Treasures in Darkness… Christmas Shopping with Jesus

©Ron Dauphin on Unsplash
©Ron Dauphin on Unsplash

We had a few hours on a Saturday to do child free Christmas shopping before going to a movie. With our list in hand, we did not know that Jesus had His own Christmas shopping list for us to do too…!

I was in the ‘ladies’ when I found the first on His list. God told me to pray for someone outside my cubicle. Side note: Yes, He talks to me everywhere.

‘She has been a great blessing to others for many, many years, I want you to bless her’.

As I washed my hands, I looked at ‘her’ in the mirror.

She was an elderly woman waiting for her granddaughter. I introduced myself and stated that that I believed she had been a great blessing to many people over the years. I then asked if I could pray a blessing over her. She looked surprised but agreed.

Her name was Joy.

She was the second Joy I had prayed for that week and I mentally noted the ‘coincidence.’

I blessed Joy knowing that she knew Joy and was familiar with the Joy of God. She teared up a little as I prayed and blessed her, and once done, she asked if I would also pray for her granddaughter. I agreed and prayed and prophesied over her granddaughter, declaring her destiny would open and unfold, that she was a pillar and a leader in the coming move of God, which I believed would be a move that came through the youth in power. Joy excitedly said she had been praying for revival for years…

My husband had been waiting patiently outside. He knew what was going on inside because people were coming out from the bathroom saying in amazement that there was “someone praying in there for people…” and pointing back to the door. Andrew knew what I was up to and laughed. I hadn’t thought about that sort of impact, but it was quite funny…

Jesus assignment done, we got a coffee and discussed our shopping…

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As we waited for our coffees, I popped into another store to “bag” our first item. C served me, and yes, God had me pray for her. C was a young girl (about 16) who “felt” the anointing as I prayed. I prophesied she would discover who she was and why she was in the next two years. She had said she did not know, but my gosh, she was a marvellous girl!. I headed off with my purchase and sat with my husband to finish our coffee…

I felt I had done my dash, and we headed off to a sporting store. We purchased nothing, but on our way out I walked past a very disabled girl with her parents. Strapped into her wheelchair, her arms and legs fastened down. The girl’s body was small, deformed, and she displayed no control over her head movements. I felt God’s strong desire for me to pray, but I was so intimidated by the severity of her condition. I internally argued with God as we walked away from the store, but ultimately said:

‘Ok, for You, I’m willing to do it…’ and I went back to search the shop.

I found the girl with her parents waiting at the checkout. The intensity of my nerves made it an extreme fight to approach them. I fought the extreme urge to walk away, knowing that God really wanted me to ask if I could pray for her…

Stopping in front of her chair, I asked her parents if I could pray. I desperately did not want them to feel that I felt sorry for them, but I also wanted them to know that I cared. They agreed, so I knelt and addressed their daughter, who could not talk at all.

She was dribbling and had an angry-looking rash on her face from the dampness of her dribble. Her hands were unformed, and her body was tiny. I knelt and taking her hand in mine, and I quietly introduced myself. Her parents looked weary and watched on as I prayed, and her father leant in to listen.

As I prayed, she locked her gaze on mine. believe she could clearly feel God as I prayed for her. The frantic movements slowed, and she held onto my gaze several times. I prayed for her parents too and asked God to provide solutions.

Leaving the store, I thanked the girl and parents for stopping and allowing me to pray for them. I felt wobbly and said to Andrew it must be nerves; instead he encouraged me, suggesting it was the intensity of anointing…

©Janko Ferlic on unsplash

“Ok” I thought, “big one down”, shake, shake, shake, “gosh, ok, deep breath” shake, shake, shake…

I slowly settled down as we walked through Big W, fighting the negative thoughts, the accusations of failure and the residual impact of the nerves.

As the legs stopped shaking, I could focus on our task at hand. Andrew encouraging me all the way, we successfully made further purchases.

As we left God prompted me to pray for the cashier who said to me ‘I am not a Christian’ to which I said something like ‘that doesn’t matter, I can still bless you’ which I promptly did, placing my hand on his elbow as I spoke peace over him for this season of business.

It was time for our movie, so we headed toward the theatre. To our surprise, we had calmly and easily done all our shopping.

I felt quite successful, having bagged all that we had, and I waited while Andrew put our purchases into the car. As I stood, I tried to ignore a young girl in a wheelchair. I had noticed her out of the corner of my eye. I calmly ignored the very brief, quiet prompting, preferring to hear the louder “no” that came very much on top of the whispered ‘pray for her’. The prompt was so subtle, and I wanted to get to our movie on time, so I tried to ignore her, and I literally turned my back.

I stood and argued internally, but it was no good; I knew I had to stop for this one too.

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Walking over to the girl’s mother, I introduced myself, asked what her daughter had done and if I could pray. The Mum’s name was ‘A’ and was also with her teenage son, who looked like he had down syndrome, but who we later found out had autism. She looked back at me and immediately said yes, that would be great.

I knelt by the young girl (she was 14 years old) and she told me a brick wall had fallen on her, crushing and breaking one leg. The damage included the growth plate, so they had to do the same with the other leg in order that the legs would grow at the same rate.

I placed my hands on her legs (after she also gave me permission) and I prayed. She felt heat. I continued to pray and prophesy, while her friends stood by our side, politely not looking.

I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart. She said she had, but on a prompt I said ‘let’s do it again’ and so in response she asked Jesus into her heart. I suggested she ask that He fill her up, so she did. I continued to pray and when she said “enough” (a boundary we had agreed upon before I prayed) I thanked her and looked at her mother who then thanked me.

I thought I was going to go into the movie theatre after this and time was ticking along. We had not been to a movie for years by ourselves, so it was a real treat. However, I felt to pray for her brother and so turning to the mother I asked if I could pray for him too. She again readily agreed.

The boy called “B” was 16 years old. He swayed heavily under the anointing, and I motioned to Andrew, who quickly steadied him. He was incredibly ‘open’ to God’s presence.

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I felt to suggest he say, ‘Jesus, come into my heart’

He did.

I then felt to suggest to him, ‘say Jesus fill me up,’

B said ‘Jesus fill me up’, and on saying it he kept saying it, over and over, laughing and swaying heavily under the anointing.

I finished and turned to the mother, knowing I had to pray for her too.

‘Well, this is more important than being on time for the movie,’ I thought and I offered to pray.

She agreed.

As I prayed for the mother, the compassion of God came upon me and I nearly cried. She looked like she did too. I received words of knowledge about her–she was struggling (that was obviously a possibility given her two kids) she was making major decisions, and she was a single Mum.

She told me she had 3 children and had told my husband prior to me praying that she had found the recent challenges with her daughter’s injury tough. I prayed, and she quietly received; she was so very thirsty for God and drank Him in, and as I finished praying for her, I placed my arms around her and held her close for a long, long time.

I went to release my hug, but she hung on, so I hugged her some more and when I felt it was enough, I again tried to disengage, but she again hung on again. So, I continued to hold her, yet feeling quite embarrassed by now. Again I went to release her, but she continued to hang onto me quietly. I tried again, and she hung on again… so I just stood in the middle of the busy shopping centre and let her drink and cling to me for what seemed an eternity…

I gave her our church card, and I wrote my private number on it so she could call me if she felt she wanted.

As we walked away my husband said to me he believed we were there, not so much for the daughter, but for the Mother, who had been through such a tough time, for Jesus says:

‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him.’ John 7:38-39

We saw our movie, but we missed the promos. This did not bother us at all. We even had time to go to the bathroom and settle in before the movie started. God had it all timed beautifully and I am so glad that I did not rush because He had treasures in the darkness to give…

 

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This is what the Lord says to his anointed…

‘I will go before you and will level the mountains;

I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you the treasures of darkness,

riches stored in secret places,

so that you may know that I am the Lord,

the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3 NIV

Every person I encountered was a treasure in the darkness, waiting to be discovered. Each was a treasure set out for me to discover, to find, to uncover and my footsteps ordered by a loving and knowing God. He not only blessed us with the miracle of a great time together, Christmas shopping in the Christmas rush, but He also entrusted 10 people that all needed a touch from their mighty and loving God. Ten people altered for ever more. He left those treasures out for me to find because …

God is Good.

Post Script: The shopping day was a Saturday, a few years ago now. I wrote the story up on a Tuesday, and just as I finished writing the mum rang me with the following report:

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©Freestocks on unsplash
  1. Her daughter stood without crutches on the Sunday;
  2. Her son lost his aggression and was much calmer. There was a change in his eyes, and they looked ‘more alert.’ He had stopped asking about his father who left the family earlier that and she said the ‘worry has lifted from his face’, he is ‘much calmer’. She told me he continues to say ‘Jesus fill me up’ and is laying hands on his mother and family friends and asking ‘can you feel that?’ and she can;
  3. The mum (A) felt much more at peace (in her home and in herself). The night before meeting us she was suicidal, and when she saw us across the shops, she stood willing us to come over. She said there was a light around both Andrew and I that she saw and wanted to be near. From that afternoon A cared for herself properly, eating 3 meals a day, and was feeling at peace.
  4. A told me she had thought about the encounter every day. She believed it was not a coincidence that we met. Just before she met us she had looked for a car park and just knew that she would find one on the middle level (where she met us) at about 1.30pm, just in time to meet us after getting her daughter out of the car with the wheelchair. She said that she had told her daughter that there would be a car park for them in that place, and there was a reason for the delay in finding one.

During our discussion on the telephone, A gave her heart to Christ. We talked at length and she shared some of her story with me. She also asked for and received the gift of tongues, feeling a ‘tingling up and down her legs’ as we prayed. She also felt the tingles over her head, as she had done earlier. Her ‘spirit spot’ burned lightly as we talked and prayed.

Post Post Script:
I kept in contact with A over Christmas and eventually arranged a coffee at my home in mid-January.

The bell rang, and on answering the door A was with her daughter who was standing. Her daughter’s name also begins with A so I will call her Little A. I stood looking at Little A and they both laughed at my shock. Little A was walking, without leg braces, without a wheelchair and without a walking stick.

After my initial shock, they came into my home where I heard the story.

©Julia Raasch unsplash

Little A had stood for the first time unaided the day after I had prayed for her. She had been told on 6th January by her physiotherapist that she would need the wheelchair, leg braces and a crutch for another 6 weeks. Yet, she was walking completely unaided on 18th January… 12 days later! At the six week mark she was back training with cadets.

Apparently she had been walking not long after being prayed for. They had gone on holidays after Christmas at a caravan park in Phillip Island. They took the wheelchair, but had not used it, and she had been walking unaided since.

So, here she was, walking well, on Wednesday 18th January, having had two broken legs and having been told she would need a wheelchair, leg braces and a walking stick for at least another 6 weeks on 6th January…!

On this visit, Little A explained that she still needed more strength in her legs. I laid hands on her legs and called strength into her thigh muscles and as I did her mother, my daughter and I noticed her knee caps moving up and down with no input from her, as if her thigh muscles were being contracted and released. She did not feel it, it just happened.

She stood and tried them out and I prayed again, and it happened again…

Her Mother and I concluded her thigh muscles must have been being strengthened supernaturally. It was the oddest thing to watch her knee caps bobbing up and down in a rapid movement!

After we finished praying and we went for a walk during which I heard more of her story.

Apparently A’s family transformed. Her son was no longer violent, she was walking in abundant favour, disputes settled supernaturally, with no effort on her part. She shared how she had told a friend who was also in a place of despair how she too could be free-she was ready to give what she had received away to others!

A said the entire journey had been remarkable, the turnaround, marvellous…

I just listened in awe, knowing that it was all a miracle, and I noted that I nearly did not stop for them because I wanted to get to the movies on time…

I wondered how many others I had simply walked past… 

How many others may have had a life transformed… had I stopped for the one…  

I am certain that there is no condemnation in Christ, but how His heart yearns for us to recognise and to step into who we truly are, to co-labour with Him in the family business.

… all creation groans…

©Clay Banks on Unsplash

Will we be bold enough to step into our inheritance and bring others with us?

Dare we to lay claim to the “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” (Is45:3) and set them free?

Dare we take people by the hand and say “come”?

God is breath taking in His beauty, in His kindness, in His Glory!

Dare we?

I know I must for…

God IS Good!

And he played footy that Saturday

This is an older story – an early one in my journey of “stopping for the one”.  It was the start of a journey that this man went on over the next year or two, where he started to question his atheistic belief system, and wonder whether he could also be loved by God.  It was also the start of a journey for me where God dealt with me quite firmly about my issues and my embarrassment in stopping in a known environment amongst peers … it is a story in which He essentially says … “get over yourself, stop being a prude, kneel down and pray …”

It was mid Winter and I was driving to school to collect my daughter.  It was smack in the middle of the Aussie Rules football season and in typical Melbourne style it was raining a drizzly type rain.

As I drove I saw a stay at home Dad that I had got to know called M.  He was walking to school in the rain.  M is a rough gem who wears shorts and thongs or runners all year round (winter and summer), and who had got many of the women’s tongues wagging up at the school for his lack of  “charm” … in other words he called “a spade a spade”.  I liked him.

I pulled over and offered him a ride.  He responded by saying that that normally he would say no, but that on this day he would say yes because he had hurt his knee.

He jumped into the car and we rode the short distance to school, chatting as we went.  I asked about the knee and he said that it was an old injury that required a knee reconstruction.  By the time we were in the playground waiting for the kids to come out I knew I had to offer to pray, but did not know how to do it with him – in front of all the other mums at school pick up.

God had given me a picture, and I had just learnt that God will sometimes give us a picture of how He wants us to pray to release a healing.  The picture I had received was that I was to kneel down in front of him and place my hand on his bare knee and pray as I knelt.

I offered to pray.  M said did not believe in any of that stuff but that I could give it a go if I wanted.  He then went on to say that if it worked it would be great to be able to play football that Saturday … but he doubted it would work.

I did not want to kneel – it was wet on the ground, he was a man wearing shorts and I felt it was inappropriate to kneel in front of him in the wet with my hand on his bare knee … and, what was worse, it was in front of all the other mums, milling around waiting for their kids to come out of school!

So, in my “wisdom” I placed my hand discreetly on his shoulder and started to pray.  As I prayed I felt/heard a strong rebuke from God who said “Get on your knees” – essentially saying “I showed you how to pray, now do it”.

I took a deep breath, focusing on the fact that M could be healed, and told him that I needed to place my hand on his knee.  And so I knelt in the wet, with the cold and wet coming through my jeans, in front of the car park mums and prayed.  The mums looked at me and I felt very embarrassed, but went on regardless.

While on my knees, feeling very vulnerable, I looked up at him and asked if he felt anything – he said he felt heat and so I kept praying and then asked him to move the knee around … he did and he felt some relief so I prayed again, still on my knees and I then stood and asked him to try it out …

He bent it back and forth and said all the pain was gone.  I asked him to jump on it, jumping up and down next to him as I did.  He jumped up and down on it and looked amazed and said there was no more pain and that he would not have believed it … but that he had felt the heat and that it was amazing, that maybe he was wrong about all this stuff …

Delighted (and that is an understatement!), I got on with collecting my daughter and left it at that …

I saw him the following week and asked how he had got on.  He said, like a little kid, with absolute joy, that he had played his game of footy that Saturday!

And I left knowing without a doubt that …

God is Good!

man’s diagnosis – cerebral palsy but…God is Good!

On Christmas Day 2011 I posted a story.

It was a story of the beginning of a healing from cerebral palsy (see link).

The testimony came from a friend, who had been walking with the family concerned.

My friend, now a grandmother, is a pillar in the church, a giant in the land, who calls things that are not as though they are … and she is a giant because of the battles she and her husband, also a giant, has fought and won … she is a giant because she has laid her life down and God has raised her up to walk in great authority over the land …

My friend has been healed of cancer, foster cared over 70 babies and children, all the while caring for her son who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy …

While not denying the “facts” she stood her ground with a good God, holding onto the prophetic words spoken over her son and family, and believing and pulling on the promises of God in His word … and as she did she, and the community around her, watched as miracle after miracle unfolded … miracles that the doctors said would never happen …

This story has the fullness of promise that the other Christmas Day story had the beginnings of … 

This is a complete testimony of a complete healing for those of you who are looking for a total healing …

An apple seed has many apple trees within it … but first it must be planted and watered and cared for … so too, the promises of God …

God has used this family and this testimony as an apple seed for others … the testimony is a fully grown apple tree, which is now in turn seeding and creating a harvest of healings for others … and I know there are those out there that need to know that God is Good and that He is good to His word … that healing is available today …

This story, like its predecessor, was not instant, and in this world of instant this and instant that, I believe we so often miss what God is doing and somehow give up on a miracle that may have already started to happen, if we would just hang in there to see it to maturity?

My friends chose to speak life … not death over the world of their son … for “life and death is in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21) and in doing so saw God’s nature revealed …

Her story is as follows and she writes:

My pregnancies had never been easy, but with P the Lord did a miracle and after 4 months I was no longer sick and felt quite good.

P was born after a very easy labour, so easy that the doctor jokingly said that I might as well go home straight away since there had been nothing to it!

We dedicated P to the Lord at only 2 weeks of age … the whole service unintentionally resulted in being centred around his dedication as the Holy Spirit moved.

There were many prophecies over P that day, which also was not a usual occurrence. They were very powerful words and I remember feeling like Mary … and I hid the words in my heart.

Our beautiful boy did develop, a bit too slowly, but the doctor did not worry too much and said that I should not compare him to my girls since females often develop faster than males. However, it soon became obvious that something was wrong and the diagnosis of cerebral palsy (hemiplegic) was given.

The diagnosis for my husband J was devastating; but for me it carried some relief, since I was sure that something was wrong, but the doctors did not want to believe it for some time.

His birth had been so easy …

The prognosis became more and more grim as time went on.  We were told that P would never be able to tie his shoelaces, dress himself, eat with knife and fork, and he certainly would NEVER be able to drive a car, write properly, etc. etc…

We were told he needed surgery, but we felt to wait as long as possible with this, especially since we did not like the outcome of these surgeries.

We were given another option.  We were told that rather than surgery, a series of plasters could be casted on his body at regular intervals.  This would be a lot of hard work for me as his mum, but would make it possible for the surgery to wait until he was about 7 years of age.  We chose this option instead, hoping that our little boy would only have to endure 1 or 2 surgeries until he was an adult.

We set up a very strict regime of daily exercises for P.  We believe that we must do whatever we can in the natural as well as having faith.

When the time came for P to have his surgery, we had an amazing small group of friends gather around us and again mighty prophetic words came out. These words helped us so much. They gave us something to stand on, to believe, when the going was hard and with these we were able to continue to praise the Lord and trust Papa for the outcome.

P kept on improving and started to do many things we were told he would never be able to do. They started to call him ‘the miracle child’ at the Spastic Centre and took footage of him to show to other parents of children with cerebral palsy. In short … he was completely healed of cerebral palsy and is now a completely functioning adult.

P was later diagnosed as being severely dyslexic.  Again we looked to the Lord, doing our bit by reading with him every day, and although he did not like this one bit, (he had to read ‘baby’ books) after many years of struggle (this was before remedial teaching in schools), he learned to read and even came to love it.

Now as an adult, he often speaks publicly and has written many articles in magazines, etc. Another true miracle!!

When he sat for his V.C.E. (final year at school) he wrote an essay about what his disability had meant in his life and he received an A+ for this!!

A further diagnosis came when he was in his teens.   It was discovered that his sexual organs were not developing properly and we were advised that he would require surgery and would never be able to father children.

Well, he and his wife have 4 boys, one baby in Heaven and 3 boys here on earth.

His life has been a total miracle and he is now ‘the pillar in the church’ as was prophesied so many years ago.

We thank the Lord for all His goodness towards us.

This is a brilliant testimony of God’s goodness. 

It is a testimony of a healing, blooming into fullness over time …

My friends’ child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, severe dyslexia and was later declared infertile … he has since grown into a completely healthy functioning adult man who is a happy husband and father who can read, write and speak well …

Now, for the purposes of complete and utter integrity it must be noted that, while it would not be apparent to those that do not know him, their son, at times of tiredness, will occassionally limp … apparently he tells his parents that he sees this limp as a reminder of what could have been …

All through the battle my friend did not give up, and continued to pull down on the Promises of God … all the while they continued to foster care over 70 children … I know … it amazes me too!

In fact, they would often get the toughest kids to foster and care for, including little “drug” babies because a little time with them and the transformation was remarkable … miraculous in fact … the authorities knew they had the “X factor” … little knowing it was really the “God factor” at work in their lives …

So, I ask … what miracle is around the corner for you? 

We all love the instant fixes, the eyes that open, the ears that hear, the lame that walk instantly, but often a healing can be a process … it comes as a seed that must grow … and in that process there is a coming closer into relationship with a loving Father God, who wants good things for His children (Matthew 7:11)…

I believe we must celebrate all stories of breakthrough, all stories of triumph, for in each story of breakthrough is the promise of our own breakthrough … this is why I love these stories …

God is no respecter of persons and we … “ overcome [the enemy] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony…” (Rev 12:11) … there is power in the blood and in the word of our testimony … and so read and prepare for the hour of breakthrough in your own life and be blessed as you declare His goodness in your own lives and into the lives of others for …

God is Good!