A few weeks ago, October 26th-29th 2016, Hearts of Fire International led by Dr. Aaron Winter (of which I am a volunteer on staff) hosted the Northwest Prayer Summit–a four day conference focused on transforming the region through prayer. The focus of the meetings was on prayer and thus there was not much in the way of personal ministry through most of the conference. The last night we held a fire tunnel after James Goll spoke on “A Goodness Revolution,” stating that God is changing our view of Him in light of His preeminent goodness.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, a fire tunnel is a fun-sounding name for a prayer line–almost a prayer gauntlet of sorts where a group of people line up facing each other in pairs and everyone else passes between them and receive prayer and laying on of hands as they walk slowly through the tunnel. This particular fire tunnel started sometime after 10pm, and as part of the staff hosting the event, we had over 2 hours of cleanup left once we finished–and with over 500 people present, the fire tunnel was going to take a while. This fire tunnel was incredibly impromptu and unplanned, taking even the staff by surprise, but attitudes were mostly pretty positive in spite of the additional hours of work it would involve (all told we arrived home around 2 am).
About halfway through, with my wife and I the first pair people passed between, an older woman stopped before entering and asked for prayer for healing her right-sided sciatic pain. I stepped out of line with this woman to keep from blocking everyone else and began to pray. After about ten minutes of working with her, praying and rechecking her pain frequently, doing some emotional healing, and asking Holy Spirit each step of the way what the next move was, her pain was completely gone but she still had numbness in her feet. At that time I sensed the Spirit telling me to send her through the line, and moments after someone came to get me to fix another problem elsewhere, pulling me away from the prayer line.
A bit later the woman found me and informed me that the numbness had left as she went through the line, but that wasn’t all. It turns out she had this pain for a few weeks, and had been asking the Lord for healing throughout the entire 4-day conference. As I stated before, we had only been doing minimal personal ministry throughout the event, and to make matters worse I had gotten a word of knowledge in the previous session for sciatic pain–but on the left side. God, in light of His preeminent goodness, decided that this woman wasn’t going to go home from the event without being healed. She received her healing at the end of the last session of the last day during an unplanned prayer tunnel. I was literally in tears when she told me this, and couldn’t help but start crying as I shared this story with others for days after.
I can’t explain why it is that God’s goodness brings me to tears, but there is something about how incredibly kind He is that overwhelms me at times, and healing is a surefire way to get the waterworks flowing. John 3:16 says that “God loved the world so much that he gave his only son that whomever believed in him would not die . . .” Sickness is simply death-in-process, and healing is a manifestation of God’s love–because God doesn’t want us to die. I am so thankful that Aaron heard and obeyed God that night when he called for the fire tunnel because I know it was an answer to this woman’s incessant pleas for help. And how loving was it of God to ensure that His daughter didn’t leave without getting her need met? Astounding.
If there is one thing that will radically transform our worldview, it is when we get a revelation of God’s goodness. The Bible is chock-full of verses that demonstrate God’s kindness, mercy, and love, but many of us have been brought up with a focus on sin, wrath, and judgment. When we start to see how stunningly kind God is, especially through events such as Him healing that woman’s sciatic pain, it shifts how we expect God to act in the future, raises our faith, and alters our experience. I encourage you to take a few moments and reframe a recent life event in light of His preeminent goodness. It changes everything.