A-Z: Glow

I’ve written before about a negative experience I had of someone praying for my sight and me not receiving it.  There have been a few of those.  Thankfully though, having been a Christian for 13 years, I can count them on one hand, but can you have positive experiences of healing when you’ve not been physically healed?  Well, I would say yes, and today, on day 7 of the A-Z challenge, I’ll tell you about one of them.

We had a visiting speaker at church who’d seen many miracles.  Several of us went up for prayer and when it was my turn, he asked me:  “What do you want the Lord to do for you?”

“Whatever He wants.”  The speaker’s wife prayed with me for a bit and the meeting came to a close.  On my way home, I realised I should have been specific.  Like the man in the Bible when Jesus asked what he wanted, I should have said:  “I want to see!”

The next week, it was another visiting speaker – the man who’d preached at my baptism.  Again I went up for prayer, and amazingly, he asked exactly the same question!  “What do you want the Lord to do for you?”

So I said it.  “I want my sight.”

He gently put a finger on each of my eyelids and turned to face the rest of the church.  “Everybody pray,” he said in a voice full of emotion, and everybody did.  “Can you see?” he asked, so I told him no and we carried on praying.  “Can you see?” he asked again.

“No.”

“Well, what’s happening?  Your face is radiant!”  I don’t know whether he meant my face literally shone, like Moses’ when he walked down the mountain after meeting with God.  Maybe it did, but I felt radiant too.  I cannot describe the feeling when you’re there being prayed-for, knowing that in a moment God could completely change your life.  It takes your breath away.

And afterwards, I wasn’t made to feel like a second-class citizen.  We were asked to go on praying for this throughout the week, and people came to me with their encouragement.  One friend said she believed God would want me to see because He’d made such beauty on the earth; someone else had a word for me that I’ve always remembered …  I really felt they were with me, not against me.

Is God awesome to you?  Do you go to church with a glow in your cheeks, and an expectancy that today He might just change your life forever?

Fire and Rainbows

I was reading this morning about when heaven and earth won’t exist anymore, and there’ll be a new heaven and a new earth, and followers of Jesus will live with God in the holy city (called the new Jerusalem). You’ll find it in Revelation 21, and it was this description of the new Jerusalem that caught my attention:
“The city was laid out like a square … The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst” – Revelation 21:16, 19-20.

As a blind person, I have to admit I don’t know too much about colours, but I’m told jasper is usually red, carnelian can come in red-orange or light orange, and I know amethyst is purple! I’d never noticed this before, but could the holy city look like a double rainbow – the jasper going on to the emerald, back again to the red-orange carnelian, on to the topaz, and the purple amethyst next to the red jasper that starts the whole thing again?

One more thought: Jasper is a fiery colour. The holy city is sometimes called by the same name as its inhabitants – the bride (the bride of Christ), and when John (the writer of Revelation) saw the holy city, it looked like a jasper. “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” – Revelation 21:9-11. That’s how God feels when He sees us: We’re like a very precious jewel – like a jasper, with the fire of God’s Spirit in us. At the moment the jewel is still being worked on, and sometimes we may not feel very shiny, but our glory is always increasing (2 Corinthians 3:18), until one day we’ll shine completely with the glory of God.

So to all my family in Jesus keep shining, and remember that day when you’ll shine even brighter.