For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
Well, there are miracles and then there are miracles. One of the great adventures that Judy and I have been privileged to be a part of are church mission trips. Specifically, mission trips to Africa. For the past 15 or 16 years, our church has been an active participant in mission adventures. At least one a year we try and send a team to Africa. We started in Niger and then had to move a little south to the country of Mali. We were privileged to serve there for several years.
I can’t explain how incredible it is to go on a mission adventure. I also can’t really explain the draw that so many feel to this place called Africa. Where this story begins was a pretty difficult place. We would stay in the bush often sleeping on the ground in tents. The temperature would hover over 100 degrees. I have one picture that showed a thermometer with a reading 125 degrees. The food, well, let’s just say it wasn’t McDonald’s. So what is it that causes people to step way out of their comfort zones just to serve others. This story is part of that answer.
We were on a medical trip in Mali and the days were long and fruit was plentiful. We had a full team including two medical doctors and several nurses. They would treat the physically broken and we would try and share the truth of God’s love to the spiritually broken. We would tell stories of Jesus and how He would go and help people. We then would simply explain that we wanted to be like Him and help others. We explained that people who knew Jesus in America had bought and paid for the medicine that they were receiving. It was free to them because someone else paid the price. It was always a great lead into the gospel stories because Jesus did the same for us.
Well, it was the end of a long day. Most of us had wandered back to camp and were sitting around and chatting about the day’s activities. Suddenly someone ran into the camp and shouted that there was an emergency back at the clinic. We all rushed back over and what we found was grim…very grim. A little girl, about nine if I remember correctly, had been climbing a tree. She was about twenty-five feet up in the air when she slipped and fell—landing directly on her face. Her father had carried her on a Moto (a small motorcycle) about three or four miles. She was semi-conscious and unresponsive.
Two things happened simultaneously. First, the doctors when to work and the saints went to praying. Her pupils were unresponsive and though she was breathing, her respirations were rapid and shallow. About an hour later the doctors said it was probably only a matter of time, her brain injuries seemed very serious. I slipped into my pastor mode and wondered what an African funeral was like. The doctors took turns sitting with her through the night, and then took her to the nearest first aid station. This part is fuzzy but it seems like at some point the father went ahead and took her back to her village.
The next day we went back to work with a somewhat heavy heart. And then something happened…we heard that the little girl had woken up. We then heard that she was speaking and walking around. We then heard that she was responding and acting almost completely normal. “What is this,” I wondered. Again, if I remember correctly either that day or the next the father brought his little girl back to the doctors and there she stood. A living, breathing, miracle. It can be described as nothing else. God had heard the prayers of His children and chosen to reach down from heaven and touch this little girl and give her back her life. It. Was. A. Miracle.
Several of us have been to Africa many times and we have seen more than one miracle. Sometimes it looked like this, sometimes it was God acting to avoid a terrible tragedy and sometimes it like a frog strangling rainstorm when it hadn’t rained for months and months. But each time it was obvious that God was still God and He can do what He wants, when He wants. After all, He is God. For the skeptics out there who think that God doesn’t do the miracle thing—that it died out in the old days—well, that little girl would beg to differ with you.
Tucked away in the book of Luke, incidentally written by a physician in Jesus’ day, are some words that say it all. It says “For nothing shall be impossible with God.” Nothing. Period. Seven words that can shake your world and this world. So what is rocking your world today? COVID still keeping you up at night? Wondering about tomorrow or the next meal? Worried about our country? Well, I don’t know what God has planned—after all I’m in sales and not management—smile. But I do know that nothing is too big for Him to handle. Just like that little girl in Africa who discovered she could lay down and rest in Him—so can you. After all…He’s got this.