Friday, April 14, 2006

This week has been a week full of precious memories. On Sunday, we watched the first act of 8 Days that Changed the World, the Easter production that our church has presented for a number of years. The last 8 Days that our family participated in was Easter 2004. This was Jonathan’s first acting role. He played the part of Micah, a little crippled boy. As he hobbled around on his crutch, he tried to convince his father that this Jesus could heal him if he would just take him to go see Jesus. Afraid to get his hopes up, Micah’s father just blew him off and hoped he would forget about it. The next scene showed Micah sitting on the rooftop of his house singing Micah’s Prayer :

“Baruch Atah, Adonai, (Blessed are You, Oh Lord)
Elohenu (Oh Lord our God)
God, hear my prayer,
I know your there,
Can you hear me, oh Lord?
God, I long to walk again,
Let me walk again hear my prayer.”

Very soon after that, Micah could no longer stand it; he made his way to Jesus with the help of his friend. After tugging on His sleeve, Jesus reaches down and picks Micah up. Jesus takes Micah’s crutch away – He throws his crutch away. After a healing moment in the arms of the Lord Jesus, Micah runs to meet his father who falls down and worships the Lord. That alone was enough to move our family to tears just remembering this special scene from 2 years ago. At the end of that scene, the entire stage full of people erupted into dancing, clapping and singing Hosanna to the King. As this began to happen, Jesus picked Jonathan up one more time. At that moment, Jonathan hugged Jesus chose to share with him that he had accepted Christ as his Savior just one week ago. As I watched this interaction with Jonathan and Jesus, I remember thinking how awesome it was that God not only healed him as the crippled boy, Micah, in the play, but that Jonathan received his spiritual healing at this very same time. This was 8 months before Jonathan’s illness. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think that God was preparing us for the real life miracle of healing that Jonathan would experience just a year later. Just as the Lord Jesus healed Micah in that play, we believe that He has healed Jonathan in real life. We too are able to stand with our hands lifted high, singing Hallelujah to our Lord Jesus Christ. We thought you might enjoy hearing Jonathan sing this song and watching this particular scene, so we have put it in the Video Gallery for you to see it and listen to it. It brought tears to our eyes as we watched it again. I hope it will touch you too.
Each day at lunch this week, we have joined others from our church at a lunch enjoying the music of the incredibly talented Luke Garrett. Luke has been a friend of ours since Lamar and I were teenagers, more than 20 years ago. We have enjoyed reminiscing about those days so long ago. It has been a long time since we have had the privilege of hearing Luke in person, plus it has been our privilege to introduce him to our wonderful children. God has truly gifted this man with a phenomenal voice and we have been so blessed to be ministered by him this week. Earlier this week I received a call back from the therapy office in Corinth ready to schedule us for our days of therapy each week. After checking the benefits on our insurance, it appears that we would only have 16 visits covered. With two visits each week and after the deductible and copays, we would end up paying around $1,000 for 8 weeks worth of therapy. Unfortunately, this is not something we will be able to afford to do. So we are praying and believing that if this is, in fact, where God wants us, He will provide the funds for us to do it. Please pray that we will know God’s will and direction regarding Jonathan’s on-going therapy. Jonathan got to show Grandma Smith all about horse therapy this week. Jonathan continues to do very well with his horse riding. Along with riding the trail and leading Skip through everything, Jonathan worked in one of the gated areas again this week. Mrs. Tammy had him work on standing up in the saddle again, which he seemed to be able to do better this week. She also had him ride Skip around the circle with different hands doing different things like holding them in the air, on his hips, and flying like an airplane. Then she had him stand up and sit down several times while Skip was walking around. That was a little difficult, but Jonathan managed to do it pretty well. Jonathan was proud to show off and try out his brand new boots that he got. They worked great while riding Skip. I think he felt like a real cowboy. Jonathan still struggles with sleeping. This past week has not been real bad. He seems to have had more okay nights than bad nights. Right now, he seems to be doing better when he sleeps in our room than when he is in his own room. We just continue to try different things and pray that God will bring the healing that he needs for this particular issue.
Thank you for continuing to pray for Jonathan. There are many times that we witness little things that remind us of God’s continued healing in Jonathan’s life – things like Jonathan putting on his shoes and socks all by himself, watching him get up off the floor quickly, watching him play soccer with Sarah, and listening to him sing along with Elizabeth as they listen to some of their favorite music. God is so good to allow us to see little miracles all along the way. We try not to ever miss those special moments and we praise God for each of them. Please continue to pray for the complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes to be revealed. Pray that God will lead us to know exactly what we need to do, if anything, regarding his on-going therapy. Pray that he will continue to gain strength in his hips, legs and ankles. Continue to pray for healing of his sleeping. Pray that we will continue to trust the Lord with all our hearts to provide for the financial needs that we face in regards to Jonathan’s healthcare. Pray that we will wait for God’s perfect will and timing for each of the needs that Jonathan has.
We have attended each act of 8 Days this week. There are many parts of this Easter holiday celebration that have taken on new meaning for us. All of our children were saved and baptized on or around Easter Sunday. We can personally relate to the stories when Jesus healed the lame, caused the blind to see, the dumb to speak, and brought a child back to life again. Tonight we watched as Jesus cried out to His Father in the garden, acknowledging that all things were possible with God, begging God to take this cup away from Him, and yet submitting to His Father’s will by stating, “Not my will but Thine be done.” In my mind, I was taken back to a hotel room, our Garden of Gethsemane, where we cried out to God, acknowledging His power, begging for His mercy and submitting to His will, not ours. We watched as Jesus died on the cross and was buried. In just two days, we will watch as Jesus rises from that death. And we will once again be reminded not only of our spiritual death and resurrection, but of our own death and resurrection that we have witnessed in Jonathan’s life. This has become a very personal holiday for our family. Philippians 3:10-11- That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

It is our prayer that if you don’t know our Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, that this will be the day that you give your life to Him and accept this incredible gift of salvation that He so sacrificially laid down His life for you to have. To those of you who are our brothers and sisters in Christ, we pray that you will know Jesus in a more intimate and personal way and we pray that you will experience God’s resurrection power in an incredible way in your life this Easter holiday. Praise to the Risen Savior!

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

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