By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Readers of this column have read many insights into both my personal and professional life, from grandchildren to gardening and court stories to comedic events that have framed my life experiences and opinions.
This column falls into a different category.
Over the past two months, I have been witness to a wide variety of uncanny and unexplainable instances. It has weighed heavy on my heart and mind.
I have seen miracles in great abundance happen right before my disbelieving eyes.
In early March my cousin’s daughter was involved in an accident which split her skull. She was not expected to live. But through the faith and prayers of the many people who joined the “Prayers for Jaden” effort, the recently turned 12-year-old was released from the hospital, released from inpatient rehab and returned home within a month. A complete recovery is expected, although time is a factor.
I realized early on that Jaden was a miracle. Her progress was amazing and I have no other choice but to credit that to prayers of those who cared. God has a purpose for this child, whose faith defines her personality, and I can’t imagine what realms her testimony will reach.
During the saga with Jaden, another family member became ill and was going through a severe physical decline. This man has been a stoic witness for God for many years and his sermons are recorded in books. Although a Godly man, he is still human, however, and has the physical disabilities and challenges that come with being mortal. Again, God had purpose for this man, and although he still faces extreme physical challenges, he is still here, living his life for his Savior and knowing that when the time comes for him to leave this world, he will be in a better place.
The last two weeks have brought some challenges to my own life that required some soul searching. Attending a revival one night last week, the preacher spoke about Jesus working miracles. He related the story of the lame man whose friends carried him to see Jesus but could not get through the huge crowd awaiting to see this Jew who could perform miracles. But the diligent men were determined that their friend would be healed and climbed to the roof, where they cut a hole large enough to lower their friend — still on a makeshift gurney — into the house where Jesus was speaking to those who gathered around him.
The preacher pointed out the lame man did not have the faith of his friends. But due to their belief and their faith, the lame man not only was healed and walked away from the crowd but also became a believer in God’s Word and His infinite power.
Through these and other experiences, I had to put away the “Doubting Thomas” persona and realize that God’s power is limitless. Three people with whom I have family ties are now walking and talking and living their lives when, by terms of medical science, all should have died.
There are times we don’t understand why some lives are spared and others are taken. There are times that our prayers don’t seem to be answered. There are times we question ‘why’ and times when we don’t want to accept the answer.
There is a purpose for each of us, whether that purpose is big or small. There will be few men like Billy Graham, but each one of us makes a difference on someone’s life — whether it be our child, another relative, a friend or co-worker, or just a passerby who returns the routine smile that you share with them.
But when a person who doesn’t always exhibit the qualities of a believer in God can have prayers answered and see the results of God’s infinite mercy, it is a sign that cannot be ignored. “The blind will see, the lame will walk, and the dead will rise again” is straight from the Bible and I am witness to seeing three people who by all human accounts should no longer be here on Earth given another chance. It is abundantly clear they still have a purpose.
It should be our goal each day to make the most of whatever our purpose here on Earth is, whether it just be being a good parent to those children who adore you, whether it be by witnessing to loved ones, whether it be reveling in God’s wonderful and beautiful creation by working in the yard or garden or enjoying a brilliant sunrise or sunset.
There is a greater power than we here on Earth possess. It is that power that gives us life and it is our duty to respect and cherish it and make the most of it.
I have chosen to do that.
I hope you join me.