Modern Day Miracles
I subconsciously began to set expectations as I prepared to leave for an eight-day mission trip to Berlin, Germany. While I reflected on my previous time in Germany with European Initiative, I mentally prepared myself for a similar experience. But I couldn't have been more wrong.
I had put God into my little box: I expected Him to move only in the ways I had seen Him move in the past. Based upon my previous experiences, I was limiting God and my expectations of how He works.
When I was in Berlin the previous year, I struggled through terrible pain, primarily in my knees. I have had pain in my knees for the past seven years due to arthritis, involving constant swelling and worn cartilage. During that previous mission, both of my knees were extremely irritated from the constant walking, running, standing, dancing, and jumping which was an everyday part of outreaches on the streets. In addition, I had the “bites” to contend with. One third of the way into my trip I acquired several mysterious bug bites (later identified as mosquito bites) that caused an allergic reaction known as “skeeter syndrome.” The ensuing swelling and joint pain from the bites in combination with my arthritic knees meant that the trip last year was physically quite a battle for me.
Given my track record of physical issues, I was more than a little nervous for the impending trip. In fact, I over-prepared. I packed multiple knee braces, excessive amounts of bug spray, several ace bandages, and medicine for every conceivable symptom. I was on the defensive. I expected the same pains and trials of last year. Unbeknownst to me, God was preparing to blow my mind! He wanted to break out of the box I had put Him in. He planned to reveal His power and glory.
As I later realized, God was not limited by any “box” that I put Him in; I was limited in my view of God. He hadn’t gotten any smaller or less powerful because of my limited view—only I was affected by that.
On the third day we were in Berlin, God moved. He miraculously healed my knees. It was not because a certain person prayed in a certain way, or because the proper type of anointing oil was used. God is bigger than any process or ritual. God moved because I opened up the lid to my boxed-in view of Him. He asked, and I answered; He knocked, and I opened the door. No one even prayed over my knees specifically! God was moving in the room that I was in, and I was open and willing to be touched by His healing Spirit. As I was prompted by the Holy Spirit, I did what He asked me to do. I ran up and down three flights of stairs three times. No pain. When you feel God’s presence healing, test it! Because I tested my knees, I confirmed and received a full healing.
My expectations for the rest of the trip were turned upside down! They were no longer defined by my physical limitations. I ran up every single flight of stairs I came across! I danced in every Cupid Shuffle street dance! I even got to share my testimony of God's healing power with others on the streets!
On our last day of outreach,I met two women at Potsdamer Platz. They were extremely intrigued by the number of young people on the streets proclaiming God’s goodness. These two women didn’t speak English very well, but they downloaded a translating app on their phones right then and there! They were desperate to hear the good news. After three hours of talking with them, they both said that this “Jesus thing” was pretty cool, but they needed proof of his existence. God was giving me an opportunity to share what He had done for me four days ago!
When I told them how God had straightened out and healed my knees, one of the women, Stella, started to cry. Stella began to share how she too has problems with her knees. Immediately, she invited us to pray over her knees. As she stood up to test them she was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit. She began to deeply cry. Even then, she said she wasn’t ready to commit her life to Jesus; we have stayed connected on Facebook and to this day she is asking questions about God and trying to find His plan for her life.
God used my story -my broken knees- to glorify Himself and to bring Stella closer to His heart. God was not limited by the box I had put him in; only I was limited by it. I opened up and let God move in ways I had never anticipated, and it put me in a position to share His love with power.
God is moving in the people of Berlin and all throughout Europe. They are hungry and ready to hear the gospel! Don’t let the box you have placed God in limit how He can use you.