Matthew 14:34-36 – THE FREEDOM FIGHTER
She is in bed most of the time now, unable to do the most basic of things. 96 years old ANGIE (not her real name) was once a FREEDOM FIGHTER in Czechoslovakia. Her speech is slow but her conversation reveals her intelligence and she surprises me with the laughter in her eyes and her faith in God. She has learned to use the computer, send e-mails, play music etc, but muscular degeneration means her fingers don’t work as well now. She struggles now just to lift her hands a few inches and there is pain. She cannot feed herself or hold a cup in her hands. I pray for healing for this faith-filled freedom fighter.
After they cross the lake, Jesus and His disciples land at Gennesaret (Matthew 14:34). Jesus has had contact with those from this region before and soon people are “bringing all their sick to be healed” (Matthew 14:35). They come expecting miracles to the One they recognise could and would heal them. They beg Him to let the sick touch “at least the fringe of His robe”, and ALL who touch Him are healed (Matthew 14:36).
Imagine if it was Angie that day in Gennesaret being brought up through the crowd behind Jesus and touching the fringe of His robe. Imagine Jesus turning around, seeing her there and saying, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.”
MIRACLES OF HEALING are not impossibilities conceived in the hearts of people who are fools, as Ingersoll, the faith terrorist, once suggested. They are not unthinkable to the thinking person who is open to the possibility of truth beyond the senses; to a system of perception called faith.
Certainty in God’s promises, not ignorance, is the soil in which belief in miracles grows, and if we are honest we do not pretend to think we know the boundaries of possibilities in this world. If we are truthful and sincere we will admit our doubts and spiritual ignorance and say, “Lord, help my unbelief” rather than being content to say “It cannot happen!”
A FREEDOM FIGHTER is dedicated to opposing an invader seeking to enforce compliance and subservience upon us. Afterall, why should we worship our DOUBTS? Why should we prostrate ourselves before the mirror of our own LIMITATIONS and not before the One in whom ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE? Why should we kneel before medical science as our SAVIOUR rather than as our SERVANT, and preach a gospel of rational redemption when the hope of medical miracles won’t change the human heart or forgive human sin? Why should we not fight for the right to look beyond what doctors do, as wonderful as that is, to find the wholeness we need?
In Matthew 21:21-22 (NLT) Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” 1 John 5:14-15 (NLT) clarifies this further by saying “And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for ANYTHING THAT PLEASES HIM. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.”
Angie, the FREEDOM FIGHTER, appreciates what it is like to be healthy and articulates to God her desire to be well. The possibility of being free from sickness brings her humbly before God, like those from Genessaret, ready to touch even the fringe of His robe to find relief. And it gives me an invitation to fight the battle alongside her as I pray for this wounded warrior to receive the healing grace of God.
P.S. Angie died last week. She slipped away into the presence of the Lord. She knew she was loved and she confided in me that she was ready to go home. I hugged her gently and said my goodbyes but before I returned from holidays she was gone. My brave warrior. I will miss her intelligence, her beautiful eyes, her love for God and her friendship with me. Were our prayers answered? Of course.
P.S. to my last P.S. It has now been some years since Angie died. I recently found Angie’s e-mail address on my computer, although it doesn’t exist anymore. I found myself crying and realised that my grief for her loss still ran deep. So I wrote her an email.
I came across your old e-mail address today and although I know this will just go out into cyberspace somewhere and perhaps return, I thought I would write anyway.
It seems so long ago that you passed this way but I still remember you. You died when I was away on holidays and no one told me. I missed attending your funeral. I am so sorry about that, but I remember our friendship, the many conversations and prayers and your beautiful smile. I remember how you told me you were part of the resistance during the war. I remember you telling me about your accidental meeting with the Pope while you were on holidays in Italy. Even though you were a Protestant they put you in the line to meet the Pope at the Vatican.
I remember when you were able to send emails and use your computer. I remember quiet talks when tears would fall at your frustration about not being able to move your hands and we would laugh at life as well. Motor Neuron Disease took your physical abilities but not your keen mind and sense of humour.
It was a pleasure to be your Chaplain, but most of all I miss you being around as my friend. I miss you. I prayed for your healing but God chose to heal you in a place where there are no more tears or pain. One day, when I no longer shed tears or feel the pain of the loss of a good friend, I will see you again.