Back Up to Bat …

girl-softball-batter-1Dear Ones,

Living the Kingdom life is always meaningful but there are some moments which are especially significant.  Last night was one of those for me.  At the Teen Challenge facility in Riverside, California, I stepped back up to bat.  By that I mean that I taught on supernatural physical healing for the first time since my cancer diagnosis in December of 2011.  I stepped back up to bat.

I used to teach a lot on supernatural healing.  It was something I loved and was asked to do often.  Each time I would teach we would “try it on” by asking the Holy Spirit to come upon us as he did Peter and John in Acts 3 when the Lord used them to heal the lame man who sat day by day outside the temple at the Gate called Beautiful.  In great faithfulness, the sweet Holy Spirit would come each time we invited Him. Pain was alleviated, people’s bodies were strengthened, and yes, sometimes we would see amazing demonstrations of healings, praise the Lord!

Sadly however, when I was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer, though we prayed with all our hearts, I was not supernaturally healed.  My healing came after more than a year of treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  I am alive today and I am ever grateful that God used the hands of my dear doctors and the enduring prayers of His people to make sure that His healing plan for my life was realized!

But one of the unfortunate after-effects of my cancer storm has been a timidity to re-engage with my former healing ministry.  Because of my own suffering, I’ve had to face the rather brutal reality that although Jesus healed all who came to Him (Matt. 12:15), sometimes we simply do not receive our own healing or the healing of a loved one for whom we pray with all our heart.

And so these last two and a half years have been spent learning to love Jesus more deeply because of His kind presence to me in the face of my suffering, even though we prayed so hard for a supernatural healing.  I’ve searched to develop a more balanced and Biblical theology regarding not only the reality of human suffering but also the way God uses sickness and suffering for a deeper purpose in our lives.  Now as I reach out to others with cancer, my story, tested by the fire of my own suffering, is being used by God to bring hope and strength to the weary, the sick and even the dying.  That has made my journey through the cancer storm not just bearable, but truly beautiful.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 is true:  “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.”

I’ve actually grown quite content not teaching on supernatural healing.  Teaching more on God’s kind presence in the midst of our suffering has been enough for me.  But then Andrew Ferguson, Dean of Students of the Teen Challenge facility at Benedict Castle in Riverside scheduled me to teach last night on Acts chapter 3 — yes, the very passage which details the first supernatural healing done through the Early Church, specifically Peter and John.  This powerful passage is uncontestable in its account of the Spirit’s power to heal a man who at 40 years old, had never walked or even stood because of a congenital birth defect.  The passage assigned to me left me no wiggle room — the same Spirit who raised up Jesus from the dead was the same Spirit who raised up this lame man and healed him instantly and completely.  And my message last night to the men at Teen Challenge had to be this:  the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and who healed the lame man at Gate Beautiful lived in them!  Who knows what miracles God desires to do through them?  The Spirit of the Lord was IN them for their sake, but He was UPON them for the sake of others!

And so I stepped back up to bat.  

I re-engaged with a ministry which includes teaching what the Bible says about healing.  Now I’ll be the first to admit that last night may not have been my “best” teaching.  And when we prayed for those who needed healing last night, we saw alleviation of pain by those who suffered — but at this point, I do not know of any complete supernatural healings. Finally, let’s be clear — the teacher who was delivering the message of supernatural healing through the power of the Holy Spirit was the very same woman who was not supernaturally healed of her own cancer.  BUT — and this is a big BUT — the Bible was clearly taught and followed last night.  And I believe with all my heart that God was pleased.

As I stepped up to bat last night, I said “yes” to God — “yes” to teaching the full Gospel again.  “Yes” to remembering that although we don’t always see the healings for which we pray so fervently, we would never want to miss praying for them, because our God IS STILL a God of healing.  I don’t want to stop one prayer short of a miracle.  So I’ll continue to pray for healing and teach others about healing.

 It’s good to be back up to bat!

Cancer Faith Suffering

12 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Rich, rich redemption at work…how blessed are you and how good God is to remind you that He is the greatest Home Run Hitter thru YOU. Love this. Thanks for sharing

  2. Thank you for revealing your vulnerability AND your faith! You know, God fed the Israelites in the desert directly & supernaturally w/manna & quail & even water. And Jesus fed the 3,000 & the 5,000. But mostly in the Word of God his provision (food or otherwise) comes through the world he created & the people he had called. The richness of relationship & the bounty of the earth increase the presence of God’s creative & sustaining (& healing) power to us. Some of us get the “manna” of healing, some of us get it through God’s creation & people (like drugs & doctors)!

  3. Precious Cathie,

    A timely message to and for me. I,too, have prayed for and seen the healing Hand of God, but……. And then your message and life experience allowed me to “lay down” something I have carried for many many years. I thank you!!!!

    While I will continue to believe and pray for healing for myself and others, I will Not be persuaded that something has gone awry when the healing arrives differently or not at all- in this life. Throughout your cancer sojourn, I kept reminding myself and our Lord that you believed in healing but…. In ways we will never fully understand you have/ I have/we have been healed. What a day when the clouds roll back and we precious little ones bask in the fullness of our Healing Savior’s Presence.

    I love you, Cathie

    Myrna Maybe we should write a book — Anglican and Catholic United !!!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  4. Rev Cathie
    We know in part; someday we will know in full. Bless you for stepping out in faith!
    Love
    Trish Stewart
    Grace

  5. Cathie dearest,

    I thank God for you! Wish I had been with you last night! Thank you for stepping in where you found it difficult to trod!
    All part of your healing, I am sure. Thanks for being so transparent! I miss Arleen too! Her comment– perfect!

    Logging you, Penny

  6. Your message to our Teen Challenge guys on Thursday was powerful and it was such a blessing to watch them step out and pray for their brothers. You commented “God uses sickness and suffering for a deeper purpose in our lives.” — He definitely has used you. Hundred and hundreds of people read as you journaled your storm every step of the way. Your words were honest and vulnerable in a way that many may never have experienced.
    Readers, who may not have known a personal Jesus, came to know him in a way that they, otherwise, may have missed. The miracle you prayed for through your cancer storm didn’t happen, but you may never know all of the other miracles that came about as a result of your sharing. God grew a whole new ministry out of your experiences and the blessings go on. God jumped His purposes to a whole new level.

    Jerry and Jody

  7. Hi Cathie,
    I foster puppies. I got a medical rescue to care for who had a pelvic bone repair after being hit by a car and then dropped off at the pound dragging her legs behind her. After recovering from surgery he had one paw that had nerve damage and she walked on the front knuckles. This gave her a constant open wound even though I made a bootie to protect her foot. Being a puppy she pulled it off. It grieved me to see her struggle so I gathered her up on my lap to bandage her foot as I did each morning. This time I asked Jesus to make her walk on the pad of her foot. I was so excited 2 days later when I took the bootie off, she was on the pad of her foot !
    It was an amazing witness to the woman I foster for and the vet who called it a miracle. I’m over joyed.
    Many warm blessings to you sweet woman of God.
    Vicki, good friend of Davida

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