I developed an illness that, over several years, became much worse. In May of 2011, a specialist told me that a part of my brain called the hypothalamus was failing. There was no tumor or anything they could treat, and there was no organ replacement for that part of the body. My body temperature would suddenly drop, often going into hypothermia even in a warm room. Occasionally, I would pass out, which made it unsafe to drive. The doctor told me I was terminal and would likely pass out one day and not wake up. He said it could happen anytime, but he said to plan for the end within months, not years. I gave our business to our daughter and sat on the couch each day, waiting to die. Only my wife Jo, our friend Dianne Taylor, and my brother Bob knew how serious it was, and I asked them not to tell anyone. Bob called every day, and every conversation was about my illness.

I grew weak, and the side effects of some of the drugs made it difficult to think clearly. I began to pray, “Lord, please either heal me or take me.”

The husband of someone my wife and I knew passed away, and we decided to go to the funeral. At the end of the service, someone I didn’t know came up to me and said, “It seems too soon; he had just learned to love.” I thought it was strange for someone to say that, but I remembered that someone had said something similar to me at two previous funerals. I thought it was possibly just one of those things that people say at funerals, such as “it was a beautiful service.” I asked several friends afterward, and they said they had never heard anyone say anything like that at a funeral they attended.

I couldn’t get that “just learned to love” comment out of my head. I said, “Lord, I don’t have that. Can I change my prayer just to heal me? I’m not asking you to teach me about love so you can kill me off. I just don’t want to go into eternity if there’s something important I should have done first.”

My wife and our friend Dianne said they would ask the Lord to show them a ministry that succeeded in praying for people with something similar. They came up with two places to go. One was a Roman Catholic Church in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, which once a month had a healing service. The other was a Pentecostal minister that had meetings in a hotel. These two ministries seemed like the opposite ends of the Christian spectrum. I said, “Lord, don’t you have anything in the middle?” I didn’t get an answer, so we decided to attend both meetings.

After praying for me, the priest at the Catholic Church said, “You will not die from this, but your healing will not come right away; It will take 21 days.” At the Pentecostal meeting, the minister said, “You will not die from this, but your healing will not come right away; it will take three weeks.” Neither of these two ministers knew me and, to my knowledge, did not know each other.

Although incredibly weak, my body temperature had become stable. My doctor had been tracking abnormalities in my blood. These weren’t the problem but were an after-effect of the illness. Six weeks after the ministers had prayed for me, my blood tested normal.

“What now, Lord? What is my first step?” I asked.

I suddenly felt at complete peace. My thoughts went to a father giving his child a present. What response does the father want from the child? I thought he would like his child to be grateful and enjoy the gift. It felt like the answer from the Lord.

That answer was okay for a while, but I remembered something the Lord had me do on a rare occasion. I would hear of someone being sick. The Lord would give me a message for them and tell me to go pray for them. However, I was not to tell them that the message was from the Lord. I would say something like, “I’ve been thinking of this,” and then deliver the message. The message was a whisper from God for them. The Lord does this for the same reason Jesus spoke in parables.

I have prayed for many sick people who weren’t healed, but when the Lord has given me a message for them, they have been healed every time. On two occasions, people were scheduled for an operation, and when the surgeon opened them up, nothing was wrong. In every case, I was only the courier. It wasn’t my message, and I didn’t heal them, but I was thrilled to be part of what the Lord was doing.

Was this what the Lord did to me? Was it from God when the person at the funeral said the man had died too soon because he had just learned to love? Had God whispered a message to me?

God doesn’t want me to be his follower out of fear of punishment. He wants me to know him, desire to follow him, learn from him, and love him. He doesn’t want me to act like I love my neighbor; He wants me to actually love them. He wants me to recognize what others could be and to desire the best for them.

“Lord, I want the love thing. You know, the comment at the funeral love thing. I don’t know how to pray for it or even what to pray for, but I want it. Count me in, sign me up, and let’s get started.”

The thought swirled around in my head, “You will never have the goods if you settle for what looks like the goods.” I needed to change as a person, and I would need supernatural help. Every day became a school day, each filled with small events and decisions while trying to be led by the Lord.

There are some subjects on which I seem to be quite dense or learning impaired. I wish I had started on this quest when I was a young man. It looks like I still have so far to go.

4 responses to “Whispers”

  1. There is the saying, “Better late than never”, which might fit your journey. But my oncology Dr told me, “You can’t change the past, so just go forward, and give your all to be healed.” It was good advice for me. I am cancer free now for 11 years, although I wasn’t expected to live. Maybe that’s advice that can help you too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely tale of redemption. Believe and have faith. I am a cancer survivor for thirteen years now.

    Liked by 1 person

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