Testimony Thursday: Healing at Victoria Gardens

Victoria Gardens

On earth At Victoria Gardens as it is in heaven.

Today isn’t Thursday, I know. But this story happened last Thursday, July 30, at Victoria Gardens outdoor mall, at the parking structure just east of the library.

I’d like to tell this story with as much detail as possible because when I used to hear stories like this, it sounded so mysterious. It took me a while to figure out that it’s not about me being awesome, it’s about GOD being awesome, and me just taking simple steps to live out what I know is true. This is not a perfect model of how to witness. There are a few things I could have done differently, and I was definitely outside my comfort zone, but I just acted like myself and took the opportunity in front of me. The results aren’t up to me.

Last Thursday, I was coming down the stairs of the parking structure on my way to meet someone, when I heard some kind of accident below me, like someone had just sprained an ankle. I peered over to see one teenage boy helping another up off the ground. By the time I made it to the ground, they were limping away together.

“Hey! Are you guys okay?” I called after them.

They turned around. “Yeah, yeah, we’re fine, thanks,” they said.

“Could I ask you guys something really quick?” I asked.

“Sure,” they said, and came back towards me.

“What happened?” I asked.

“My ankle got twisted,” one guy said.

“Oh wow, I’m sorry,” I said. “Hey, um, I’m a Christian, and I believe in Jesus, and I believe that Jesus heals people… so, would you mind if I prayed for it really quickly?”

“Sure, yeah, of course,” he said eagerly. I asked his name – he was Aaron and his friend was Brian – and I knelt down and he gave me permission to touch his ankle lightly.

I don’t remember what exactly I prayed. On the one hand, I wanted to keep it simple and brief, and on the other hand, I wanted to provide a little bit of a theological foundation for what I was doing. I prayed for about thirty seconds, thanked Jesus for His love and praised Him for who He is, and asked Him to touch Aaron’s ankle and bring total healing.

I asked Aaron how the pain was, and he said it was a lot better! I asked if I could pray again, and the second time I got a bit more bold. I declared that I have the Holy Spirit inside of me and God has given me authority, and I commanded the ankle to be healed in Jesus’ name.

This time, Aaron said it felt a LOT better, and he was standing and walking without a problem, grinning ear to ear.

“So, do you believe in Jesus? What’s your background with God?” I asked.

“I’m actually a Mormon,” Aaron said. “I haven’t been active in the church for a while, but yeah, I believe in Jesus.”

“Awesome! I actually have a lot of Mormon friends, and one thing they’ve told me is that they read the Book of Mormon a lot, but sometimes not the Bible as much. Is that true for you?”

“No, we definitely read the Bible as much as the Book of Mormon. It’s another testament of Jesus Christ…” He briefly explained to me a couple of the tenets of Mormon theology, and I nodded along, but I really didn’t want to get into a historical discussion of Joseph Smith, etc. I knew I had only a few minutes with these boys, and I wanted to focus the conversation on the heart of the matter.

“We could have a whole discussion about all kinds of things here, but as I understand it the biggest difference is that Mormons believe that Jesus is the son of God, but not fully God Himself, is that right?” I asked.

Aaron agreed that was correct and elaborated a little bit, but it felt to me like he was lacking conviction a bit. I didn’t want to let the opportunity go without at least briefly letting them hear the gospel.

“Well, without getting into a whole big thing here or getting all preachy at you, I do just want to tell you that the Jesus who just healed your ankle actually is fully God Himself, and He really wants to have a close personal, intimate relationship with you, and that can only happen when you fully believe and trust in who He really is and fully trust in His grace. It’s not about grace plus ‘all you can do;’ it’s by grace through faith, not works, so that no one can boast. That’s Ephesians 2:8-9. And I’d just encourage you to really seek out who Jesus is in the Bible, and see what God’s saying to you.”

Aaron said okay, and we all said “have a good day,” and went on our ways. He wasn’t limping at all anymore.

I don’t know if Aaron’s been thinking about our meeting since then. I don’t know what God’s up to in his life, or Brian’s. I do know that his ankle probably wouldn’t have gotten healed and he probably wouldn’t have heard the Gospel that day if I hadn’t stopped to talk to him, even though my heart was pounding.

I hope this story can be an encouragement that letting God use you to touch strangers with the power and truth of the Gospel doesn’t have to be mysterious or complicated. It’s not about how awesome we are, but how awesome God is.

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
I Corinthians 2:1-5

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle Morrison
    Aug 21, 2015 @ 18:05:31

    That is totally awesome. 🙂

    Reply

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