“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” –James 5:15
On January 19, 2015, the heart of 5 foot 3, 14-year-old John Smith stopped while submerged in 40-degree icy water for 15 minutes in Lake St. Louise, in St. Charles, Missouri. Medics rushed to the scene and performed CPR on him, to no avail. Doctors at St. Joseph Hospital West, continued resuscitation efforts. “I remember his temperature was 88 degrees when we checked it,” Dr. Kent Sutterer told TV station KSDK, an NBC affiliate. John Smith was given up for dead. He had no pulse for nearly 45 minutes.
Then, a miracle took place when John’s mother Joyce entered the emergency room and began to loudly pray.
A mother pleaded with God for the life of her eighth-grader son, and she was not going to be denied. Mother prayed a prayer of faith, and her son was healed in that very hour. Not only did John survive drowning, and being clinically dead, his brain functions returned to normal. “”The only factors medically that were really in John’s favor is that this was a cold-water drowning,” Dr. Jeremy Garrett told KSDK station. Still, that would not explain John’s full recovery.
While the world wonders what happened, so do many Christians. During the ordeal, many Christian people who were praying for John Smith, and his family, did not believe the boy would live. The medical prognosis was not encouraging, and even if John survived, many believed he would live in a vegetative state. It would be more merciful if John did die and go to heaven. Most Christians have faith in heaven; not so many have great faith in a miracle healing.
So what are some practical lessons the Church can learn, remember, share or reaffirm, from this remarkable incident?
First, the Church can learn how to pray from Joyce Smith. She is to be commended as an example of how to pray with faith, nothing doubting. Joyce was never double minded throughout this ordeal. God gave her permission to believe her son would live, and she embraced that Divine permission.
Second, the Church should remember there are some who have faith without borders. This special type of faith is a spiritual gift according to 1 Corinthians 12:9. While every believer has been given a gift of faith at the moment of salvation (Eph. 2:8, 9), not everyone has the special faith gift, though all can pray for more faith.
Third, the Church can share with others that God is still a miracle working God. We would see more of God if we believed more in His miracles. Gifted surgeon Dr. Ben Carson has said, “You can understand why I’m a believer. I have seen miracles.” In contrast, the renowned atheist Richard Dawkins scoffs, “The very idea of supernatural magic – including miracles – is incoherent, devoid of sensible meaning.” All faithful Christians, including Dr. Ben Carson, John Smith, and his family, definitely disagrees with Mr. Dawkins.
Finally, the Church must affirm the miracles of the Bible, for they lead people to believe in the Incarnation, in Jesus Christ, and in the only way to personal and eternal salvation. Jesus said, “Believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14;11). Let the Church say afresh, “I believe!”
“I believe for every drop of rain that falls
A flower grows
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
A candle glows
I believe for everyone who goes astray,
someone will come
To show the way
I believe, I believe
I believe above a storm
the smallest prayer
Can still be heard
I believe that Someone in the
Hears every word
Every time I hear a new born baby cry,
Or touch a leaf
or see the sky
Then I know why, I believe”
“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ― C.S. Lewis
Church, please go and support the faith-based movie, BREAKTHROUGH, or buy it on DVD.