Yesterday, at the JFK airport in NYC, I was told that I would not be boarding my flight to Russia due to having my valid visa in my old passport. After trying a variety of ways to solve the problem, I couldn't see any way it would work. So I booked the quickest flight out back to Minnesota (where I am from) to see family for the week before picking up my overseas itinerary in Norway next week. Feeling a bit frustrated with needing to cancel everything in Russia (and bad for the Russian pastors), I sat in the Boston airport. I had flown overnight the night before on 1 hour of sleep and had only slept that hour and for a few hours in a JFK airport food court that morning. I had no quiet time that day (as when I woke from my nap I went straight to the airline counter where I found out I couldn't go) and certainly didn't feel very anointed, nor had much desire to do much ministry in the Boston airport. I say that to say - we never want to reduce God to our feelings or believe He doesn't want to show up because we don't feel filled.
I sat in Boston Logan airport last night on layover from NYC on a comfy couch when a group of 4 middle aged women sat nearby. They asked me if I was going to Iceland too and I said that I was going back to Minnesota where I was from. I then shared that I was frustrated as I should have been in Russia. They asked me what I do for work since I seemed to fly a lot. I told them I travel and share in churches. They asked how I got into that. I explained how I had cancer in my early 20s and that I train churches in healing ministry. Even though I was not supernaturally healed (but still am in remission by 14 years), it gave me a big passion for God to heal others. I shared how the first healing happened years ago when I was so surprised.
To say that and not offer to pray for them wouldn't be right so I offered prayer. They basically all wanted healing. The first woman shared how she used to be adrenaline junkie and lived in pain throughout her body after breaking many bones over the years. I asked her what hurt the most. She said that her feet did due to plantar's fascitis. After praying for her feet twice, they felt the exact same.
I told them that I didn't pretend that I saw a 100% breakthrough. I went to the second woman. She had Lyme's Disease. I showed her a text from Reggie Mercado where he shared of someone getting healed of lupus over the phone a month ago. I thought it was Lyme's but I forgot. Anyways, she still was astounded that could happen and I prayed for her. I asked her how she was doing. She started flipping out. "I swear to God I don't know where the pain went. I have had that in my neck for 10 months." I told her that this stuff was real. I wouldn't get invited to speak on this hundreds of times a year if God didn't show up.
The first woman spoke up. "Maybe I am not as good of a person as the second woman is." She said that she had a friend who says that she is going to hell because she doesn't go to church. She asked me if that is true. I told her not going to church doesn't send people to hell and that people have a lot of different ideas in the church. I was almost going to half apologize on behalf of the guy and she said that he was the most wonderful man and that she was not remotely offended by him.
She said that guy said you have to believe in God in order for him to answer your prayers. She said she always believed in Mother Nature but wasn't sure what she thought about God. I told her that I have seen God heal many atheists and they certainly didn't believe in God. She then asked for me to try again with her feet. I pray a third time for her feet with no visible results. I ask her about her back as that was also hurting. She said she has lower back pain. I have her sit in a chair and tell her friends to pull out their phones (which they did) and record a video of her leg growing out. Her leg grew out about an inch and a half and the pain that was in her leg leaves. We try a FOURTH time with her feet but they still aren't any different.
Woman number 3 asks if I can pray for her cold. She also has lower back pain (although not at the moment). Her leg also grows out an inch and, after a few prayers, her sinuses feel almost completely open.
Woman number 4 asks if I can pray because she has had migraines her whole life. She was on medication momentarily so she says she wouldn't know if they are healed or not. I pray for her and she starts talking of how she felt a heat flowing through her body. Woman number 1 shares how she also felt that heat during prayer for her leg to grow out.
They start asking me about the afterlife and who goes to heaven. I dodge their question and just say, "I want to tell you how I came to conclusions on this." I share how - when I had cancer - I had all sorts of ideas of God from the church world. I ask if they had spent much time in church. None of them said they had. I tell them that I had heard a wide variety of ideas about God from growing up in church. Some I thought were right on. Others I didn't know about. When I had many tumors in my body, I wanted to know for sure what was actually true. I had seen that the God of the Bible had answered prayers before when I prayed to Him so I knew he and the Bible were real. After that I started at square 1 with what the church said. If I couldn't find it in the Bible but I found it in church, I questioned it... especially related to healing ministry.
I told them how the Bible shares how Jesus came into the world, died on a cross, and was raised from the dead. Sure, that is impossible but God does the impossible, like the healings they are now seeing. He did it because he loves them. We all have done things wrong and that that keeps us separated from God and deserve to have us be punished. But God didn't want us separated. So Jesus died on the cross taking the punishment for what we have done wrong so that a Holy God could have relationship with unholy people. In our 21st century mindsets we might think that it shouldn't have to be that way, but I find it works better to let God define himself rather than have me come up with my definition of how I think God ought to be and what I think he ought to do. Otherwise, we create a God in our image and wonder if that God is even real. And the reality is - that one isn't real - he is something we made up of how we think he ought to be.
I clarified that religion is man's attempt to please God. But Jesus is pursuing us with His love as He wants relationship with you. It isn't about religion; it is about a relationship with the God of the universe.
I explained to them that they could clearly see God was real - I can't heal anyone. So they have a choice with how the God of the Bible defines Himself and what He did for us. They could reject him... but then they would face the punishment for what they have done wrong when they die. Or they could turn away from the wrong things, make Jesus their God, and receive forgiveness. They all wanted to do that so they prayed after me, "Jesus, please forgive me for what I have done wrong. I want to turn away from these things. I want to follow you. I make you my God. Amen." I counseled them a bit in what to do in this relationship with Jesus they started in on.
So what is the moral of the story? There could be many. Don't limit God when you don't feel anointed or didn't get the time with Him you wanted. Don't get blown out of the water if you pray for your first person and they don't get healed. Don't let frustration of something negative keep you from a divine encounter God has for you. Start a relationship with God if you haven't already. And so many more. To God be the glory!