“Lord! I’m a new Christian! I can’t do this! What if someone sees me?”
It was a normal late night shift in the emergency room at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. We had the usual types of people in there that night. The elderly, the overdosed, the injured, and the “I don’t know why you’re in here” ones. I walked around in my fashionable white scrubs and assisted the medical staff.
As my shift was coming to an end, the atmosphere suddenly changed. Something was wrong. Serious chatter filled the air like electricity. Nurses and doctors started walking briskly through the room while preparing an area for an incoming patient. Being only a volunteer, I wasn’t privy to what was going on yet. Suddenly the double doors flew open and paramedics rushed in with a man on a stretcher. The medical staff hurried to his side as they quickly wheeled him into the prepared space. I stayed close by as they performed CPR and shocked him multiple times. I overheard that the man had been dead for more than 45 minutes and the paramedics were unable to revive him. The determined doctor tried everything she could think of, but nothing seemed to work. You could hear the frustration in her voice turn to hopelessness.
Standing there watching, I started to feel a tingle. The tingle then turned into a burning sensation throughout my entire body. After many attempts and one last-ditch effort, the doctor called it, “He’s not coming back now.” The burning sensation within me intensified so I looked around to see if anyone noticed. I knew Holy Spirit was all over me and He wanted me to pray for this man. My thoughts screamed, “Lord!! I’m a new Christian! I can’t do this! What if someone sees me?” The negative thoughts raced through my mind as the feelings increased. I was so nervous and scared but I knew God wanted to heal this man. Then it dawned on me…it wasn’t about me, it was about this man.
I anxiously waited to make my move as I watched for the nurses to leave. My nerves were going crazy and my eyes were huge with anticipation. Finally, everyone left his side. I rushed over, put my hands on his hairy leg and prayed for life to come back to him. Immediately, he gasped for air and took a deep breath! The monitors started singing and a loud drawn-out beep filled the air. I jumped back out of the way as the doctor spun around in complete shock. Nurses ran back to the man and started working on him again, proclaiming, “He’s alive!” I stood there in awe of what just happened.
With that, my shift was over and I quickly gathered my things and left. To this day, I kick myself for not shouting to everyone that Jesus healed him. But what was important is that the man was brought back to life. Whether the doctors and nurses knew wasn’t the purpose at that time.
I haven’t shared this story often out of fear that people would think I was somehow exalting myself. But I realized that my silence was a tactic from the enemy to keep others from hearing what our God can do! I did nothing for that man to be healed other than pray for him; and Holy Spirit had to practically make me! If I am not speaking about the miracles that I have seen God do, then I am missing a huge opportunity to bring Jesus to people. Sharing testimonies not only declares that God is real; it creates an atmosphere for those same things to happen again. It builds peoples’ faith (including your own) and inspires others to step out and pray.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to that man if I decided not to pray. At times, I’ve relied on the thought that if I don’t do it then God will just get someone else to do it (what a cop-out!!). That is true in some cases but not all. God wants to partner with us and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to bring heaven to earth!
Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see the needs of His people. Ask Him to help you pray big and continue to believe when you don’t see answers. We can’t determine what will happen, that’s up to God, but we can step out of the boat!