(read this and other testimonials on the "Our Amazing God" page of this blog)
The abdominal pains grew worse and worse. He weighed less than 100 lbs, he was so skeletal thin that he looked like a holocaust victim. The doctors could find nothing wrong with him. They gave him prescription after prescription but nothing helped.
One day, while lying on the sofa, overwhelmed by his constant and severe pain, he prayed emphatically to God to remove this pain, “Please! Make it stop!” He was raised in the church and his faith was strong and like many of us when we feel desperate, he made a bargain with God---stop this pain right now and I will become a lay minister at my church.
His eyes were closed as he prayed these words and the pain instantly vanished. But so did everything else it seemed. He could hear nothing, the world went silent. He could no longer feel the couch beneath him. His arms no longer had any weight, in fact, they felt as if they were floating. He was afraid to open his eyes; he truly believed he must be dead. Time stopped. He did not know if this experience lasted 5 seconds or 5 minutes.
Then like a hammer falling on a nail, everything came back, sound, sense of weight, the feel of the couch---and pain---excruciating pain. (Well, I only asked God to stop the pain “now” and not for good, he would later laugh)
Later he was taken to the emergency room. He needed surgery to remove large sections of his intestines, but this hospital was not able provide this kind of surgery. So he was rushed via ambulance to a university hospital. Here he was told that he was too under weight for surgery. As he stayed at this hospital, gaining weight for surgery, he improved. The univeristy doctors determined he has Crohn’s disease and were able to treat him medically rather than with surgery.
The medication worked, he improved and although he will be on medicine for the rest of his life---he does have his life back---and he kept his promise to God and became a lay minister. Years later, after retiring from teaching, he then became the pastor of my church.