Freely Receive, Freely Give
Today's testimony-related Miracle Monday is an answered prayer submitted by Brother Anthony Scolaro.
A couple of years ago, my family moved from New Jersey to Arizona. Among the neighbors we left behind was a man two doors down who was legally blind. He and his wife were always very warm and friendly, and when we heard that she was battling cancer, we gladly told them we were praying for her. He was from the Philippines and she was from Chile.
They were very devout in their religion, and like many of our neighbors, the very short walk to the cathedral was one of the reasons they had chosen to live there.
In the months before we moved, while I was away at the new job, my wife got to know them better. One evening she mentioned to me on the phone that this couple had at one time traveled all the way to Lourdes, France, as the husband's blindness was progressing, in hopes of receiving a miracle. When I heard that, I was convicted—"My neighbor down the street crosses the ocean for a healing while I have the authority to lay hands on the sick!"
It wasn't about me, of course; it was about my never telling them what I had. I felt that anyone with that kind of faith would gladly be anointed, if only they knew. I would be returning to New Jersey to help pack up and move, so I immediately purposed in my heart to anoint him before we departed and trusted that the Lord would provide the opportunity.
As it happened, the moving van left on a Wednesday and we closed on the sale the following Friday. In between, my wife and I finished emptying out the house. Late that Thursday morning, in the midst of all our running around, this couple spotted us out in front and, on the spur of the moment, invited us over for a cup of coffee. Here was the opportunity I had prayed for.
What a beautiful spirit we felt as we walked through the door! Everything about them spoke of a love for the Lord and a desire to walk close to Him. In the hour or so that we spent with them, we were able to share so much of God's goodness, even through our needs and trials. Finally, I explained to them that I was a minister in our church and how we followed the scriptures about anointing with oil and laying hands on the sick.
I asked Manuel if I could pray for him. Both of them sat down before me as I anointed him, and I then laid my hands on each of their heads as I petitioned the Lord on their behalf. All of us were blessed in that brief season of fellowship.
I learned a couple of things (for the third or fourth time) from this experience:
- We have something that is priceless and should never hold back from offering what we have freely received.
- If you ask God for an opportunity to witness to someone He will make it happen—guaranteed.
Food Miracles for November