I was praying for all the various needs I know about this morning, and was reminded of my own experience of God's answer to prayer for healing. I thought I'd share it by way of encouragement.
As a baby, when I first started on solids, I became very, very sick, and eventually tests showed conclusively that I had coeliac disease. Knowing the cause of the problems, my parents were able to manage my condition with a gluten free diet. If I deviated from my diet - even just one biscuit when visiting somewhere- the symptoms (starting with temper tantrums and tiredness) were immediately evident to my mother. Whenever other children had cake or biscuits, something gluten free had to be found for me. I also missed out on things like pasta, and Mum either had to prepare a seperate menu for me or had to find substitutes for wheat flour in sauces etc.These days it is possible to buy all manner of gluten free products in the supermarket, but when I was growing up we had to check package labels carefully to make sure that wheat was not one of the ingredients, and gluten free flour was only available from health food stores. For years I had to bake my own bread every second day. I didn't like the taste or texture of this bread much, and found baking it such a chore! I prayed daily that I would be healed from my condition.
When I was sixteen, my parents had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands for the first time since they had migrated to Australia seventeen years before. They took the youngest three children with them, and the other six- of whom I was the eldest- stayed at home in the care of a lovely couple from our local Church who took us on for three months! Without my mother there, stocking up on gluten free bread mix was my own responsibility, and of course, I ran out. By this time I had developed some tolerance to gluten, and I ate normal bread for a few days while I put off going to the health food store for more. Then the thought came to me: "I have prayed for healing. If I believe I am healed, why do I still need to follow the diet?" So when our temporary foster mother reminded me again about getting the bread mix, I told her that I'd decided to see if God had healed me. She was enthusiastic about it, provided I agreed to go straight back to my diet if I showed any signs of my health suffering.
Well, that is almost thirty years ago, now, and I have never had any sign of the condition again.
I looked Coeliac disease up on the internet recently, and the article I read confirmed that it is a lifelong condition. It is possible to develop some tolerance to gluten, but if the diet is not followed for a longer period, the symptoms will return. ... and my mother always reminds me to underline the fact that I definitely had Coeliac disease, as proven conclusively from tests done when I was little. I firmly believe that God saw the simple faith I had as a child and gave the healing I asked for- maybe even long before I put it to the test!