Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Miracle at Gravel Road Church

Yesterday was Good Friday. Those who attended the Pleasant Valley Good Friday service yesterday, April 22, witnessed a miracle. And the recipient was me. Sermon prep involves, for my style of prep anyhow, working on the computer writing down the sermon notes. It involves sitting. I cannot specifically recall when the pain started, but it was somewhat present on Monday of this week, cause I recall wondering how I was going to make it through chemo sitting for that length of time. By Wednesday I knew I needed help. So I called Kim Siemens for a massage appointment. She did stretch out my back nicely, but it was not the ticket yet. On Wednesday I planted myself in front of the computer and sat for a long time working on the prep. I said people are praying, and so I am going to sit and work. God will take care of the pain. By 5:00 pm Wednesday I was in mortal pain, incredible pain. I could not stand, sit, kneel or walk. I managed to get up the stairs and I lay on the hard floor. That was the only way to get relief. I thought there is no way I can stand up in front of the church like this on Friday and preach. Then I called Kaylee, my niece-in-law if she could work on my butt. That is where the pain was and I needed someone who was not ashamed to work on my butt. She said she had seen a lot of butts, and she did not mind coming to help me. She also did a wonderful job, but the pain did not leave- it certainly was less. Still, I could not sit. Thursday came around and with lots of prep left, I sat, knelt, stood, squatted, bent, leaned, and crouched in front of the computer to change my position often and regularly. It did not work. My butt muscle tightened up, and pain sheared through my butt and lower back like a bolt of electricity. And Friday morning was approaching. Friday morning I got up early and worked on the final prep. Again my back and butt just would not cooperate. With mere hours before I was to preach, I wondered how this was all going to pan out. Julia started texting people asking for prayer. We prayed. I called my sister-in-law to bring pills for me to church. (Too bad Melvin does not attend our church, since then I would have called him for more pills.) We got to church, and I had visions of how this was going to look. With laying on a hard floor as my only relief from the pain, Julia wondered if I should preach laying on my back in front of the congregation. I found I could sit in church. That was OK. When it came to preaching (and I went overtime by 10 minutes of so) I found that my back was tightening up a bit as I preached, but I could walk, stand and move about without pain. THAT WAS A MIRACLE SINCE THERE IS NO WAY I COULD HAVE DONE THAT ON THURSDAY OR WEDNESDAY. After Church, we had a Friesen Family gathering, and again I could sit, stand and walk without any pain.I found it very strange that as soon as I was done preaching, the pain issue was also done. That is really interesting.
Thanks for all who prayed for me and Julia. Good Friday was truly a miracle day for me and Julia. Thank God for His answered prayer. Thank God also that the itch is not nearly as bad as it was some days ago. I would say now that itch is not really an issue any more. And with that comes the ability to sleep. I am very grateful for that. Thanks be to God.
And thanks  for your prayers.
Thank-you all very much!
If you are interested in the sermon, I have it posted under "Deeper Readings" section on the blog home page. It's called "the Shame of the Cross."


  1. This may seem very trite in comparison, but there have been a number of occasions I've had where the pain was simply so unbearable there simply seemed no way that I could not only not do the prep, but not preach. But I prepped through the pain and would arrive at church to preach and found that I could always preach and that (usually) without ANY pain! I even remember leading a mission trip to Romania back in 2001 that I wasn't able to walk because I had thrown my back out so bad at that time. I would crawl to the bathroom and weep in pain. I packed my bags in tears and planned still to go trusting the Lord would somehow take care. And I woke up early the morning of the flight (without thinking about it) got up, showered, grabbed my bag drove off and picked up the youth I was taking and didn't think about it till I was boarding the plane...when suddenly it hit me that I had been healed of a back that would not allow me to even walk for a week leading up to this trip and in my rush to get to the airport I hadn't realized I was healed till I got there! Praise the Lord for your healing on Good Friday! I'm praying for you brother!

  2. Thanks Rick. I thought lots of you this past week. I recall you saying you always preached no matter what the pain was like. I thought if Rick can preach through the pain, then I will too. I appreciate you sharing that story. It's amazing how God intercedes at such times. Truly you did experience God's miraculous healing. Today was not a good day for me. I ate very little. I just felt yucky. I went for a short Harley ride, and then walked to the neighbor for a visit, and then the jabbing pain in my butt and back returned. I guess I cannot sit for any duration. I am hoping tomorrow is goint to be better. Rick, thanks for your prayers. Julia and I keep on praying for you. Chuck