Dean Winchell - 4/07/12
When I was 23 years old, in 1983, I was in the US Army and stationed El Paso, TX. I was a Spirit-filled believer at that time and had received the gift of tongues and had a few interesting dreams. I was just finishing my instructor training on a missile defense system and was attending night school four nights a week. I had lots of friends and a nice motorcycle, so for a young fellow, things were looking up.
I remember looking at my friends and saying to a buddy, "Things are going so well, I can't imagine any reason why this shouldn't be a great summer". Later that day, I discovered that I had a tumor. I eventually ended up in an Army hospital where I had been diagnosed with phase three cancer of a very aggressive nature. Without a cure, I only had a matter of months to live. I had to endure a couple surgeries and chemotherapy that was extremely toxic.
I decided not to go home for treatment, as I did not want my friends and family to see me 'take my medicine' because it was pretty horrible. My mother sent me a book with scripture in it that convinced me that God wanted to heal me. I also asked my parents' home church to pray over a handkerchief and send it to me, which they did. One night, while sitting in a garden, I was praying a fervent prayer in the Spirit for healing when it happened. It was like an invisible laser that came from the sky directly overhead, shot straight through the top of my head, down through my body and continued down to the center of the earth. (I can only say what I perceived.) Then I had a sensation like my body was being covered with warm molasses from my head to my feet. I was left with the gift of faith and hope. The faith was so I could receive a healing and the hope that one needs to keep going.
I finished the first course of chemotherapy when the doctor said that I had been randomized for another round of treatment. I told him that I felt that the Lord had healed me and he gave me permission to stop.
What the Lord taught me personally through this ordeal was that I should not depart from this world without having helped others.
This may sound like a story that has a miracle in it that one might contrive for the sake of boasting. During that time, if all of that wasn't bad enough, the love of my life jilted me for a wealthier man (she didn't know I was sick and was not born again) and my best friend had a handgun accident and he died. No one asks to be like Job. Neither did Jesus want to suffer the cross!
Eventually, I made my way overseas for a few years in Christian Relief and Development. On the three missions that I went on, I had to evacuate due direct or imminent danger.
I'll always remember that Jesus Christ the Lord is an awesome God! As He Who was not sin was made sin and suffered for us while we were yet sinners.
If you are sick or have a burden, may you always keep your eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith and know that He loves you.