In April 1996 my doctor said to me- “Matt you are now a healthy man. It is a miracle you did not die”. I had been sick from the Spring of 1993 to the summer of 1995. It started as low energy and ended up with me losing memory, having swollen feet and hands, and in pain all the time. It got so bad that one night when I went to the store, when I came out, I couldn’t remember what kind of car I had. During the time I was sick people kind of gave up on me. They thought I couldn’t make it in school. Inside I knew their suggestions were way off, but I couldn’t communicate very well due to being sick. They were dark days in my life. I had wanted to serve God, but there I was sick and dying and for the most part alone. Others had given up on me. It looked absolutely hopeless.
Those were also some of the deepest times of prayer for me. I felt God’s presence in ways I never had before. One time I started to pray while listening to Michael Card’s song Immanuel and felt I was taken into the presence of God for hours, only to find it had been 4 minutes. I found out in April 1996 how bad my health was. My heart was swollen and my cholesterol was 413-doctors want it under 200. My liver was not doing well- the test was supposed to be 60 to 290 and mine was 669. My kidneys were not doing well the test was supposed to be 7 to 12 and mine was 72.5. I was headed to multiple organ failure.
One night in July 1995 I thought I was going to die. I was home alone and in a lot of pain. I went over to my bed and prayed to Jesus saying, “Jesus if tonight you want to take me home(heaven) that is okay, but there are more people who need to hear about you and more people need help. I don’t want it to end this way.” When I started to pray, I felt a spiritual darkness around me. When I finished praying, I felt a presence come in and push the darkness away, and then a hand touch my left shoulder. The pain stopped. I felt a beautiful peace and thought I was going to heaven. I fell asleep. The next morning I woke up and realized I was still here. I had a purpose for being here, but was not sure what it was. I went to the doctor the next day and told him I was tired of feeling cold in July. He ran a test and found what the underlying cause was. It was so simple to treat. Only take one pill each day. My Thyroid gland had stopped working.
Over the days, weeks and months, I prayed and took my pill. I made a full recovery. When I was sick, I had lost memory. Now I can remember how to greet people in 30 languages. When I was sick, I delivered pizza part-time because I was too sick to do anything else. When I was sick, I did not know what my purpose was. Now I teach English second language at a Community College and am a part-time missionary. My purpose, the reason Jesus gave me more time here, is to share His love with the nations, with people from all nations. My life is much fuller now than it was before I was sick. Prayer works when others give up hope. Don’t give up. Jesus said to knock and keep on knocking. Ask and keep on asking.