Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When "Mommy, kiss it and make it better" no longer works (Matthew 8:6-7)

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 8:6-7 (TM)
"Master, my servant is sick. He can't walk. He's in terrible pain."  Jesus said, "I'll come and heal him."

The Spirit of Power that we receive is not like the human power that we recognize as strong. It’s a power unlike anything we can do on our own. 

A young man growing up in the wrong part of Houston became a bully. He would get in fights in school, in the neighborhood, and began mugging people to get spending money. He even beat up people just for the sake of doing it. 

He learned to box, and became pretty good at it. He began to make a lot of money and could have almost anything he wanted. One day, during his training session for an upcoming bout, he heard his mom talking to his sister on the telephone about his favorite nephew. The young boy had had a seizure and now lay in a coma in the hospital. Doctors said he would probably die, but that if he came out of the coma he wouldn’t be able to move his limbs, or speak, or do any of the human functions we consider part of living. 

He ran into the room where his mom was on the phone and shouted, “Momma, call the hospital and tell those doctors to give him the best of everything. Tell them I’ll take care of all the bills, to fly in the best doctors from wherever they have to. Tell them who I am, and that I’ll take care of everything — whatever it costs.” 

His mom spoke to the doctors, and then told him, “Son, you’re just going to have to pray.” 

He realized then how grave the situation was. When someone tells you the only thing you can do is pray, things are looking pretty bad. 

Then it hit him. All of his money, his fame, his influence, his friends — none of that could solve this problem. It was out of his hands, out of the doctor’s hands, out of everyone’s hands. For the first time, he was totally powerless. 

And for the first time, George Foreman dropped to his knees and prayed. 

He wasn’t sure God existed, but he knew that when all else failed, people prayed. He asked God, if he really existed, to help his nephew. Then he got back in bed. A few seconds later, he got back on his knees and offered to give up all his wealth if God would heal his nephew.

Then he got back in bed again. A few seconds later he got back on his knees a third time and got angry at God for letting this happen to his nephew, a child who hadn’t experienced life yet. George told God to take his life instead. Let the boy live and take George’s life instead. 

The next morning George’s sister called from the hospital. His nephew had woken up and could move his eyes, but the doctors said he wouldn’t ever walk again. 

She called later that day, and the boy had begun moving his toes. The next day the boy was talking, and a week later he was on his way home, “walking, talking, and back to normal.” The doctors had no logical explanation. But George Foreman knew God had just given him a miracle. 

Three months later in March 1977, George Foreman died in his locker room after fighting Jimmy Young. He collapsed in a heap, and entered what he describes as “a deep, dark void, like a bottomless pit.”

In his book, God in My Corner — A Spiritual Memoir, George wrote, “I knew I was dead, and that this wasn’t heaven. I was terrified, knowing I had no way out. Sorrow beyond description engulfed my soul, more than anyone could ever imagine. If you multiplied every disturbing and frightening thought that you’ve ever had during your entire life, that wouldn’t come close to the panic I felt. …
“ I screamed with every ounce of strength in me, ‘I don’t care if this is death. I still believe in God.’ 
“Instantly, what seemed to be like a giant hand reached down and snatched me out of the terrifying place. Immediately, I was back inside my body in the dressing room.” 

George accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and devoted himself to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. He realized his human power, his money, his prestige, were worthless in the next life, and meant to be used as tools to lead others to Jesus during this one. 

He went on to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World twice. He was ordained as an evangelist in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and became pastor of a small church. He also became involved in prison and hospital ministries. 

You probably know him best for the George Foreman Grills or for namely all of his sons George. He finally was able to baptize his own 23-year-old daughter who finally decided to dedicate her own life to Jesus. 

That’s God’s idea of power.

Both the scripture and George Forman’s story causes a question to come to mind: To whom do we turn to when we need healing?

“Kiss it and make it better” worked when we were younger. Then we learned the valuable lesson of the power in the medical profession with the “magical” potions that come in pill form along with our citadels of modern healing called hospitals. But eventually we will all be faced with something that is beyond a mommy’s kiss and the knowledge of the doctors or the medicine with the expensive machines of the hospitals.

When our backs are to the walls and modern healing knowledge isn’t enough nor our riches strong enough to make it happen… where do we go? Who do we turn to? And are we willing to place it all there trusting God with the outcome? Though we try mightily to bargain and plea with God the conclusion that Mr. Foreman arrives at is the same one waiting for each of us… all we can do is pray and trust… and be prepared to accept the consequences regardless.

Can we say – in life or in death thou art God?

We pray hoping and end up accepting the outcome. Help us in our time of greatest need. 

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