So God performed a miracle Sunday night. I should not be surprised; I look forward to the day I am not. It's actually a little odd that I was surprised considering the fact that if I listed every single miracle God has performed in my life the list would be extensive indeed.
I'm not talking about blessings. If I started writing blessings it would fill a book. Sometimes people use the terms rather interchangeably and I'm cool with that. I consider my children miracles and blessings. But non-believers are having children all the time, completely oblivious to God's hand in their child's creation. How they do that is a mystery to me. I mean, not the having children part. I am aware of how all of that works although I think a few people doubted me on that score when I managed to have two children in less than thirteen months. I mean the witnessing of creation, of the birth of a brand new human being, its transformation from zygote to fetus to person in a mere nine months, and still having doubts about the presence of our Creator.
I'm talking about things that are inexplicable but for the power of God. Of people who have cancer suddenly being cancer free. Of babies hearts that were still beginning to beat. Seas parting, water to wine. That sort of thing. God is still moving in these ways all the time and He showed me that throughout Eddie's life in so many ways that this blog has yet to contain them.
Since Eddie I have been living in something of a miracle-free zone, too raw with grief and loss to seek the miraculous in my day to day life. I would happily discuss the miracles of my past but when present circumstances hit hard I felt more of a spirit of surrender than of petition and power. Luckily, God wasn't paying any attention to my zone and doled out lots of blessings and even a few miracles during that time. He has been calling me in past months, however. He has been telling me that my rest is over and that it is time again to ask, to expect, to believe.
When Baby Boy woke up Sunday morning, he wasn't exactly himself. No manifested illness yet, just unusually cranky and sensitive. Falling back on mother's intuition, I decided to stay home from church. By mid-afternoon, he had a stuffy nose and fever. I prayed for him, but not in a way that expected radical results. Just a quick prayer for his healing, his comfort, and wisdom for his care. We snuggled and watched movies. He drank lots of juice and managed to eat a little. Nothing scary. Just a sick kid.
That evening he had a low grade fever as he fell asleep. As is customary with that sort of thing, he woke up around midnight, very hot and crying. Baby Boy doesn't do sick well. He once had me preparing for a trip to the ER before I realized he just had gas. He's a tough guy when it comes to injury; he dislocated his thumb at preschool and kept on trucking. But when it comes to sick, he's a bit of a wiener. So I was bunkered in for a long night of crying, moaning, and other such carrying on. Not that I wasn't sympathetic; I hate it when my babies are sick and he was getting nothing but TLC. There was just another part of me that really wanted to go back to bed.
I started thinking about Eddie. About the long, restless nights when his body raged with infection and I could do nothing but hold him, murmur words of comfort and pray. I thought about the relief I always felt when his fevers would break, the kind that makes your knees go weak and your body quiver. I thanked God that this was not like that. That this was just a normal fever, an immune-builder for an otherwise healthy kid.
But then I looked at my little man's pained face and his tear-streaked cheeks and my heart just broke. I prayed. I put my hand on his head and prayed for God to take his fever and whatever was causing it away from him. That he be immediately and completely healed. Nothing happened. I felt a familiar disappointment creep in. One of those faithless, "seriously?" moments coming fast upon me. I felt like a failure. Because if the folks over at Bethel church in California can re-grow somebody's bones, make the lame walk and the blind see, why can't I fix a stinking flu?
God brought to my mind then something I'd read in Bill Johnson's book. He said he wasn't batting a thousand. That sometimes he prayed and it seemed like nothing happened. But he kept praying. He didn't let what might look like an unanswered prayer for one person keep him from praying for the next. I thought about persistence and the parable of the persistent widow. It's in Luke 18:1-8 and basically encourages us to bug God about the things on our hearts.
So I prayed again, not focusing this time on my son's tears but rather on God's truth. The truth is that no one in Redding, California is healing anybody; God is through them. And if He can use them, He can use me. So I stood on that truth, claiming my own power through the Holy Spirit and asking again that He heal Baby Boy's flu. I asked my husband to pray for him and he laid hands on him as well. We agreed in prayer for his healing.
At first, it seemed like nothing was going to happen but I was okay with that. I didn't feel anymore like I hadn't prayed right or enough. I had acknowledged that God had the power to heal Baby Boy through me and my husband and asked Him with thanksgiving to do so. I think that is all anybody can do and after that it either is God's will to grant your petition or not. But I kept my hand on my little boy, not praying any words but just staying in that blessed God-space with him. And, suddenly, I felt something. An ache in my whole body, like a low-level electrical current. It was uncomfortable and I almost withdrew from it, but I heard God's voice asking me if I wanted this or not. So I stayed there and let the power of the Holy Spirit course through me and into my son.
He quieted. I kissed his forehead and he was fever free. No sweating or shaking as usually accompanies a fever breaking. Just one moment he was burning up and the next he was cool as a cucumber. Twenty seconds later he saw a lightning flash outside and was out of bed, running from window to window to try and see another. He was hyper and happy, exclaiming, "Mommy, you get up with me? Daddy, you get up with me?" You would have never known he had been ill.
It's Tuesday now and Baby Boy has had no more signs of illness whatsoever. I was so happy because it meant we didn't have to miss Crazy Hat, Sock and Tie Day at school (it's the little things, you know?). I am happy because I've made another breakthrough, another baby step closer to a more complete knowledge and fellowship with the One who is Love. Who is Healer. Who is Helper. Who is God. I know Baby Boy would have gotten over whatever it was in time. A trip to the doctor, a few missed days of preschool. These things aren't a big deal. But what God is showing me is that it doesn't have to be a big deal to call Him in on it. That He is just as ready and able to heal a hang nail as He is to restore an amputated limb.
God spoke to me once shortly after Eddie died and told me I was free to carry my own burdens but it was like insisting on carrying my own groceries when the strongest man in the world was offering to lend me a hand. It's a good illustration (imagine that) and helps me with my worries, but I had never applied it in this context before. It encourages me to not except the expected anymore but to bring everything -- every piddling everyday thing -- to God with thanksgiving and to expect the miraculous to happen. Sometimes it won't, but what does that matter? I'm going to keep going, boldly and loudly, immune to embarrassment and full of childlike anticipation of when I will see the next flash of miraculous lightning.