Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Please Lord, Heal my Dad" by Pastor Suzanne Taczak

"I'm eager to share this message with you after being on sabbatical for some time." This message is one of healing! It involves my dad who was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer on August 13 of this year. I didn’t think it was too much to ask God for healing!!! Jesus is the same today as he was 2000 years ago! We serve a “Lord who heals you.” In Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. We serve a healing Savior, Jesus Christ. Like God the Father, Jesus heals the sick and infirm. And be it established that Jesus heals today, for He "is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

I believe in healing! I prayed and I prayed but the sicker my dad became, I wondered what God had in mind. The doctors gave him 2-3 months to live and I watched him become weaker and weaker. Why, lord, would you take him now? Why won’t you heal him, Lord? My dad asked me the same questions! “Why now and why so soon in my life, he asked?” “Was I that bad of a man that God will not heal me now?” “What did I do to deserve this type of end?” “What will happen to your mother once I’m gone?” Not easy questions to answer, especially to your own dad! I gave him the only answers I knew. I answered him straight from the Bible. My dad trusted my answers. Could I trust them? Would Jesus heal my dad?

If you are reading this now, I ask you, do you believe in healing? Do you really? Could God heal you? “By His stripes we are healed”, today, just the same as yesterday and over 2,000 years ago!!

When my dad was first diagnosed with colon cancer it came as a shock to all of us. He had just recently had a colonoscopy and received a clean bill of health. That was 2 years ago. How could this be? I even recently read that even if they find a pollop, the recommendation is to have another colonoscopy in 3 years. So, why my dad, Lord? When dad and I had time alone, he asked me so many questions. “Why now at this age of 81? I’m young and I was always so healthy.” He took very good care of himself for most of his life. Remember that longevity runs in my family. We all yearn to live and we have a desire to live life to it’s fullest. My dad was the same! When is a good age to die dad- 91 or 101? He always taught me that we never know when our time would come. He still had humor and replied, 101, I could never live another 20 years with your mother!” His eyes twinkled. I knew how much they loved each other-married 58 years! My dad always found humor in all situations. It was good to know that he could still make us laugh, even after this shocking news. I’m too young to die he would say so, I reminded him that when he was a young boy, he told the story of how God sent an angel to save him and his brother Joe. As they fell head first from the roof of the moving train, the angel swooshed them up onto the bank on the other side of the tracks. He knew that it was an angel. “It was so incredible, he said.” They both looked at each other in disbelief and ran home to tell their mom. She knew too. They believed in all the wonders of the Bible. They too, believed in miracles and healing and God’s never ending love! They believed in eternity, too!

I reminded him that his life was spared as a child. He accepted that. He agreed that he lived a long and wonderful life! I also reminded him of his belief in eternity and that God would forgive him of all his sins. I reminded him about 2 Timothy 4:18, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

“Will God take me in heaven, dad asked?” Of course dad, God will take you, I said! You believe in Jesus, don’t you? “Of course I do but I have sinned.” We all sin dad. Have you asked God for forgiveness for your sins? “Yes.” Do you believe that there is a heaven and that Jesus came to earth to die for your sins? “Yes, he said.” If you have asked God to forgive you and you believe in Him, then He has created a place for you in heaven! Dad said, “I have asked for forgiveness and I believe in Jesus and His life everlasting but I was not ready to go yet. I want to live longer!” So my dad wanted to live longer at 81. How many times I hear people say that they don’t want to live that long! Why place limits on your life?

So, those of you reading this message, are you ready to meet Jesus? Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior? Are you carrying something inside that needs forgiveness? Do you want to live with Our Lord after your death? You can always have an opportunity to have forgiveness, to ask for Jesus into your heart, and to have life everlasting! Do you believe in the healing power of Jesus Christ? He has already healed you by His death on the cross. Do you believe it?

So for a few days after dad’s diagnosis, he was filled with many questions! We spent lots of quality time together during the next six weeks. Then something changed. My dad became very angry. I had previously asked all of you to pray for healing for my dad. We, as a family believe in healing in the Name of Jesus! We prayed and prayed. I would get up in the middle of the night and pray. My brothers, my mom and our entire family prayed, too. My dad was on several prayer lists. He was so angry! I know it’s a stage in the dying process but this is my dad! He yelled about almost everything! He was always so positive about life and about death. He would easily talk about both but now when he was faced with dying, his tune changed. How could his attitude change so fast? Did he really doubt life after death? Is this what happens to us all? I had questions of my own. When faced with the reality of death, do we turn from God or do we draw closer to Him? Will I, too, become so angry that I become indifferent to God? My dad was not my dad. I was so upset. I prayed to Jesus for my dad to accept His healing!

Have you ever doubted God’s love for you? Have you ever become so angry with Him that you even doubt if He is present in your life during those difficult times? Is He present in your heart right now? Are you angry? Open up your bitter heart right now, in the Name of Jesus!

In Luke 18:42 Jesus said to [the blind man], “RECEIVE your sight.” In Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ASK FOR in prayer, BELIEVE that you HAVE RECEIVED it, and it WILL be yours. In Acts 3:16 BY FAITH in the NAME OF JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong.

I needed to go back to work for a couple of weeks but as I left, I had never seen my dad so angry. I was so afraid that his heart would remain hardened right up to the day he died. Those last couple of weeks he stopped asking questions. I was afraid that he was turning away from God!!! He wasn’t the soft-spoken, calm, funny, loving father that I had known all my life. When I left dad, I became resolved that I might need to remember him before the cancer and try to block out this man I didn’t know. It also upset me that he could talk so freely about life and death before his diagnosis. Isn’t it easy for us to speak of things we know nothing about? I have done it, have you? We all say you should do this or you should do that! We must remember that we never know how we will react to any situations! We must learn to walk in another's shoes without judgment!

Have you ever turned from God during the most important times in your life, when you should be turning towards Him? We all have done it. We get so angry. We vent all our anger on friends and family and we turn from the One who can help us the most!!! I feared that my dad was turning from the One who could heal him, who could give him comfort, who could ease his worry and pain!! I prayed that God would heal him, especially his angry and hardened heart!

On Sunday October 12th at 4am, my brother Steve called and said I needed to come up right away. Something is different with dad. My brother Dan then called a little later and told me that dad was going to die soon, because dad saw angels in his room. He asked that we all come to be with him. I knew that I had to go right away! As I traveled to see him on that early Sunday morning, I wondered how dad would be. I had never seen him so upset before I left. I prayed that he would no longer be angry. When I arrived at my parents, I saw my old dad- the one I knew all my life! He was happy, his faced glowed and he smiled and joked like I had always remembered him. My brother said that dad had been so angry until he looked up in the ceiling and started smiling and waving and he told my brother that there were angels in the room and they were coming for him. Dad was smiling and waving to the heavens above, shaking hands with people from his past. They were there to welcome him. He had such a peaceful look on his face. His demeanor was calm and loving. We will always remember that peaceful, loving, face of my father-the face that had seen a glimpse of heaven!

He never raised his voice the entire day we spent together. We talked and he was joyful and peaceful. We watched the Pittsburgh Steelers win that night. He ate his favorite chicken soup that my brother Dan made for him. We were up with him all night and at 8:30am the next morning my dad went to be with the Lord. God had healed his hardened heart! He was finally at peace with his maker! Now, I can block out those angry weeks because God healed my dad. It was the best gift that God could give. In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live again.”

Healing doesn’t always come in physical ways and for my dad it was his attitude of bitterness. God healed his angry heart. My dad is alive with Christ everlasting! Jesus loves you so very much and He is here for you. Give Him your burdens!!! Open your heart to the living, loving Jesus who can heal your broken heart, your hardened heart, your sad heart, and your hurting heart! My dad was healed by our Lord, Jesus Christ! Jesus turned his anger into love! God allowed him to see a glimpse of heaven! Will you see it as healing? Will you think it was just a dream? Will you trust in God’s precious healing today? Only you can decide for yourself! I pray that you too, will believe! Jesus heals today just like He did over 2000 years ago. Jesus is alive right here and waiting for you to come.

In Matthew 9:21-22 [The woman bleeding 12 years] said to herself, “IF I ONLY TOUCH HIS CLOAK, I will be healed.” [22] Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “YOUR FAITH has healed you.” In James 5:13-16..” Is any one of you in trouble today? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayers offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

“RECEIVE Your Healing!” Psalms 30:2 O LORD my God, I CALLED TO YOU FOR HELP and you healed me. He TOOK YOUR infirmities and sicknesses. Now YOU TAKE His free gift of healing. It is yours today! Jesus died for you and He healed you at the cross. Just like over 2,000 years ago, He healed then, He heals now!