“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.”

John 4:50 ESV

My father recently shared with me the story of how he came to faith. It was at the lowest point of his life. My dad was a body-builder in his early twenties and took a lot of pride in his physical ability. During a particularly difficult workout, he badly slipped a disc in his back, leaving him unable to do much of anything for months. Depressed and with no sense of self-confidence, he decided to show up to church for the first time in ages. My dad sat down in the farthest seat, scoffing at the service the whole time. I’ve heard this all before. How can people really buy into this stuff? However, in the middle of the pastor’s sermon, there was a sudden change of tone.

“I have a word for someone in the room.”

The pastor’s words seized my father’s attention.

“There’s someone in this room who’s been suffering from immense back pain for a long time now.”

This can’t be possible, My dad thought to himself.
“If you’re out there, I want you to come forward and receive from Jesus the healing you need.”

There’s no way this is happening right now. What the heck is going on? My father painfully got up and everyone in the sanctuary turned their heads in his direction. All eyes on him, he started limping down the aisles. There he was, the punk who was just making fun of the whole scene walking down the aisles from the very back, past every pew, unable to explain his trajectory towards the pulpit.

“I don’t know what I’m doing, but I trust you.” My dad spoke to his savior again after so long. He approached the pastor and told him his story. The pastor placed his hand on my dad’s shoulder, and the moment he began to pray, every ounce of pain disappeared. His back straightened before everyone’s eyes and my dad gave his life to the Lord right then and there.

It was a miracle that gave my father the faith to run the race ahead of him, trusting in his Savior. That same faith carries him through the highest and lowest points of his marriage to my mom. That same faith led him to raise his two sons, my brother and I, to put their trust in the one who healed him. You see, our Savior’s miracles draw us to trust in Him. Every miraculous work is done so that we might believe who He said He is.

“‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the man who was paralyzed—’I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’”
Luke 5:24 ESV

Our Savior’s deeds point to a better day when He will redeem all of His people, wipe every tear from their eyes, and heal them fully of every pain they have ever or will ever experience. We can trust in Him to heal us continually today and completely someday. The official from Capernaum did so for the sake of his son. The centurion did too. And, my father certainly does. Jesus is the Lord of that better day. May He be Lord over us as well. Amen.

Jared Graf

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