The years of my life between ages fifteen and sixteen were very formative years for me. As I look back on my life, there were many significant events that happened during these years that had a great deal to do with shaping my life and my expectations for life. One of the major things that happened may seem strange to you, but it remains solidly entrenched in my memories, and I think of it often. It happened on a Wednesday night during our normal Prayer Meeting night. I was the only teen who showed up, so I was sitting with my father when the prayer requests were given.
One of the prayer requests was for Mrs. Smith. The pastor simply said that we should pray for her health. Nothing more was stated. Mrs. Smith had been very nice to me, and I really liked her. On the ride home that night, I asked my father what was wrong with Mrs. Smith. He quietly told me that she had cancer and she was dying. In those days, people did not mention the “C” word in public. For we younger people, it was only revealed after someone had died that they had been battling cancer.
In my teenage mind, this was unacceptable. I asked my father if God could not heal cancer? I began to pray that God would heal Mrs. Smith, and I began to drive to her house to sit and talk with her. We would laugh together and pray together. These meetings with her left a deep impression on my life. We did this for a couple of years, as God gave her grace, and she out-lived the expected time for her death. I remember vividly when I received the news while in my first year of college, that Mrs. Smith had stepped into Heaven.
God taught me many important lessons during the time I spent with Mrs. Smith, and in prayer for her. One of the things was that we should expect big things from our big God! Today I read, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance” (Psalm 42:5). Mrs. Smith’s struggle with cancer, and her eventual death, caused me to be “disquieted” many times, however, I never stopped hoping in God. Over the years since that time spent at her bedside, I have often reflected on the faith God gave a young teenage boy.
I don’t ever want to lose that faith in my God. I have seen God heal people who had cancer since that time. I have seen God do amazing things that could not be explained in any other way than to realize that God stepped in and did the impossible! There is nothing too big for my God!