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Pain killer

By Samuel H. Johnson

It was a gorgeous North Dakota day. The air around my native Jamestown had just a hint of chill in it. It was one of those great-to-be-alive times, with the smell of smoke in the air from a neighbor burning leaves, and children playing together. In our backyard, I spied my mother hanging wash out to dry.

I was 5 years old, the youngest of five brothers. I idolized my brothers and was always eager to please, so it wasn’t unusual, when my oldest brother threw a boomerang out in the street, that I ran excitedly out to pick it up. We were laughing and yelling at each other, so I didn’t hear the old black Chevy bearing down on me as I darted out in the street. As I bent down, the car hit me with such impact that my clothes caught on the front bumper pushing me half a block down the street.

My mother heard me screaming. She ran out in the street and yelled, “Stop! Stop the car!” The teenage driver stopped the car, bewildered. He had obviously been distracted by all the kids playing near the street and hadn’t seen me jump in front of him.

My mother went to the front of the car and picked me up, an almost lifeless form. My left ear was hanging by a thin strand of skin. Like a parade of mourners, my brothers followed her into the kitchen, where Mother laid me on the table.

My father was away preaching. There was nothing like 911 then. Mom had to handle the situation alone. I wasn’t really aware of what happened, but I’m told that she took my bloody ear, put it back where it should go, then wrapped a big bandage around it. She put more bandages on my other wounds, then stopped and prayed. “God, I asked for this boy. You gave him to me. I called him Samuel, the prophet. I gave him to You. Now I ask You to heal him.”

This was 1944. Mother had no transportation, so she left my oldest brother in charge of the family, picked me up and carried me almost a mile to the doctor’s clinic.

Once she arrived, the doctor said to the nurse, “Come, take off the bandages.” The nurse unwrapped the bandages, and the doctor began the process of examining me. Finally, he looked at my mother and exclaimed, “Mrs. Johnson, there’s nothing I can do. The healing has already begun.” Healed by the power of God!

I know the power of strong faith in Jesus Christ. But I also know that life deals an assortment of hurts to everyone — even to people who grew up in a household of faith. I have been hit by a car, faced the guns and threats of Communist guerrillas in Portugal, endured life-threatening hepatitis in a remote area of the globe and been diagnosed with cancer. I believe deeply in God. I know firsthand that life is often difficult and sometimes filled with pain. That’s why it is so important to understand a vital biblical principle: You can plan your own deliverance.

Luke records an incident that makes this clear:

“So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

“But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

“And Jesus said, ‘Who touched Me?’ When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, ‘Master, the multitudes throng You and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.’

“Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace’” (Luke 8:40-48, NKJV).

People were waiting for Christ. Something always happens when people wait for Him. I’ve been in services where people stop everything else and just begin waiting and expecting Jesus. I feel sorry for churches that feel like praise and worship is just an exercise, a preliminary. It is an integral part of ushering in the presence of the Lord. I don’t understand it, but I know it works.

Miracles happen in the presence of Jesus. Can you imagine the time when He was on the hillside teaching, and lunchtime came? Someone asked, “What are we going to do to feed all these people?” Someone else probably suggested that they be sent home, since the only food around was a boy’s lunch. Jesus took the lunch, blessed it, broke it and fed the thousands.


Imagine the excitement among the people in the procession on the way to Jairus’ house. You never knew what was going to happen next.

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