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“THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!” A Testimony of Healing

December 15, AD2016

Have you ever faced seemingly Impossible circumstances? If so, I hope this story offers you some encouragement on your journey to continue to persevere and press into the love, power, and goodness of our God and Creator in the face of adversity. I warn you upfront that some of us may find this story hard to believe. That is understandable. If you will, please allow yourself the freedom to dare to believe that our God can do the impossible.

With God all things are possible

Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27

During a recent conference, a deacon candidate in formation asked to receive Prayer for healing. It is not an unusual experience for people to receive healing at a “Healing The Whole Person conference”(presented by John Paul II Healing Center). In fact, many have received astounding transformational healing at various events held throughout the United States.

There was something unique about this particular healing that could be of encouragement to all of us who face seemingly impossible circumstances in our life.

I have been given permission from this deacon candidate in formation to share his story. I want to say upfront that we do not yet have medical proof and because of that – and in honor of the teachings of the Church – this is not officially declared a Miracle. One thing is evident, God did something amazing in this man’s life as He dared to ask Jesus to heal him.

This is Impossible

I will call this deacon candidate in formation, Jim for the flow of the story: Jim has very limited mobility in his back, yet after receiving prayer he felt something shift within his lower back. Curious what had happened, he attempted to bend at his waist to see if he had any increased mobility.

As he bent over and reached his hands beneath his knees, he looked over in absolute awe, then skeptically exclaimed: “This is impossible.”

I understood his response, as I have similar thoughts every time I see Jesus heal someone. It is not humanly possible to be healed instantly of a physical ailment. Only the Holy Spirit can do such a thing within a person’s life. Little did I know just how impossible this truly was.

Jim shared that his lower back is fused together with metal plates, pins, and screws. He later shared pictures that he reveals to security at the airport. The metal in his back is intricately placed. His back is immobilized.

So, when Jim said “This is impossible” he meant it. It truly is impossible for his back to bend as it did.

God does the Impossible

Jim bent again, and this time he reached down and touched his toes for the first time in many years, then exclaimed in utter amazement, “This is impossible.”

He stood up, and with newfound faith, declared in awe: “But with God all things are possible!”

Jim was profoundly touched by the Holy Spirit. God did the impossible before our very eyes.

The next day Jim reported that he had the best night’s sleep that he has had in many years. For good measure, he bent down touched his toes and exclaimed yet again: “With God all things are possible.”

Our faith was greatly strengthened, and we all left deeply encouraged by the Lord’s love, mercy, and power.

Overcoming Barriers

I would love to end here and say it was finished that very day. But it wasn’t.

About four months later, our ministry was invited to minister to the incoming deacon candidates within Jim’s diocese.

We learned that when Jim returned home, his back had stiffened again.
It would have been easy to become discouraged and question the validity of the healing, yet because of the many miracles that we have witnessed Jesus do over the years, we decided to press in a little further.

Allow me to add a personal caveat if you will. It is always a sensitive issue when dealing with people’s pain and desire for healing. Every person is unique. There are as many factors within the person’s life and circumstances as there are individuals who seek to be healed. There is no set way of dealing with such a situation. It is crucial each and every time to have God’s heart for the person and the situation.

The power of Love

These words from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian Church are a great reminder of what matters most:

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

“God is Love” 1John 4:8. Love is always the answer. It is what we all long for and need – God, the One who is love.

Taking a Risk

On the last day of the event, God did the impossible, again. His love and presence were evident to us all.

We were teaching the deacon candidates in formation some basic steps to pray for physical healing. We asked if anyone wanted to participate in the demonstration. Jim raised his hand.

Jim was now standing before his peers, and we were all believing for God to do the impossible, yet again.

There is risk involved. What if nothing happens? Bottomline: It is not up to us. Our part is to obey God and believe. What the Holy Spirit does or does not do is not up to us. We dared to believe. It never gets easy. Trust and faith stretch and challenge us all, yet God calls us to have faith.

The Power of Faith

“By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, ‘the obedience of faith.'”Catechism 143

As we prayed over his back in faith, Jim again felt something shift.

Again, he went to bend his back to see if it was healed. This time, however, he had very limited mobility. His back was seemingly not healed.

Does Jesus really heal today?

Does this mean that Jesus does not want to heal his back? Should we have not done this? What happened the first time? Was that a fluke? How was Jim able to bend his back with pins, plates, and screws in it?

It would have been very easy to come to the conclusion that Jesus does not want to heal Jim. We could have easily stopped believing for his healing. But because we have seen Jesus heal people before, and we know of the price that Jesus paid on the cross through His death and resurrection, we decided to press in and not give into discouragement and doubt. We decided to take Jesus at His word and press in all the more.

Do what Jesus did

“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

Jesus tells us that we can do the things that He did. Does He mean it? What were the works that Jesus did? Many things, but here are a few things He did that He says we can also do:

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness….” Matthew 9:35

Jesus said, if we believe, we can do the things that He did: Jesus proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom and healed disease and sickness. Does Jesus mean it when He said we could too? Despite what our eyes had seen, we decided to take Jesus at His word.

Dare to believe

We dared to press in to see what Jesus wanted to do within Jim’s back. As we prayed, we asked the Holy Spirit what was hindering Jim’s healing. As we waited, Jim recalled an agreement he had made concerning his mother’s illness when he was a child. He simply prayed, “In the name of Jesus I renounce the agreement…”

He felt something shift within his lower back.

In front of his peers, Jim bent over and touched his toes. He was visibly healed!

Our God is a God of the Impossible

We reminded all the deacon candidates present of the words that Jesus spoke: “For man this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

It was a powerful and defining moment in Jim’s life as well as the lives of all us present. God is a God of the impossible.

The deacon candidates in formation have since been witnessing Jesus’ healing love and power through their lives as they pray over those who are in need. They too had discovered that Jesus meant it when He said, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do…” (JN14:12).

There are many things I could discuss relating to this incident with Jim – like perseverance, hindrances, why some people are healed and why some aren’t, faith, and teachings of the Church related to signs, miracles, and wonders. For the sake of brevity and to stick to the point at hand, I will state this reality:

We serve a mighty and powerful God who does the impossible. What may seem impossible to us as mortal beings, is not impossible for God.

The Power of the Saints

Did you know that most of the great Saints whom we celebrate today operated in tremendous faith displayed by supernatural signs, miracles, and wonders? Jesus intended this is to be a normal Catholic practice (see John 14:12). There is a book called “Raised from the Dead”, written by Fr Albert Hebert, who testifies about 400 saints who raised people from the dead. Catholic Saints raised people from the dead. Talk about impossible. St Patrick, for example, whom we celebrate annually by drinking green beer and watching parades, prayed for people who had died. He witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit raise them from the dead. Talk about intoxicating. The great Saints dared to believe Jesus for the impossible.

It’s easy to be skeptical. We are all prone to it, and sometimes it is wise to do so. What if we were to believe God for the impossible? What might our daily lives look like?

Suffice it to say that there is so much more to our faith than we often realize.

Church teaching on Faith

Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about supernatural faith:

“All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth.” CCC 91

“By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . The faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”CCC 93

Word of encouragement

I will end with this word of encouragement for us to ponder as we go about our day:

When faced with a seemingly impossible situation, dare to take Jesus at His word and pray for the impossible in faith. There is a chance that nothing will change, yet there is a chance that God will hear your prayer and answer it in a way that would astound us all.

Our God is the God of the impossible.

Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

"Bart is one of the most passionate men for God that I know.... His heart is for the Church to live into the fullness of who She's called to be." Bart has been involved in ministry for over 28 years and has vast experience across the Body of Christ. Following a desperate plea while in an NFL Locker room, over 29 years ago, Bart encountered the Father's love. His passion has remained the same since – to love and please God in all that he does. Bart is an instrumental member of the John Paul II Healing Center. He is a regular speaker at conferences and retreats, and has a deep passion to see people encounter the Father's love. Bart has been married for over 20 years. He and his wife, Brooke, have four children: Hannah, Gabrielle. Kailey and Joshua.

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  • Sharon

    It’s very hard, because sometimes you pray in faith for a cure and you don’t get one.

    • radicalrepublican

      That is the case most of the time. Miracles do happen but they are rare. I think God gives us “just enough” to have to CHOOSE faith every day.

    • ericdijon

      I used to believe that too, or that the cure was momentary and didn’t stick.