Saturday, December 16, 2023

The Names of God - Jehovah Rapha

 God Our Healer

Why am I writing about the names of God? 
This name of God came about days after God parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites.  Three days march inland they came to a place with water, but it was bitter.  God had Moses throw a stick in the water and the water became 'sweet.'  God then spoke to Moses saying (Exodus 15:26):

"If you listen, listen obediently to how God tells you to live in his presence, obeying his commandments and keeping all his laws, then I won’t strike you with all the diseases that I inflicted on the Egyptians;
I am God your healer."

In My Life...

Looking back, I can quickly think of several instances of God's healing work in my life.  Sometimes it was in conjunction with doctors.  Other times it was unexplainable naturally.  I've already written blog posts about a couple of these situations.  Here's the links to them:

My Second Bike Accident

See this link for a story on my first bad bike accident. 
I really enjoy mountain/trail riding with my bike in the summer.  Late July last summer (2022) I set out after work to do some trail riding in a large city park close to our house (Nose Hill Park).  The grass on the sides of the path had grown tall by this time, and the trails themselves where wore into the soil a ways from all the bike traffic - like one large rut.  

A trail in Nose Hill Park
I was tired, and going fast because I 'knew the trail well.'  Going around a left corner, I cut it short brushing against the tall grass and my front tire got caught up on the rutted side of the path.  I couldn't compensate my balance fast enough and fell off to the side, with my left hip taking the full force of the fall against a large rock embedded in the ground.  

The force of that stop almost knocked the wind out of me - certainly the pain in my hip took my breath away.  I fought through a minute or two of medical shock, and then walked around.  My while left leg was burning like my arm does when I hit my funny bone really badly.  After recovering for about 5 minutes, I abandoned the rest of my ride and slowly rode back home - fortunately it was downhill all the way.  I was in pain.

After a week, I still could not sleep on my left side and it was still somewhat painful to walk.  Sitting for work everyday was a chore - I did a lot of standup working during that time.  I decided to go see the doctor because things didn't seem to be healing as fast as I'd hoped, and my wife and I were planning to fly to Europe to see her family at the end of August.  I didn't see how that flight was going to work with the way my hip/leg was feeling.

The doctor had me take some x-rays, and then said they'd call if there was something further to be done.  I didn't hear from them for almost three weeks and THEN they called and said 'Oh, there's something with your x-ray that doesn't look right - like you may have fractured you pelvis.  Can we have you take another one?'  Great.  OK.  Did another round of x-rays and everything on them looked fine.  Good thing too, because we were leaving in a week, and the bone(s) already had weeks to heal.  

I was still very concerned about the flight as sitting for longer than an hour was uncomfortable.  Nine hours with minimal ability to move sounded a bit scary.  I prayed and asked God for help.  On the flight out, I had to use special pillows and sometimes get up and stand a while.   The very cool thing though, was on the flight home, I didn't feel the pain AT ALL!  I didn't have to use my special pillows or anything.  God healed my hip!

Cancer Healed!

Not long after we flew home, Ewa's mom was diagnosed with skin cancer on her forehead.  Unfortunately, it had been left for some time, so by the time it was treated with radiation (early spring 2023), a significant wound was left to heal.  While that was healing, she noticed some swelling on her neck around her ear.  She didn't think much of this at the time, but a couple of months later it had swelled quite large and was very painful.  After finally seeing the doctor about that, it was also diagnosed as cancer.

The doctors wouldn't prescribe chemo-therapy because they said it would basically kill Ewa's Mom, given her advanced age.  As a result, 5 rounds of radiation were prescribed again to try and deal with this new scourge.  After several weeks of relief following the final round of radiation for this new set of tumors,  swelling and pain started again.  Ewa's mom was so exhausted of all of this, she said she wasn't interested in more radiation or treatment going forward.  She had a visit with the doctor scheduled for Dec. 5 to see what the prognosis would be.

The Saturday before Dec. 5, we spoke with Ewa's Mom on the phone and things didn't sound good.  Getting off the phone, Ewa and I prayed believing the verses:

“...If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask,
my Father in heaven will do it for you."  Matt 18:19


and

"....Pray for one another so that you might be healed. The prayer of a godly person is powerful. Things happen because of it."  James 5:16

Dec. 5 came, and Ewa's brother called with a report about the doctor visit.  Everything went fine, no further radiation is required at this point, Mom looks and feels well.

What?  Ewa was confused, and immediately phoned her Mom.  Her Mom said on Saturday night she went to bed and she could hardly sleep because of the pain, but in the end she fell asleep... and slept better than she'd slept in weeks.  Waking up, she discovered that the swelling and the pain were gone, and the wound by her ear had closed up and was dry.  She had slept fine every night since.  At the doctor's office, the doctor hardly recognized Ewa's Mom because she had no dressing on the wound and she looked normal and healthy.  The doctor said, "You look like a new woman!"  God is good and He still heals!

Ewa with her parents in 2019

Other Names of God and My Experiences...

A Prayer - For Friends and Family Who Don't Know God

 Dear God, Thank You, that its Your kindness that leads us to repentance.  Thank You, that You are the Good Shepherd who leaves the flock to...