The middle of 2006 turned out to be a reckoning moment in my life – spiritually speaking. Things were moving very fast – and I really wanted to know what it entailed to know God.
We had been brought up in a situation where people claim to know God just because they’d attend a weekly religious gathering. That was not the way I viewed it.
There was power which I felt I was desperately missing. Power to heal the sick – among others – was what defined my thirst to crave for a deeper level of understanding God, and His power of salvation.
In my brother’s two-bedroomed house, Nairobi, Kenya, I was just enjoying a great moment with his two beautiful daughters – Lydia and Sheryl (then aged 10 and 7 respectively). Of course, we were together with their parents too, reclining. This entire family knew that I was a devoted Christian, and a follower of God’s word. Among them, no one knew – or had even encountered – a moment of faith healing in their lives. Surprisingly, I was also at the same level of understanding – since I hadn’t experienced an actual healing in my life.
This void had existed inside me even though it had been many years since I started attending religious services. Sometimes, I would wonder how other people would be getting healed in crusades – as others get healed in hospitals. Even in times when I was indisposed, I had not experienced a moment of faith healing, despite numerous prayers that would be offered beside my hospital bed. “This could be due to my little faith,” I would reason out.
The day when Sheryl got sick, we – in the house – thought that it was just a matter of childhood jokes, or maybe she was only seeking for her mother’s attention – since she was the last born then… The conviviality between the two daughters and me was unrivalled. They didn’t want to lose sight of me at any given time, neither did I.
She came to me – timidly walking towards where I was, with her ayes inspecting my face. I did not read her mind to acquaint myself with what she could be up for. I thought that it was the usual play that we would have whenever they were in a holiday, or on a weekend (when they had not gone to school).
“Chris, I am sick,” my eyes shot at her with a dismissive stare. She could only joke. I did not believe on whatever she was telling me. “Pray for me. I am sick,” This one caught me unawares. I looked at her, then realized an unusual seriousness which I had never seen in her before. My heart started beating. This was a point when my faith was in a test. Jesus had said it – times beyond numbers – that if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, then you’ll be able to do unimaginable things in this world. It was my time to exercise what The Lord had taught us.
Even as my heart continued to beat, I summoned some courage – and went ahead to pray for Sheryl. It was a very simple prayer. I only called The Name Jesus, and asked Him for His miraculous healing power upon Sheryl, who was sick. It was that simple.
I had never believed on myself. I only knew that praying for someone to get healed was a preserve of televangelists, and those with big titles like bishops and prophets. I knew that the healing was just a preserve of those who pull large crowds in crusades – or those with churches that get full to the brim whenever they have fellowships.
Months passed. Sheryl had long got healed. She was busy doing her studies in lower primary school. In the evenings, as usual, we’d have a hearty moment, together with her elder sister Lydia. I had forgotten that there was a time when Sheryl had asked me to pray for her.
Everything was just silent, as usual. Sheryl came to me. She was laughing and having a great time running around me, and sometimes poking her sister Lydia. Sometimes they’d even spank each other in one minute, then the next minute they are the best of friends. (That is normal in any family set-up where firstborn and second born are staying together in their childhood). Their mother was still around, since we had just taken our breakfast.
“Mum, imagine Chris prayed for me and I got healed instantly,” What! What exactly did I hear? I looked at Sheryl questioningly – surprised. “Could this be real?” I murmured the question to myself.
“What are you saying, Sheryl?” the mother was equally surprised. “Sure, I got healed. He prayed for me,” insisted the beautiful Sheryl. I was still dumbfounded. I felt flattered by that powerful testimony from an innocent soul. “You see, when you get something from God, you give Him thanks and honor. You don’t invoke any other name. God will always want to be glorified in all circumstances,” I interjected. Sheryl and Lydia looked at me attentively. They were such subservient to my word that anything that I would tell them was as good as a law. “Glory be God,” she said finally.
I was full of thanksgiving songs. I did not imagine that I would also pray for something. I had taken myself as a lesser believer, not knowing that the bible was there for all believers, to read. It came to my realization that the bible was written for all believers to read and gain knowledge of God, and His great power of salvation. The little girl made me be forever grateful to our Almighty God for His kindness in me.