This is the first testimony in a new series of writings called Testimony Tuesday. You can find the series introductory article along with the complete list of available testimonies here.
On Saturday 29 August, I took part in the second Christians 20/30 event for 2015 – the Amazing Race. The irony is that before the kick-off, the group went through a brief warm-up session to stretch… During the first activity/stop, I was climbing the steps at Queen Victoria Gardens when heard and felt a “pop” behind my left leg calf. Immediately after, in ascending to the next step, I felt the intense muscular pain in my calf, which was particularly jarring as I attempted to continue up the stairs. I found that my heel could not withstand any application of weight/pressure on it. Instead, I had to limp about the city, carrying myself gingerly on tiptoes in order to minimise and limit the pain experienced in my left leg. A quick prayer was offered by a few of my team members and a more in-depth check was performed later in the afternoon after the completion of the event.
Sunday 30 August saw God reach out to me via the constant message on “storms”. It was interesting that in total, I received the same thematic message three times that same morning. The first time was via the LightFM early morning program, and then live (twice) from the guest speaker preaching at church.- both services.
In the LightFM program, the message was that when we read the Gospel narratives on Jesus and the disciples in the storm, we should be mindful that Jesus had commanded the disciples to cross the Lake of Galilee. In this way, Jesus had sent them intentionally out into the open water where the disciples encountered the storm. God did not create the storm, but was present inspire of it, and was ever-present during the storm. We tend to adopt the attitude that during a stormy period, God is no longer present in our experiencing of that storm and thus we look for His absence. Instead, the lesson being taught is that we should focus on God’s presence in the storm, and choose to acknowledge and indeed praise Him.
During the church service, the guest speaker again spoke about storms, but this time in the context of Jonah. The story of Jonah goes that instead of obeying God’s command to go to Nineveh and warn the citizens of their impending judgement and condemnation by God, Jonah ran away from God. In running away from God, Jonah ended up on a boat sailing in the opposite direction across the Mediterranean Sea. God brought forth the storm which threaten the boat and all aboard. God was present in the storm and sought to get Jonah’s attention. Jonah further thought that He could escape the wrath of God by being cast into the sea. God instead showed His grace for Jonah in that stormy situation by providing the whale to swallow and carry him safely to land. God used the storm in this story not to harm Jonah or the sailors, but instead as an instrument to get Jonah’s attention. In this particular storm story, we see into the very heart of God, who is revealed not so much as power mighty and dreadful, but as loving, caring, and creative – transforming even the terror of the storm into a peaceful calm. The key takeaway for me was that God is above the storms and in control.
I liken the injury to a storm that I was currently enduring at the time. Instead, of sleeping in and resting up, I had been woken up early and really felt God was trying to get my attention. As shared above, indeed God did get my attention that morning. Before the first service began (~8:45am) our Missions Director offered a prayer of healing. At the time, there was no noticeable effect, and I continued on with a slight limp. The main testimony event was at the conclusion of the second service, when a brother in Christ who has the gifting of prophetic prayer, prayed over my leg. We offered up to God a total of three prayers, during which time I sensed a warm sensation come over my leg. The nerves were tingling and I knew that God was going to do a work on me. Literally, the first prayer had minimal effect, so we both wholeheartedly agreed to pray again. It was during this second prayer that the tingling sensation was felt. Immediately after the conclusion of the prayer, where another friend/sister in Christ joined us, I could feel the muscular pain had ebbed away considerably. If I were to measure the level of pain and discomfort, the healing would have been 50%. Encouraged by this improvement, we prayed a final third time, but the healing had already taken hold. We all agreed that whilst we would not pray anymore, we would closely monitor the situation.
Prayers were also offered in response to my sharing of the need for prayer on the life-group WhatsApp group chat. The quality and frequency of prayers was mainly during that Sunday morning. Even before arriving at church, I had the mindset that this was an opportunity for God to show His divine will over my life. I was not going to let this leg injury stop me from spending the time at church that Sunday, let alone the rest of my planned activities. Throughout the day, I rested my leg. Even with a dinner party to attend, I was fortunately blessed in that the condition of my leg did not prevent me from driving. Additionally, the wearing of runners helped to cushion the impact of normal movement/exercise against the tenderness of nerves present in my leg. After a good night’s rest, rising for work on Monday morning saw me test my leg which had improved further. I spent Monday in a state of almost-full and complete healing; there were times when I completely forgot about my leg stiffness and muscular pain only to attempt to work as per normal and then experience the ache of the pain. By Monday night, my leg was effectively restored in full.
When you examine my attitude and behaviour, I was consciously choosing to praise God in spite of the injury throughout the entire period of Sunday – Monday. In part, God had already stirred within me a separate call to pray, which was awaken that Sunday evening when having a steam boat dinner hosted by a good friend/sister in Christ (different to the one who joined in prayer during the day). Partly, the discussion topic at night-time centred the group’s attention on the need for more prayer to cover us and the church during the storms that are affecting my church. The full details of those storms is really a separate story for another time.
God’s timing was again visible to me because that Tuesday (1 September) was the date of the church’s corporate prayer event – called Prayer Hub. As part of the worship, breakthrough and healing prayer station, the same brother who prayed for me Sunday late morning led the ministry time. It was through God’s grace that I could share this testimony of His healing touch upon my life. One of the key messages and learnings that we both agreed upon was that healing is a process. Sometimes, when we receive and even give prayers of healing, we expect God to work instantaneously. Instead, my faith was focused on seeking God first, and that in His own time, He would choose to fully restore my leg. At that same corporate prayer night, another sister in Christ, who works as a GP doctor, shared her medically trained view that normally my kind of injury would take a week to fully heal. It is thus, a clear act of God that the healing process that I experienced was accelerated by God through prayer.
The total duration overall was probably a 48-hour period, commencing from the moment on Saturday when the injury was sustained, until a time when I could consider myself completely 100% healed. During that time, I was personally, constantly praying for God to work. I recall even now, specifically calling upon God for more of Himself and less of myself. I could have easily changed my approach during those hours to think that God had not healed me yet, and thus give up, but instead I found myself holding on to God and His promises that in His appointed time, I would receive his complete healing. When we pray, do we seek God first, or seek the outcome we would like? Even beyond that 48-hour period, I still now hunger and seek God first. Without deviating too much into another separate story of current spiritual awakening, I believe God was using this opportunity to get my attention. Whether the storm was God’s doing, or it happened and God decided to capitalise on the situation, it does not matter to me – the clear message and learning for me was to pursue the heart of God first and foremost, no matter what I was experiencing. It is often much easier to bless and praise God when we are experiencing good times, but the challenge is to do so during the storms.
Thank you God for restoring my leg so quickly. Thank you for the various messages you sent my way to get my attention and impart a Word of wisdom. Thank you God for being Jehovah Rafa, our God who heals. I pray that through this shared written testimony, other believers can be encouraged and take heart that You, oh Lord, do work in this day and age – via miracles of healing. Help us to see you during times when storms may be upon us, and help us to hold fast to Your truth, love and grace. In the name of Jesus, Amen!