November 20, 2016


Acts 28:8-9 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.

This is an example of what has been called a “divine appointment.” Nothing about this was planned, except by God. There was a need, and God used Paul to meet the need and reinforce the message that I’m certain all the believers in the group, and not just Paul, were communicating. I’m sure that by the time they got to Rome, the centurion and probably most of the other soldiers were believers too, with all they had seen in traveling with Paul! There are lots of reasons God allows things in our lives, and all of them are good. How we respond to those things is probably the most powerful testimony we can give. If we are always, “Poor little me,” no one will think we have a God worth following. However, if our focus is on God, thanking and praising Him, then people will be drawn to know more at the very least. We need to be aware that God wants to use us as instruments of blessing and look forward to opportunities for that. Paul did exactly that in this case, and many were healed as a result.

This has been a relatively unanticipated result of my wife Cathy’s medical problems. It has been rough on her, but her attitude in it all has been such that at the place where she has physical therapy, the other patients say, “Get Cathy to pray for you. Her God is powerful!” We would not have chosen her laundry list of medical problems, but God has supported us through them and people have noticed. When we came to Omura I wanted, and rather expected, God to work many healing miracles through us to confirm the Gospel we shared, but that hasn’t happened. Now, He is using our own problems to draw people to us and to Him. It was recently commented that Cathy is the best-loved foreigner in this city, and I don’t doubt it. I am not to try to dictate to God how He is going to use us, but I must keep myself ready for and sensitive to His appointments. I am to speak and act as He directs, at all times and in all situations, so that His will may be done in and through me for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I need such reminders from time to time! Thank You for all that will go on today. You know my feelings about some of it. Help me go through it all as unto You, not nursing resentment of any kind but keeping myself fully available to You, rejoicing to be Your child and Your servant, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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