“It is time Doc! The people are waiting.”
I distantly heard the pastor speak as I stared into space, wishing he would leave me alone. It seemed as if I had nothing left to give to others at that moment. I had spent the best part of the afternoon in tears, asking God why He had forsaken me.
I had accepted a call to go to Ethiopia as one of the speakers during a church project entitled: Total Membership Involvement. Just one month before my departure, I injured my back at the gym, and the x-ray results showed that I had a herniated disc.
Family and friends advised me to cancel the trip to Ethiopia. I inquired of the Lord, but He was silent. I prayed and fasted, believing that He would heal me. Still, the pain seemed to worsen despite the regular physiotherapy sessions and visits to a chiropractor.
On the day of departure, the chiropractor told me that I would not be allowed to go if it were up to him because I was in no state to travel. However, he entrusted me in the hands of the greatest chiropractor — Jesus, by praying for me. Afterward, I caught myself singing the following hymn:
We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to ev’ry land, Climb the steeps and cross the waves; Onward! ‘tis our Lord’s command: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!1
My Grace Is Sufficient for You
I took the song’s words as a message from God to go to Ethiopia despite my injury. I remember prostrating on the floor in tears, asking God, “How can You send me to tell the world that You save when You have not healed me? Who will believe me? They will think that I am a fraud!”
At that point, I clearly heard a voice saying, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
That was the confirmation I needed. I got off the floor and hobbled to the bedroom to pack my bags.
Before it all happened, God had made provisions for me by impressing a dear sister to come with me. She accepted the invitation, wondering what she was going to do there. But after the accident, it became clear that God was preparing a support system for me. Fragile as she was, my sister and travel companion wheeled me through different airports until we arrived at our destination.
So much went wrong during the trip that I kept wondering whether I had really heard from the Lord. When I finally got to my destination, I was shown to my room on the third floor of an apartment building without an elevator.
Holding my tears, I went to my knees and started crawling up the stairs to a well-prepared room where I lay on the bed and freely let tears flow. I asked God why He told me to come on such a painful mission.
Now, three hours later, I distantly heard the pastor speaking, “It is time Doc! The people are waiting. It is time for our first session.”
I heaved a sigh of resignation and slowly crawled out of bed. The pastor helped me down the stairs and across the road to a church filled with people singing joyfully. The sweet music of praise lifted my spirit.
I held on to my walking stick as I spoke. I got so immersed in the message that I did not even notice when I let the stick go and started walking freely on the platform for almost an hour.
Healed from Addiction to Drugs
After the closing prayer, people broke out in song, praising God for the healing miracle. As I stood to greet the people at the door, the pain started again. However, the following evening as I stood at the pulpit, the pain once again disappeared, only to come back after the sermon. Some church members even suggested that they move my bed to the platform because that seemed to be where the healing power existed. Word spread in the community, and some people came just to witness the healing miracle on the platform.
After the sermon, people would gather at the pulpit. We would pray with and for them, claiming God’s promises. Many individuals experienced physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. One young man who had attended the meetings faithfully was addicted to drugs and trembling uncontrollably. We formed a prayer circle and asked the Lord for healing. On that day, we experienced the Lord giving healing and deliverance to this young man. He started Bible studies, was baptized, and returned to his village to work with other young people and preach the good news of Jesus.
In total, twenty-five young people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized. As I sat on the bus to the airport, I reflected on how God had watched over me. He had performed the promise He had given me before leaving home — that His grace was sufficient for me.
The overwhelming lesson that God taught me was total dependence on His power alone in my service to Him. While God could have healed me permanently during that period, He chose not to. He allowed this physical problem to remain to keep me humble because a proud, self-sufficient Edith would have stood in God’s way.
Call to Action
God had to break me to use me effectively. His strength was made perfect in my weakness. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 became very meaningful to me. I gladly “…glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God is inviting you to partner with Him. Are you willing to trust in Him, go where He wants you to go, and be what He wants you to be, even when it hurts?
All scripture taken from the King James Version.
- Owens, Priscilla J. “Jesus Saves.” https://hymnary.org/text/we_have_heard_the_joyful_sound