When I was a young believer, my wife and I travelled to a business convention in Pennsylvania with our one year old baby boy. We stayed in a hotel across from a shopping mall. My wife and my son stayed at the hotel while I attended the conference.
The second day during the lunch break, I went back to our room. I opened the door only to be met with hysterical crying from our baby who apparently had an earache. My wife was frazzled and trying everything she could think of to try to calm him down. When she said that we had to take him to a doctor, it was my turn to become frazzled because we could not afford a doctor after all the money we had just spent on the convention and the hotel.
I suggested that I go across the street to the mall. They were sure to have a pharmacy or a drugstore with something for earaches. “Make sure you get something for infants!” she impressed upon me. I prayed all the way there. “Lord, you know we cannot afford a doctor. Please help me to find something that will work and that will relieve his earache.”
I found a drug store but for the life of me I could not find anything for earaches and certainly not for children’s earaches. So I went up to the pharmacist and asked him. When I explained the situation, he said “Oh, he probably has swimmer’s ear.”
Swimmer’s ear?! “What in the world is wrong with this guy?”, I thought to myself. Well, I’ll just let him show me where the swimmer’s ear medication is and I’m sure the earache medication will be in the same area, I thought. So he showed me where it was and I thanked him and dismissed him and his advice right along with it. But I could not find anything even remotely related to earaches at all other than the silly swimmer’s ear medication.
I was so frustrated, I did not know what to do. Should I just take it anyway? No, it was not for children. But there was nothing else anywhere on any shelf in the whole store! I looked up and cried out “Lord, I can’t find anything here. What do You want me to do? I just don’t understand. I can’t go back empty handed. I need Your help!” Then I looked down again and my eye fell on a tiny little rounded glass bottle with a beautiful turquoise label with a gold border and gold lettering that read “Sweet Oil”. I picked it up and read the ingredients. It was 100% pure olive oil.
“Lord what are You trying to tell me here? Do You want me to anoint him with oil?” I remembered the passage in James about calling the elders for someone who was sick and then they would anoint them with oil and pray the prayer of faith and they would be healed. It started a whirlwind in my mind. But I’m not an elder, I thought, and there was no elder of our church within reach out here. Besides, I had never even heard that the elders in the church we attended then would even do such a thing or that they even believed in it. I had certainly never heard any pastor at our church even preach about it. And I certainly had never done anything like this myself. I didn’t even know how to do this! Well, I was the elder of my family, wasn’t I? And I was a believer, right? And this was an emergency situation, right?
Then all of a sudden a peace came over me and with that a boldness and an unexplainable excitement of the possibility. My tiny amount of faith the size of a mustard seed arose inside of me and I looked up and said “Okay, Lord. I am going to just trust You and do this!”
I purchased that little bottle of “anointing”oil and all the way back I was praying and praising Him at the same time. My courage soon dissipated when I walked into the hotel room and over my son’s screaming, I tried to explain to my wife what happened at the drugstore.
“Swimmer’s ear!” she raised her voice incredulously, “He doesn’t have swimmer’s ear! What’s wrong with that guy? He has an earache!” I told her that I realized that and that there was nothing in the entire store for children’s earaches. Then I explained what I believed that the Lord had revealed to me and showed her the tiny bottle of sweet oil.
All this time she had had to endure our son’s endless screams of pain and her own hopelessness of not being able to do anything to relieve it. I anticipated her reaction of pure frustration but she is also a woman of faith and when I suggested that we at least try it, she laid our son on the pillow on our bed.
I opened the tiny bottle of oil and poured some of the oil on his forehead. It immediately spilled into his eye causing him to scream even louder. But after my wife wiped it away with a tissue, I laid my hand over the oil on his forehead and prayed the best prayer of faith I knew how. I do not remember exactly what I said but I basically claimed what His word said, praying a prayer of faith and believing that he would be healed.
Nothing happened, or so I thought. He was still screaming as loud as ever. I prayed again. Nothing. He only began to scream louder. My wife in her frustration picked him up and said “This isn’t working!”
My heart sank. What was I supposed to do? She went to go sit in a chair trying to comfort him and settle him down. I went to the other end of the room and stood in the coat rack and started crying out to God in my heart, “Lord, I tried and I did what I believed You led me to do. I anointed him with oil just like Your word says and I prayed the prayer of faith and…” I could not finish my prayer because I was interrupted by this ominous, deafening silence. I turned around and asked puzzled “What happened?”
“He fell asleep.” she responded still upset while rocking him back and forth. “That’s good!” I said. “Well, what are we going to do when he wakes up and starts crying again?” she demanded an answer. I did not want to give her one because I did not want to commit to going to a doctor and because I wanted to trust the Lord first and believe that this was working and that our baby was healed. So I simply said “Let me go out and get us some lunch. We’ll see when I get back.”
I left the room all excited. Is this what healing was like? Was he really healed or did he just fall asleep from exhaustion? But how could he possible have fallen asleep with such pain unless he was healed of his pain? But what if he wakes up and starts crying again like my wife suggested? Then we would have to get a doctor and we could not afford that. But he fell asleep almost instantly from one moment to the next as if he had been knocked out. Only the Holy Spirit could do that, right? And if Jesus had just healed him then he is healed, right? All these questions were just racing through my mind.
I picked up our lunch and headed back to the room. When I opened the door, all my fears and anxieties vanished into thin air. There in the middle of the room was our son, sitting perfectly sound and playing with his toys in perfect peace as if nothing in the world had ever happened. Not a trace of his earache was left. He was completely healed. Praise Jesus!
It had worked. The Lord was more than faithful. My son was healed and He led me and used me as His minister to accomplish my son’s healing. My only credit was that I was willing to hear His voice, trust His leading and apply my faith in the midst of all my questions and frustrations. He did all the rest.
Little did I know that day that this would be the first of many healing miracles we have seen in our ministry. My only concern at that time was to see my son healed. But the Lord used it to teach me a lesson in faith and obedience and to show me that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Franciscus M. Dartee
Grow in Faith | Walk in Power
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