1989, Sofia, Bulgaria
The pain was excruciating. It traveled fast from under my fingernail through the arm reaching the core of my being. It fueled up a cry within. It flamed out my senses. It burned in a single prayer-thought: “Lord, where are you to heal me the way you healed the servant’s ear in that night in Gethsemane when Peter took a knife and cut it off?” In that split second, my soul reached out for the only source of relief it knew.
Disgusted with myself, I had to face harsh reality. I was now to endure the discomfort of my injured finger for the next two weeks. As I was washing the streaming blood I kept blaming myself for not being careful enough with that forked shaped, double-edged kitchen knife. After an intense morning of science lecturing I had been too tired, too hungry, and too impatient. The pounding in my head warned me of quickly-dropping blood sugar level. The cramps in my stomach urged me to hurry up. The thought of a freshly made sandwich blurred the precision of my hand-eye coordination. The knife flew off my hand piercing the flesh deep under my fingernail. My effort to alleviate the hunger left me with much greater trouble to bear.
My misery grew as my mind projected the pain that I was to endure weeks ahead. Not all households in my country enjoyed the convenience of a washing machine. Neither did my family. Public laundry machines were non-existent. Hand washing the clothes used the day before was a basic part of my daily chores. Hand washing with a deep wound under my fingernail meant repeated pain, pain, pain. It was too high a price to pay in exchange for silencing my hunger.
The rest of the day went fast. The daily tasks around the house took my attention away from the accident. Only the tight bandage on my finger was a bitter reminder of my self-inflicted wound.
I did not deal with my injured finger until bedtime, when I had to put on a clean bandage. At the edge of my bed, I took time to gather strength and face the consequences of the injury. I knew that lifting the bandage would cause pain, so I was careful. Slowly I began revealing the affected area. With my finger in full sight I could not see the exact spot where the tip of the knife had entered. Bringing it closer to my eyes did not help either. Touching it brought further disbelief. There was no sign of any injury. There was no incision, no pain, and no scar.
Did it ever happen? Had the tip of the knife really pierced deep under the nail? I recalled the pain, the blood washing down the drain, and the numbness of my entire arm. The bloody bandage, still in my hand was a clear evidence that what had happened earlier in the day was a true experience.
For the next few moments, my mind struggled to reconcile the sight of my completely uninjured finger with the memories of the accident. When everything came into focus, my cry at that moment stood out: “Where are you, Jesus?” I had cried out then. “Here I am” was the answer.
“Here I am”. “Here I am”. The words echoed in my mind throughout the night. My Lord, Jesus, had stood next to me. He healed me the way he healed that servant in Gethsemane 2000 years ago. He restored my flesh the way He had restored his. The Creator of the Universe took time to stand next to me and heal me. He did not perform this miracle on a big stage. He did not seek a large audience or any applause. Instead, He manifested His glory in the quiet of my kitchen. He did it for me, only for me.
That night the Lord spoke to me clearly. As I reflected on this experience, I wondered at the attention I was given in injuring my little finger. After all, it was not a life threatening injury, but just a small wound that would have healed in few weeks. Then, I understood. It was a much bigger miracle; it was my heart that the Lord had healed.
During the previous months, I had been struggling with overwhelming doubts. I questioned the truthfulness of the Bible. I listened with an unconvinced heart to the pastor’s message, wondering if he really believed what he preached. The doubts had grown roots deep in my heart, affecting my faith and my relationship with the Lord. In the light of the small miracle of healing, I grew immensely in understanding. It was not the healing of my finger that was the core of this event. It was His Love that entered deep in, uprooted the doubts, and prepared my heart for His Word to be inscribed on it. His presence, the Lord Jesus himself, healed my disbelief.
Yes, yes. Though I believe the Lord sincerely loves to answer our prayers and show Himself strong and mighty on our behalf with many miracles, it is still our heart that He most wants to touch and to heal and to change. I decided to read only one article before turning in for the night. I have been having some major problems with my car, relationships, family members, finances, etc... I keep yelling "Jesus! Where are You in all this?" And I keep hearing "Here I Am. I'm making you stronger." Thank you for the precious word and your obedience in sharing it. It was well with my soul, but my heart needed the lift. Perhaps I will wake to a few miracles. If so, I am glad. If not, His grace is sufficient. Be most wonderfully blessed!