The thermometer had been reading my son’s temperature above 102 degrees for four days. The highest it spiked was 104.2. After two trips the doctor’s office it was apparent that the pediatricians, well-trained as they were, were just guessing at this point. Tests came back negative for strep or ear infection. They didn’t know what was wrong with him, “It’s most likely just a virus,” they said, “If he still has a fever in a few days, bring him back in.” “Why,” I thought, “So you can tell me again what you don’t know, just to charge us again for another visit?” We were merely treating symptoms at this point.
There is nothing more helpless than those moments as a parent when you can’t do anything to alleviate the sickness of your child. You would gladly take their place if you could. The sight of a little one, who is usually bouncy and giggly, being reduced to a languishing rag doll on a couch, will rip your heart out every time.
When it was evident that the physicians offered little answers, my congregation began praying for God to touch my son’s body and bring healing. It didn’t look like it would happen when on the fourth night of the ordeal my wife woke up with him at 2 AM. His fever was at 104. As I lay in the darkness listening to the whimpering child and noise of activity in the kitchen I started praying one of those desperate “hail-Mary” prayers:
“Lord you know our situation. Daniel has had this fever for four days. There are no human solutions to this. We don’t know what’s causing it. There is no medicine available. Lord, he needs a touch from you. Your hand is not too far that it can’t reach and your power undiminished from the day of creation. Lord, will you make my son better? And will you do it in such a way that there is no question that it was by Your mighty hand that the fever was taken away? Lord, I’m going to try and sleep now. I am leaving this in Your hands, because You have the night shift. Amen.”
My son went to back to bed around 3 AM with a fever of 104. When he woke up, there was no fever. I know medically some will say that his body fought off the infection and that his fever broke. A skeptic would look for natural causes. However, I know different. The power of prayer is real and the Great Physician still makes house calls. Earth petitioned and heaven answered. Man’s inability was met by God’s omnipotence.
This recent situation reinforced my faith in an unfailing God and taught me some simple lessons about prayer. First, be persistent. Keep praying even when it doesn’t seem to be working. Jesus, told us to “Ask, seek and knock” (Matt. 7:7), but He never specified how many times or gave a quota. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking.
Second, be bold. No prayer is too big for God. He has never met a need He couldn’t supply, a disease He couldn’t cure or an impossible situation He couldn’t use for His glory. I simply came to God out of my complete bankruptcy and He answered in such a way that it was evident no doctor or drug could take credit. Remember, Jesus told us that our miniscule amount of faith could move mountains (Mark 11:23).
Third, be thankful. When the answer came I didn’t have any trouble bowing my head and giving God all the praise. Having witnessed a move of God in a very personal way it heightened the need for worship. In fact I was reminded of the scene in John 4:46-54 in which Jesus healed a nobleman’s son from miles away. Jesus spoke the word and the boy’s fever broke that instant. John appends this concluding remark, “The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.”
Jesus, I still believe you are the God of space and time; the Lord over disease and death; the One who merely speaks the word and the maverick molecules of the universe obey. Like the nobleman, I stand amazed at your works. Amen. –DM