North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    I recently participated in an event that was coordinated as part of a benefit for a local woman who suffers with ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig Disease”. ALS is a dibilatating condition that involves the death of neurons. It’s characterized by stiff muscles, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscle wasting. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing. However, patients generally keep their mental abilities to the very end.    The event was a 5K Run that consisted mainly of people who knew Cindy, or had been made aware of her condition. I can remember attending her wedding many years ago as a kid. I remember her as being exceedingly happy with a big smile on her face. Her husband, Paul, worked with my father for many years at the paper mill.

    After the race and awards ceremony, Cindy, nicknamed Miss Tippy Toe by her students, arrived and greeted the runners. Sitting in her wheelchair, people took turns talking to her and getting their picture taken. I told her who I was and that I admired her courage and faith. It was hard to understand the words as she spoke, so I held her hand and moved a little closer.

    She said, “Thank you. I’m so happy you came and ran in the race.” I assured her we we’re running for her.

    Before leaving, my Dad said, “I want you and Paul to know we’re praying for you.”

    She responded, “Let’s keep praying for a miracle.”

    I’ve reflected on her words several times since she said them. There still remains the prospect of a “miracle of healing” in all of our lives. Cindy believes in it and so do I! The day of miracles is not past. Christ still performs them today. The promise remains, “Because of your faith, it will happen” (Matthew 9:29).

    Miracles have been happening since the beginning of time. Once when Jesus was traveling to Jericho, there was a blind man sitting by the road, begging. When he heard the crowd passing by, he asked, “What is this?” “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him. He cried out, “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” So Jesus ordered the blind man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Sir,” he answered, “I want to see again.” Jesus said to him, “Then see! Your faith has made you well.” At once he was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God. When the crowd saw it, they all praised God” (Luke 18:35-43).

I’ve discovered 5 “take-a ways” from this short story:

    “A Restriction”: This poor man was restricted because of his blindness. He was forced to beg for his livelihood. In our day, millions lack the blessing that salvation brings because they’re blinded by their own sin. And some people refuse to take the time to understand what sin is and what God has done for us to help deal with it. Many Christians are restricted in their service for God because they’re afflicted and need his healing touch.

    “A Recognition”: This man “looked to” Jesus in spite of his blindness. We too, must look to Jesus in spite of our disappointments, sorrow, burdens, misunderstandings, and affliction. His miracle of healing is sufficient for those who call on him in faith.

    “A Rebuke”: The blind man didn’t let the rebuke of the people stop him. He kept on calling the name of Jesus. We mustn’t be concerned about what others might think, say, or do. The miracle of healing can happen if we keep on praying and believing.

    “A Request”: This man came to Jesus willingly and made his request specific—“I want to see again.” As people in need of help we must come to Jesus and be specific with our requests. I don’t believe vague, uncertain prayers receive definite answers.

    “A Receiving”: The miracle of healing came to this man not only because of his determination, but more importantly because of his faith. All of us can receive miracles today, providing we have faith. One of my favorite verses is, “Anything is possible if a person believes” (Mark 9:23).

    The Bible reminds us, “God doesn’t enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. No one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he allows heartache, sorrow, grief, he also shows compassion” (Lamentations 3:31-33).

    Should God allow Cindy’s condition to progress and eventually take her from this world, her hope will not have been in vain. In fact, hope doesn’t disappoint when it’s anchored in the one hope that never fails. Cindy’s hope will one day be rewarded, like all of ours will be, if our hope is in Christ. The apostle Paul called it the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Miracles take place on earth every day and miracles in heaven are expected. If Cindy doesn’t get the earthly miracle, she’s already been assured the heavenly one. All Christians are assured the miracle of healing to a glorified state when they’re called and gathered on that beautiful shore.

    Though we suffer, we dare to hope, for great is His faithfulness! Let’s love one another, give forgiveness where needed, and know God’s mercies are fresh as the morning, and as sure as the sunrise.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. Matthew’s most recent book is titled: “How The Race Was Won: A Coming of Age Story About Running”. He’s also the author of the following books: “Living With Purpose (Volume’s I and II)”; “Soldiers of God” and “The Authentic Teenager” and “Spiritual Fitness For Runners” and “Understanding the Higher Power”. He can be reached by email:

Posted by on Jan 31 2016. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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