Joe yelped as every muscle in his body seemed to contract at the same time. He strained against the pressure for a few moments and then everything relaxed. Strange, I thought as my crew helped him to the stretcher and out to the rescue.
I hadn’t seen anything quite like Joes condition before. As I talked with him, gathering information about his medical history and other pertinent information, Joe continued to have episodes of whole body muscle contractions and relaxation. It was similar to some types of seizures but wasn’t.
“Has this every happened to you before?”
He wiped his eyes. “Yeah, a couple of years ago.”
The soft voice played across my heart like a cool breeze. I watched as another episode took Joe. Okay, it’s demonic. I needed more information.
“What was going on in your life when this happened the first time?” I asked him when he relaxed against the stretcher.
He told me about some terrible heartache that surrounded his first experience with these attacks and also shared some things surrounding this current attack.
I continued to ask him questions as we bounced over the roads to the hospital and he shared more and more of his heart and the emotional trauma to which he’d been exposed.
Tears ran down his cheeks as he shared all of the self-hate and self-blame for things he’d truly had no control over. The burden was a thousand cinder blocks on his shoulders.
Attacks held his body every few minutes and he finally blurted, “I just want to be free, to rest and have peace.”
With the door flung wide open I stepped through and told him about Jesus and the life He came to bring. I told him that Jesus can take the burden, that he didn’t have to carry it anymore.
I could see the struggle in his eyes and voice as he told me everything that was his fault. I could see that he’d become so comfortable with the things killing him that the thought of giving them up seemed impossible. Joe had been traveling with them for so long that he couldn’t imagine life without those bags.
I continued to encourage him and speak the words God was pouring into my heart until he looked at me with eyes of surrender and said, “I’m ready.”
I smiled and led him through giving his heart to the Lord. He also forgave himself for things he’d been holding on to for so long. I prayed over him and blessed him as we arrived at the hospital.
Wouldn’t you know that as soon as we finished praying he had another attack. I scowled like a kid who’d been refused a cookie. Okay God, he just gave his heart to you I would think he could be healed and delivered now. Anytime would be good.
I rolled my eyes at the silence that followed as we entered the ER. “Hey,” Joe said as we moved through the hall. “I, I feel better. The attacks, they aren’t lasting as long and aren’t nearly as often as they were.”
I raised my eyebrows as I heard the soft voice of the Holy Spirit say, sometimes it just takes awhile. But he gave his heart to me!
A sheepish grin pulled at the corners of my mouth. Nothing quite like divine perspective.
I continue to pray for Joe. That he will seek the heart of Jesus and dive into His infinite goodness. I pray that he finds a community of believers and for his complete healing. Join me in that prayer won’t you?
Jesse and Kara Birkey