Over a year ago I was climbing and I damaged my rotator cuff (shoulder). The pain wasn't too intense but it lingered and limited what I could do (climbing, swimming, volleyball, pulling shirts up over my head) for roughly 9 months before the problem slowly faded away. Shortly before Christmas I started feeling it again mildly. Over break, my brother convinced me to try bench pressing 200lb without a warmup, which is definitely above my max, and then we did these weird behind the head pull-ups Shoulder starts hurting a bit more. I still rock climb though the pain is mounting a little bit. On Friday, about two weeks after the lift, my shoulder began to hurt more and more over the course of the day. That afternoon I was struggling to pull my shoe laces tight. By that evening, I could barely ride a bike. By that night, I stopped using the shoulder muscle altogether. When I needed to use my right arm I had to reach across with my left hand, grab my right arm and move it manually. Saturday it felt no different.
Sunday was just as bad, I cringed when I put soap under my arm in the shower. I then had to use my left arm to lift my right arm over my head to wash it off. Even that passive movement made me wince. I struggled through eating my cereal left handed, then went out the door to church. I shifted into drive with my left hand (mind you this is an American, not a British car). I did manage to turn the key in the ignition right handed, but then I drove entirely left handed to church. Thank goodness it wasn't a manual! When I arrived I had to pull the key out of the ignition left handed.
I assumed at this point that I had a partial tear in my rotator cuff. If it were torn through then I don't believe I'd be able to move my arm at all. In my case I could move it, just under severe pain. If I tore through I'd have to get surgery requiring 3 to 4 weeks of complete immobilization of the joint, followed by another 6 months before being back close to normal. I did my best to keep my shoulder still so it could heal on its own, but even through 2 nights there seemed to be no progress. Back to our story.
I went and found a seat as the service began. That day at church, there were 3 in depth testimonies being shared. One gentleman shared a story of his life that I related to a lot. Larry was a physicist and quite clever. Belief was difficult for him because he was always trying to explain things away and came to doubt very often. Well in college he became a Christian through praying with a televangelist of all things (he has since moved beyond them, and to clarify, I didn't relate to this part of the story particularly). Now Larry had achilles tendonitis and it was slowly getting worse until he was at the point of hobbling around. I actually struggled with the same thing in Germany. It takes months to recover from. He had heard God could heal, but was hesitant to ask for it because God had more important things to do. Maybe after everyone had been healed of cancer he could ask. As he was watching his televangelist friend again he felt God speak to him saying in three "puffs" very clearly, "Nothing is to small for me," "I can heal your tendonitis," "Just have faith." Larry began to pray, and at that point the televangelist (as expected) called out that there was someone with a heel problem that needed to be healed (look, it's a pun). And God healed him right then and there. He still didn't understand why God would heal him in particular in that instance and asked God for years. 7 years later, God answered. God said that if he hadn't healed him then, then Larry would have never made it that far in his Christian walk. In those times of doubts, that healing was always an anchor for him that he could turn back to and know that God was real and loved him and healed him. As Larry shared, and I thought of myself, I thought, "God, how cool would it be if you did something similar in my life!" I felt God say, though not particularly clearly, "Go get prayer from the prayer team after the service."
Now atheists are quick to point out that anecdotal evidence for the existence of God (or anything else) is not valid as proof and they are correct. Our senses deceive us all the time. I'd heard lots of stories of healing, but they were all second hand accounts, and while I figured they were probably true, they left me wondering. A first hand experience with healing means so much more to me (though of course you as the reader only have a second hand account, sorry). I'd prayed for healings before with no success. I don't understand why God heals sometimes, and not at others. This is a particularly important time of my life though to have that anchor, so maybe that's reason for God to work this time.
I got up after the service and went for prayer with my arm still aching. Kim prayed for me for a few minutes, then stops and asks if it's better. I moved my shoulder all around and it suddenly didn't hurt anymore. I raised my arm over my head like I'd tried in the shower that morning and it didn't hurt at all. Upon further investigation I found that there were still some directions that invoked mild pain. It was like God rewound the shoulder back to it's status on Friday morning before it got serious. I don't really get that, but I can't complain. It was drastic enough and sudden enough of a change that I know it wasn't natural. I expected it to slowly fade of the course of the next week or 2. Maybe in some cases, pain goes away rather suddenly (and naturally), but that it would happen during the 3 minutes we prayed for it? Very suspicious.
I'm honestly not certain if this thought came from me or from God. Perhaps the lingering pain is a reminder to tell other people about it so the word gets out and this impacts other people too. Maybe after I've shared this where I needed to, the pain will leave entirely. Who knows? I don't claim to understand God entirely, nor healing. I would love to, but I don't.
I am so thankful to God this week. Place your trust in him. He is worth your everything.