I had the privilege many years ago of going to Bible College. I wish I could say it was because I was such a committed Christian. But honestly today, I must admit the exact reverse. I was a young man coming apart at the seams. I probably should write about that. I will put it on my To Do list. ….
Still, the truth I am wanting you to see is that the Bible literally held that young man together, who was coming apart. Things that I learned while studying it have become so deep and so personal to me today that they are literally the secret glue of my existence. One of the lessons, I learned in the study of the Old Testament was that spiritual patriarchs (great leaders) would erect altars at special places. What is an altar? An altar was a special place that they worshipped God. These spiritual leaders would often build these altars, at a place where they learned an important lesson.
Often, these spiritual leaders would build a large pile of rocks to mark the spot, as a permanent landmark, where they had this special encounter with God. I too have altars in my life. To mark them, I build my stone altars with my articles and writings. I mark (pay special attention to); points in the journey of my life; where God has met me and taught me something special.
I have found that it helps me to go back to these altars, to visit again the special lessons that I have learned on life’s pathway. So this morning, I revisit a very personal altar with you where God revealed Himself to me and literally sewed my life back together. There are three lessons that He taught me through this experience. Let me share them with you, as I revisit this powerful event in my life.
Last year, I had a dream. A comforting hand was continually on my shoulder during most of the dream. The caring touch was so encouraging that I awoke thinking about it. I realized it was not just a dream but what happens to me in life!
My life has been a story of me touching God and God touching me. If you seek health and wholeness in personal or professional dimensions. Spiritual connected-ness will benefit you, in either area and both.
What do I mean? I worked many years for a European furniture hardware company called Hafele. During the 80′s & early 90′s, the company published a newsletter for employees. They allowed me to write a section in the newsletter called “Positive Connections.” I thought it was a “catchy” phrase for an inspirational column, for the hardware companies newsletter. So I wrote the column around this healthy thought I had then and have even more-so, now.
The constructive thought I wrote about in this newsletter was: that healthy connections with God, ourselves, friends and work lead to happier, more meaningful lives. Having only a Few connections leads to meager meaning. Excellent connections lead to great meaning! And the connection that matters the most is our connection with God. Why do I say this? Ahhh. That is the point of this writing.
This BEAM is written about the caring touch that can enliven and transform our lives, into connections that are more positive: The Touch of God.
There are some definite things that the touch of God accomplishes in human lives when it is present. Here are a three of those and how I have learned them:
Number 1 – God’s touch brings healing.
20Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, 21 for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
22Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
In my life, there has been much broken-ness. Yes, I know that does not sound like a very positive thing to say but somehow “Positive” must be grounded in reality or it is just fantasy. So I am just dealing with the truth to say that in my life, there has been much broken-ness .
I often refer to 1998 as Hell Year. My father died and my wife of 20 years had a traumatic brain injury that destroyed my family’s life, as I knew it then.
I will never forget getting the horrific call that my wife had been in an accident, falling sixteen feet head first, in a parking lot. I was told she had smashed her head in a local Publix Supermarket Parking lot. I hoped it was a cruel joke. It wasn’t.
They told me to wait till I could see her later. Fat chance! I broke through the hospital doors like a bull and insane with grief, invaded the hospital. They rushed the specialist out to see me. His first words to me were that my wife had suffered a fatal brain injury. I could not accept this. With tears streaming down my face, I pulled the surgeon (literally) across the table and begged him to help. Assuring him that he had the most beautiful, wonderful person on planet earth in his care. I refused to hear his comments that there was nothing he could do. At my passionate insistence, he was obviously moved. He told me he had one other thing that he could try.
It never occurred to me that the 8 deputy sheriff’s that stayed with me were there, to protect people from me. I was totally intense on only ONE thing: saving my wife’s life. How it appeared to people was irrelevant to me. So the surgeon operated to relieve pressure on Terry’s brain. When he did, Her brain literally swelled out of her head the size of a baseball.
After the procedure, The surgeon came in an told me emphatically and unequivocally that my wife had died. That she had suffered a pre-cursor brain death. That it might be seconds, minutes or hours but that she was surely dead.
Yet, I did not believe this. I KNEW she was still with us; even when the surgeon said otherwise. And I fought for her life, literally. Around the clock, day after day. I prayed non-stop. I organized a huge prayer vigil. If you did not believe in healing; I didn’t let you in her room. Yet finally, the medical providers said she might survive in a “vegetative” state. But I didn’t believe this either. I was there, when I thought I witnessed a blink in her eye. I was there, when she finally opened them. But she could not breathe, eat, go to the bathroom, communicate, or give any sign of encouragement. Yet I did not give up. I believed that God would perform a miracle; in spite of evidence to the contrary.
After 2 weeks, night and day; I literally collapsed in the floor of the hospital in convulsive tears. I was a broken heap of exhaustion and grief. A group of ladies from my church at that time; I can not tell you who they were.. Came to me, got down in the floor with me, cried with me, held my hand, encouraged me and loved me tenderly, through that terrifying moment of broken-ness. I may never know who those ladies were or if they were just angels sent to me, to help me. Perhaps they were both but one thing I know for sure: at that time in my life;they were the very literal touch of God.
These messengers were the healing that I needed to keep on going and believing. That is my message to you today. That is what the touch of God does in your life. It helps you when none-other can help. It gives you healing in desperate parts of your life that no other can assist in.
And though she was not able to resume her life before as mother and mate, after many years of recovery; Terry is a source of joy and happiness today to all who know her. Her healing is a source of inspiration and joy to many, many people. And yet I know that this would not be possible, if it were not for the touch of God and persistence of faith; in that bitter valley of tears. It was God’s touch that brought the healing both to me and Terry.
Tim, Terry, TJ & TeNae. Many years later; she is a miracle of healing come true.