
pastor sent back an email asking if he could use the story in an upcoming sermon about the power of Jesus and his loving kindness
and hope to encourage people. Phil of course said yes as it may help other people praying for miracles and share the joy they
Easter Sunday was her first service back with
Phil and they were excited knowing the entire church would hear of her miracle and heard the message of how Jesus saves
the hopeless. How his death and resurrection is the true hope for the hopeless followed by an altar call for Salvation. The
pastor told of how a miracle had just happened in the church and told of Candace. Also listening was a thirty two year
old woman who had not been to church for a long time if ever who had stage four cancer and given three to six months to live.
She raised her hand for Salvation and declared herself that crippled beggar outside the temple in need of a miracle.
Their Easter service ended with a baptism for those wanting to
declare their walk with Jesus publically and this woman went forward and was baptized in her Sunday dress. She was being reborn
and cleansed of her sins as she prepared to meet her Savior and Lord. She knew there was nothing man could do or would do
and only Jesus could help her now. She came out of the water a true believer in the risen savior and ready to meet him as
a newly cleansed woman.
Candace went to church a couple weeks
later after a visit with her grandchildren. She was still excited knowing that a miracle happened in the church and her
story was an inspiration to people during Easter Sunday service and seeing so many people baptized. God is so good. The pastor
again related her story during the service and told about the young woman who was saved and baptized after hearing Candace’s
story. He also told of how she went to her checkup that week and found that the cancer had been cured. They found no evidence
of it and the doctors were amazed a miracle had occurred and she was completely healed. Candace and the church were beyond
praising Jesus Christ the healing Savior and she truly believes this is why God gave her the cancer.
The pastor related that this is the God we serve who shows mercy and compassion on those who do not deserve
such kindness. Man is evil and wicked, but Jesus is kind and merciful. We are sinful creatures who live for ourselves when
he asks us to live for more than ourselves and follow him rather than the world. The difference between the two women is the
two paths we choose. One was Candace who has lived her life following her Savior and was ready to meet him if she was called
home. The other was a worldly life of emptiness and hopelessness who most likely went to church as a last desperate Hail Mary
whose prayer was answered. She humbled herself to the Lord and asked that her sins be washed away in preparation for meeting
him. Jesus loves them both equally and answered both of their prayers to get up and walk and that is the hope all believers
are given, but you have to ask for that miracle.
Nobody knows why
these two women were saved while millions are not. That is why they are called miracles, but Candace believes it was for her
story to be told for his glory. She believes there will be people hearing about these two women and how the only explanation
is a miracle service from Acts and the Holy Spirit touching her through Phil’s standing in humility while asking Jesus
for a miracle. She believes this was to let people know that they serve a God bigger than her who has a plan for his people.
She has not met the other woman yet she has a relationship with her and they both relate to the poor beggar outside the Temple
who asked for a coin from Peter. Will you ask Jesus for a miracle?