It seems like over and over again recently I have seen theological beliefs hit home in very personal, very challenging ways.
One of the books I have read so far is called The Children’s Bread. It is a book on healing. Though we are not “charismatic” (in the Pentecostal sense), our denomination believes in Christ the Healer. Though I am still forming my beliefs in this area, I have one solid stance: if it is God’s will to heal, He CAN and WILL do it. How it all works out is for Him to know and for me to be amazed at. Since I finished reading this book, I have been trying to pray with much more boldness and faith in improbable, seemingly impossible situations.
A few years ago I received a call from the mother of Aaron, one of my friends, asking, “Do you know a guy named Julian?”
I thought about it. “Well I know someone named Julian, but I don’t know if we are talking about the same guy.” I came to find out we were. My friend Julian, whom I had seen online earlier that day, was riding his motorcycle and went head on into a truck. Miraculously, he did not die on the scene, but it was not looking good, as you can imagine. He was not expected to make it through the night. I immediately called the prayer chain at my church and sent a text out to whoever I thought might know him, and I headed for the hospital. Never have I had to do anything like this and I never want to again, but I would do it in a heartbeat. How I made it through any phone conversations in between sobbing on the way to the hospital only God knows.
I got there, still sobbing, and just said, “Lord, I can’t do this. Give me the strength to be strong when I need to be.” And I went inside.
By the end of the night, I and the other people that came out for Julian–family, friends and another youth pastor–had prayed together twice. I had the opportunity to lead twice. I mustered up the boldest prayers for recovery that I could in those moments of brokenness.
It is moments like these in which you ask yourself: Do I believe any of this stuff? Yeah, I have head knowledge about God being able to heal people and raise them from the dead, but when “theology meets the road,” what do I really believe? When this is a life or death situation between someone I love dearly, do I really buy it? In this situation, I did, and I do.
Julian is not out of the woods yet, but for a guy who went head on into a truck, severed an artery, broke his neck and back and jaw and temporarily has no use of his right arm, he is stable with strong vitals and can move his left arm, his hips and his legs. At the beginning of the night I had no idea if I would see Julian alive again; now the only question is when. God can do the improbable, but more importantly God can do the impossible. Maybe you noticed I said that Julian does not have use of his right arm. Perhaps that will continue until another major surgery and a muscle relocation procedure. But who is to say my God can’t heal it Himself?
UPDATE: Julian has made a great recovery and has been serving the Lord strongly for several years now!