Testimony, part two
Sozo – salvation, faith and healing
Getting the job as the very first secretary of the Nursing Department of Florence-Darlington Technical College was the easiest thing I ever did. My current job was ending and I needed a new one, and one of the other parents at my children’s daycare told me about this new position being created. I called, went by and filled out an application form and was set up with an interview with Billie Boette, R.N., the new department head.
The day of the appointment I found her surrounded by box after box of loose papers, files, print-outs, student records, instructional materials, office supplies, and other assorted odds and ends.
There was a large outer room, a glass-walled inner room, two desks, two chairs and an empty file cabinet, all nice and new, and all stacked with overflowing boxes. Adjoining this yet-to-become office space was a completely furnished ward room featuring two rows of neatly made-up hospital beds, bedpans and rolling sphygmometers (blood pressure machines). One bed was occupied by Resusci-Annie, a full-sized dummy used to teach CPR.
Classes were set to begin in just a week or so. We had little time to make sense of all the confusion in those boxes, set up for-real offices for Billie and me, plus have all the student records organized before they descended on us en masse. I must have looked capable for the task because I was hired on the spot. Billie just pointed to the mass of boxes and said, “That’s your first job.”
I don’t know how we did it but by the first day of class we looked like we had it all together. Both desks were organized, mine with pens, scotch tape, paper clips, white-out, and a nice new typewriter, Billie’s stacked with student and staff files. Trash cans were half-full, pot plants were dropping a few wilted leaves, and hand-outs were being typed.
I answered the department phone, typed instructional material and generally did whatever anybody wanted or needed to make the nursing department’s first quarter run smoothly. I stayed very busy those first months on the job. I met a lot of people, learned my way around campus and thoroughly enjoyed my work.
But then came a day when I had nothing to do, literally nothing. There were no papers to type or file, the phone didn’t ring, no-one stopped by, and after I dusted, polished, emptied trash and did everything else I could think of, I opened my Schofield Reference Bible. I usually brought it with me to read during lunch.
I had promised myself to read the Bible all the way through in a year but my tendency to get distracted was interfering — I’d read a couple of verses, see something interesting and run all the references. Some days I only got through three or four verses that way.
This particular day, with no-one coming, going or telephoning, I picked up the Bible and turned to the index. I was curious about something.
Mr. Charlie Smith had given me several audiocassettes to listen to a few days earlier. On one tape Jerry Savelle was giving his testimony at a conference, vividly describing an accident that had happened to his baby daughter. Jerry and his wife were at a Kenneth Copeland meeting, the baby in the nursery. Suddenly someone came running up the aisle shouting, “Brother Jerry, Brother Jerry, come quick!”
Crawling around the floor while the nursery attendant was tending to another infant, Jerry’s daughter had her little finger underneath the rocker when the attendant rocked back. The end of her little finger was mashed completely off behind the fingernail. Blood was pouring, the baby was screaming and the nursery worker was hysterical.
Jerry wrapped the baby’s finger up, held her tight against his chest and ran back into the auditorium, straight up to the platform. He said, “Kenneth had been preaching that God still heals today, and I was going to find out if that was true or not, right now.”
Kenneth prayed for the baby and Jerry and his wife headed to the hospital. They had the end of the finger wrapped in a cloth but the ER doctor said it was too mangled to reattach. He sutured up the wound and said it should heal up okay, but that finger would never have a fingernail again. Jerry replied, “It’ll grow back.” The doctor patiently explained that since the entire nailbed was gone, there was no way for the fingernail to grow back.
Jerry just insisted, “It’ll grow back.” They took the baby home, and sure enough, within a few months she had a healed-up finger, complete with brand new fingernail!
I was astonished. I’d never heard a story of healing like that before, or a story of faith like that before either. I played that tape again, then listened to several others like it. Jerry Savelle, Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts and others, all gave healing testimonies. They accompanied these accounts with scripture about God’s unchanging word, how salvation contains everything necessary for life and godliness, how healing is still for us today if we will just believe it.
Now I’d heard multiple sermons before about the scriptures containing all we need for godly living. But I had never heard any about this kind of healing being for today. Everybody I knew got sick now and then, and every sick person I knew went to the doctor and got a prescription for antibiotics or something. Nobody I knew just believed God and got healed.
No church I’d ever attended really prayed and believed the sick person would get healed, just that the doctor would give them the right medicine or treatment and eventually they’d get better. Of course a lot of them didn’t get better, they got worse. Some died from heart disease, cancer, or stroke.
And the way they were prayed for got everybody off the hook. “Lord, if it be thy will, heal this poor sick brother.” So if they weren’t healed, why then it must not have been God’s will. Makes sense, right?
But these people were saying it is God’s will to heal, you can know it’s God’s will to heal, and you yourself can experience God’s willingness to heal.
Okay, here I was with a completely work-free day. Here was my chance to examine the Bible and see for myself. I turned to the index and made a list of every verse that had the word heal, healing, healed or health in it. It was a long list. Then I started in, carefully writing out all those verses from Genesis to Revelation in a notebook, getting more and more persuaded as I went that the tapes had it right.
By the time I gathered up my Bible, notebook and purse at the end of the day, I was convinced. I was also sad, disappointed, and a little angry — angry at all those preachers and Sunday School teachers who had not told me that healing is for today. Angry at myself for waiting so many years to study for myself what the Bible said about healing.
I drove home that day without really seeing the road. Disappointment and anger soon turned into joy, thanksgiving, praise and worship. And determination to apply the scriptures to myself, prove God’s faithfulness to myself, and demonstrate in my own life the truth of his Word.
I had a new study goal. Now that I knew God provided sozo-salvation-faith-healing in Jesus, I needed to know how to transmit that to 20th century sickness, disease, injury, pain, in my own life and my family’s. How did Jesus do it? How did the disciples do it? How did Jesus tell us to do it?
If you read the other articles on this site, you’ll learn what I found out.