53: Do You Believe?

53: Do You Believe?

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Do You Believe?

By David Heeren

“. . . I am the LORD, who heals you.”

~Exodus 15:26

The sudden pain struck with dagger force, twisting deep into my lower abdomen. I doubled over and had to steer the car to the side of the road. My wife, Joan, exchanged seats with me and drove us to the nearest hospital.

In the emergency room, between spasms of pain, I explained my symptoms to Joan. She was a registered nurse, so I asked her for a professional opinion. She told me it was likely that I had colitis.

I wondered: What if it’s colon cancer?

It was late in the day when I was finally settled into a hospital bed. I lay there for many hours without being able to sleep. I was still experiencing pain, even though I had been given a painkiller. But the thing that kept me awake was anxiety.

I am a Christian, and I believe in the power of prayer, but not until after midnight did it enter my head that I hadn’t talked to God about my illness, whatever it was.

I began talking to Him, silently, in my conscious mind: “Lord, this is awful. I’m scared. I’ve never been this sick in my life.”

I continued to pray, and then, suddenly, a thought occurred to me: “Do you believe I can heal you?”

The thought was in the first-person tense, as if someone else had established a presence in my mind, but it seemed to me that it was a thought of mine.

I answered the question affirmatively in my mind. And, immediately, another thought took its place: “Do you believe I want to heal you?”

I smiled over the fact that I seemed to be having a mental conversation with myself, but the smile was brief. This was a conversation, whether it was one-sided or two-sided, that I needed to take seriously.

“Yes, Lord,” I said internally. “I have read the Bible. I know you are a merciful God. You have raised the dead. You have healed many sick people. So, why not me?”

Then, one more thought: “Do you believe I will heal you?”

I wrestled with this question for a long time before stating my answer succinctly: “Yes, Lord, I believe you will heal me.”

And then I fell asleep.

When I awoke the next morning, my body was suffused by a feeling of serenity. The pain was gone. Medical technicians put me through a series of tests that day, but I knew how they would turn out. In the afternoon, when a doctor entered my room, he smiled and said what I was expecting to hear: “There is nothing wrong with you. You may go home.”

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