HAVING "FOUND GOD" IN MY LATE 20s, I began an unquenchable search for a closer understanding of Him. I became a United Methodist lay minister, serving a church in rural Illinois, and grew to love the congregation. In fact, I still have friends from there. Also, I was invited to guest speak at many churches. It was a real privilege to meet brethren on so many fronts and to share the love of Christ, Still, I felt deep down that there must be more. I began attending different churches as well as smaller gatherings of Christian men and women, spurred on by hopes that I would find comfort for the deeper spiritual needs I had. And I desperately wanted to help others who were searching. There were so many unanswered questions stored up within me.

One evening I was invited to join a small Christian group of men and women meeting in a storefront in a very small town. These people were accustomed to "laying hands" on those who desired healing, and praying for them in the name of Jesus. A lady had one leg that was considerably shorter than the other and consented to being prayed for by the group. She sat in a straightback chair and placed her legs on another chair in front of her. There was considerable praying, speaking in tongues, and the laying on of hands. I was about as close as one could get when I actually saw her leg adjust and "grow" before my eyes. But at that same moment, the lady's eyes met mine, and it was as if we were carrying on a conversation, only without words. I sensed she may have felt that although this was a "cure," there was not any assurance of permanency in healing through blind faith. And my thought was: What would prevent a reversal of what had happened? Although I can't speak for the lady, I felt that there was nothing authentic about this. There was no divine authority reflected—nothing which was based on any fixed principle.

I was so dismayed by having seen a physical healing, something I was longing to witness, only to be so unimpressed. In fact, I was actually upset. It was as if I'd been cheated, having looked for the truth about healing for so long and then feeling what I'd seen hadn't come about legitimately. So I left the store immediately, even before the lady got up from her chair. As I drove home that night, I prayed a prayer that was simple and to the point—and, as I was to soon find out, made it to the heart of the Father's abiding place. The prayer was this: "If healing is that important to You, God, then lead me into it!" In earnest, I realized I needed divine guidance to help me discover that "secret place of the most High" (Ps. 91:1) or else I would probably never find it on my own.

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Patience with the contractor
July 12, 2010

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