A few months after the events of my previous post, and a few months ago, I took another baby-step in the gift of the word of knowledge.
It was in another Sunday-morning meeting. During the time of worship I got an impression that someone had a pain in their back. You would have thought after the previous incident I would have had more faith to move in this gift and more confidence in recognising it - but I have to confess, I struggled again. I thought back pain has got to be one of the most common complaints. It's likely someone in the room has some kind of back pain just by statistics! People will think I'm just making it up... maybe I am making it up.
Then I felt a pain in my back, right at the base of the spine. Not general back pain, but a very specific and localised pain. I still struggled: on the one hand maybe this was God telling me the specifics of the person's pain, but on the other hand maybe I just thought someone else had back-pain when really it was just my own pain. I wasn't sure enough to step out during the time of worship, so again I did nothing.
Then the preacher began his message. He spoke about how you have to take risks if you want to step out in the supernatural, and he finished with the story of Peter and John and the beggar who was healed. The exact same scriptures that had convinced me to step out in the word of knowledge the fist time! [God is so gracious!] I must be better at hearing God though the preached word, because I finally got the message!
So after the preacher finished, I stood up and shared that there was someone in the room with a back pain at the base of their spine, and that I believed God wanted to heal them. I waited around at the front of the meeting, but no one came forward. But afterwards, as I made my way to the back of the hall to get a much-needed coffee I saw one of the visitors trying to catch my eye. I walked over to him and discovered that he was the father of one of the students attending our congregation. He told me that he thought he might be the one I was talking about as he had a back pain in exactly the place I had described.
I prayed for him. I can't remember what I prayed, but I remember I wasn't too impressed with myself. I thought, come on Chris, you can pray better than that! I was just about to offer to pray for him again, when he arched his back, rotated his arms and said, "I think... yes... the pain is gone!" I was taken aback! [Keri recently shared on the importance of having faith during a miracle, not just before - that men can give away thier lack of faith by how they respond when God actually does what they asked of him! I think this was one of those moments!]
This happened just before the students left for their summer holiday. This student and his father were from the Netherlands. He returned about three months later, and told me that his father had been trying to get hold of my email address. Apparently he used to suffer a lot with that back pain, but for the past three months he had been completely free of pain!
Thank you, Jesus! God is so good.
Again, I could have so easily missed this opportunity. Again, it showed me that it had nothing to do with me. It wasn't my faith that healed him - the way I reacted showed I had very little! Jesus healed this man out of the abundance of his grace and by his mighty power. The gifts of the Spirit are just that - gifts - we don't earn them, we don't deserve them, they don't communicate how spiritual the one who uses them is - they are unmerited expressions of the grace of God poured out on his church. We just need to learn to use them!