Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: IMPOSSIBLE (09/05/19)
TITLE: Just When You Think You've Seen It All
By Mariane Holbrook
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Growing up in a family of preachers had not been easy for Jimmy. Though his great-grandfather, grandfather, father and Uncle Harold had answered that noble calling with a firm, "Yes!", Jimmy felt no obligation to continue that uninterrupted line and made no apologies for it. After completing his schooling, Jimmy would become a ship's captain and sail the wide seas. He couldn't wait.
In high school, Jimmy gave his parents multiple reasons why his motto was more "sail the wild seas" rather than "sail the wide seas." Though a preacher's son, Jimmy had a growing reputation for stretching the lines of propriety farther than he should have.
One weekend Jimmy's father was holding revival services in a town several hours away when he phoned his wife to see how things were at home. "I've had the most wonderful feeling all day that our son's going to turn his life around and live for Jesus," he told his wife.
"You must be crazy!" his wife responded. "He's worse than ever!"
After a lengthy talk with Jimmy the next day, his parents imposed a curfew and loss of use of the family's car for a month. Jimmy excused himself and went to his room. Sitting at his desk with his head in his hands, he felt genuinely contrite. His mother's tears, his father's disappointment and the knowledge that he was damaging his father's ministry caused him considerable angst. Finally, kneeling beside his bed, he confessed his sins, received forgiveness and was born again in the finest New Testament tradition.
He decided not to tell his parents since they might interpret it as a ploy to get his punishment reduced. Instead, he would quietly live for Christ. In the weeks that followed, he applied to several Christian colleges where he could study for the ministry, a calling he could no longer escape.
In time, when his parents noticed the change in Jimmy, he told them of his conversion and plans to attend an evangelical college in the fall. Their joy was only superseded by their thankfulness that God had answered prayers in a way they had only dreamed of.
After four years of college, Jimmy was married and accepted the invitation to pastor a small church in another part of the state. His passionate love for Christ and his powerful sermons soon caused the church to double, then triple in size. It wasn't long before he was asked to be guest speaker at other churches and special events.
After preaching at a friend's church one Sunday, a woman, clearly in a state of desperate need, approached Jimmy. "Please, can you go to the hospital with me to pray for my sister who is very near death?" The woman was a member of this church but since their pastor was out of town, she asked Jimmy and two of the elders to accompany her.
When they arrived at St. Luke's Catholic Hospital, they were directed to the room of the dying, unresponsive woman. The attending physician showed Jimmy and the elders an eight-inch incision across her abdomen that would not heal. She was bleeding to death.
Jimmy laid his hands on her abdomen and prayed that the Great Physician would heal her in Jesus' name. It was a simple prayer, making no demands of God. Then Jimmy removed his hands. Everyone held their collective breaths as an unseen needle and thread skillfully sewed the sides together, beginning at one side and ending at the other.
One of the nurses slipped to the floor, fainting. The sister who brought them fell sobbing across the bed. One of the elders began to cry and the other began to sing praises. The surgeon stared unbelieving at the now-healed incision from every angle and finally muttered, "That's impossible!
Jimmy opened his Bible to Matthew 19:26. "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"
As Jimmy prayed aloud, others poured into the room to see the miracle and to seek the Lord. Nuns and priests, rubbing their eyes, kept asking, "How did you do this?" Jimmy explained to all that he was not a healer. This was all God's doing.
And in heaven, a trusted scribe opened the Book of Life, adding four precious new names.
This is a true story. Jimmy delivered a sermon at my home church and we were honored to have him stay at our home for the weekend. Jimmy's son is writing a biography about his father so I changed the names in the story in deference to him and his ongoing project.
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