Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drop of joy at the Pool of Bethesda

For many years I (Andrea) have been dealing with a physical issue. I remember sharing about it with a dear older woman at Open Door over 7 years ago when she asked about something she noticed in me. I politely told her about it and she said she would be praying specifically about that for me. On many occasions she has prayed for many things in my life. Tuesday, April 12 something happened that resulted in a great praise. We were visiting the Pools of Bethesda. It is a large rocky area where water gathered back in Jesus day. It is not hard to imagine what happened that day recorded in John 5:1-24. I will not recount this familiar story. But I will tell you my own story…

Each pastor on this trip had two devotionals to give. We had finished listening to Nasir share what God had put on his heart about healing. Both he and his wife have been miraculously healed by the Lord from shingles that almost took his life and blindness and MS that left her in a wheelchair. Today they are full-time ministers, whole and healed. He shared that the Holy Spirit is a force in our lives. I had this flip-flop sense in my gut and we rose to “get to the next location.” I asked our host if we had five minutes. He first said no, then sensing this was an unusual request, he called everyone over. I courageously asked for prayer for this physical issue that has plagued me for as long as I can remember. Tears were unashamedly streaming down my face. I followed up on what I sensed in my spirit that the Holy Spirit wanted to do at this very special place. These friends I had only known for a week, laid hands on me, surrounding me like a fortress, speaking truth over me. We prayed with faith believing for a miracle, just like what the lame man experienced 2,000 years ago. It was a sweet concert of loving conversation to the Father we share, who meets our every need. I surrendered that moment to the Lord and His perfect work in my life. The physical symptoms that were quite regular in the sort of circumstances we were in that day were gone. Hallelujah! I know God has touched me. Sometimes our obedience isn’t for us. Elsa reminded me of that when we continued on our journey of faith that day. God used my bold request to speak into her life. Believe me when I say I almost did not speak up. The temptation was so real to just shrug off Mark’s decision and maybe even believe that “this was not my time; I guess I heard wrong.” But, thank God, this dear brother in the Lord perceived in his spirit something more was happening at the Pools of Bethesda. It was after the prayer was over that I learned I was not the first to take a bold step of faith. Mark pointed across the stone courtyard to another spot where a pastor named Sam was healed from Parkinson’s on a trip like this one. Later on Sharon shared with me that when she opened her eyes after prayer, she was looking down and saw a single teardrop on the rocks below. It had not dried, and you could see the wet on the rock. In her spirit she sensed the Lord's affirmation for my surrender that day. We formed a choir at the small cathedral located just a few yards away from the pools. The acoustics were amazing as we sang “How Great Thou Art” with abandon. For HE truly is GREAT!

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