A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the first time I prayed for someone in a wheel chair. It was a young boy. It was a very intense event for me as it broke down a barrier that tried to exist in my head. Wheelchairs are intimidating there is no doubt. Especially if God asks you to pray for somebody confined to one. But if we are faithful and courageous enough to follow those difficult instructions the next time He asks us to do it will be easier. That's the benefit of breaking down mental barriers, or maybe I should say lies.
Exactly one week after I prayed for the boy in the wheelchair I recieved my second opportunity to be faithful and courageous.
I was running on a cardio machine in the gym when I noticed a young man about my age in a wheelchair excercising on a piece of equipment. I observed him for a moment or two thinking about the tragedy that exists in this world. I felt compassion for him begin to spread through me as I considered the hardships that must exist in his life. As the compassion moved me I felt the familiar tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart telling me that He wanted me to minister to the young man.
I remembered the fear that coursed through me just a week before when He led me to approach the boy. I remembered it but I didn't feel it. There was no fear. Instead there was anticipation. I wasn't hearing the lies that God isn't big enough or that God's not going to heal him so don't bother. Instead I immediatly began to seek the direction of the Holy Spirit for a way to approach the man.
What I heard as the Holy Spirit began to speak to me was, "Wait. Be patient". So I waited and soon I saw the stranger leave the gym and hed to his car. I felt the Lord urge me to go so I followed Him. I began to ask the Lord how He wanted me to minister and listened for an answer. I heard the Lord speak quietly to my heart telling me that it wasn't going to be about a physical healing this time.
Honestly it was a little disappointing to hear that but the disappointment only lasted a moment before it was replaced by the excitement of the amazing word the Lord was laying on my heart for the young man.
I approached him and introduced myself. I told him that I would love the opportunity to pray with him if that would be ok. His face lit up and he told me that would be great. I asked him about his injury and he explained the events that led to him being paralyzed. I felt such compassion for him and I was being overwhelmed by the Lords love for him. I happened to look up and was happy to see my wife Kara approaching. I waved her over so that she could join us.
I introduced him to my wife and asked him if I could put my hand on his shoulder and he said yes. I began to pray for him and speak the words that God gave me to speak. Then Kara began to speak the words God was giving her.
We could see the love of God touching his heart as we spoke the words God was giving us. When we finished he thanked us and told us that what we had said was exactly what he needed. It as an amazing encounter with the goodness of God.
Whenever we enter into uncharted territory it is uncomfortable and can be very difficult. But the next time we enter into that territory it will be easier.
There is a day coming, I'm sure of it, in which I will pray for someone in a wheelchair in the name of Jesus and they will get up. But I will always do my best to remain balanced so that I will be able to hear the direction of the Lord in each unique situation. The young man we encountered needed an emotional touch from the perfectly loving Father more than anything else at that moment.
Jesse and Kara Birkey
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