Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for you.”
Our friends, Marilyn and Leon, dealt with a life-threatening disease for over two years of Leon’s life. He was diagnosed with incurable asbestos type cancer, which created a tumor in his lung that grew so large that it was bending his esophagus to the side and he was having trouble swallowing his food. He would often need to go into the hospital to have fluid removed from his lungs so he could breath easier. He was told by his doctors that there was nothing more they could do for him. He went ahead and planned his funeral, asking Joel to preach at his “celebration of life”. Then they decided to really enjoy the time he had left and spent each day making it special and filled with family, fellowship, and travel. In mid December of 2003 his son-in-law came home on leave from Iraq and the entire family celebrated their “last Christmas” together. Leon continued to get worse and we fully expected to get a phone call from Marilyn announcing his death before the end of January 2004.
Then things begin to change. Leon began to gain some strength back and his breathing became easier. We wondered if this was the calm before the storm so-to-speak, as many who are dying begin feel to stronger a few days before they actually die. It is like the body rallies at the end. As time went by, though, Leon became stronger and stronger and continued to feel better. He went to see his doctor, X-rays were taken, and the results were unbelievable. The doctors could find no sign of the tumor in Leon’s lung. It was completely gone. Everyone was stunned, and his family doctor told him there was no medical explanation. It had to be a miracle. A couple of days later Leon had a seizure from the pain medication he was taking and ended up in the hospital where doctors there repeated the X-rays, once again confirming that he no longer had a tumor in his lung. He was sent back home. A week later he went to see his oncologist for his check-up and after looking at all the reports, the cancer doctor said, “The other doctors must have made a mistake. You never could have had asbestos cancer in the first place. It would never disappear.” Marilyn then spoke up and challenged him, “You mean our local doctors, the X-rays, and the doctors at Mayo Clinic were all wrong and misdiagnosed Leon? All his suffering and pain was not real?” The doctor walked out of the room, but in a short time he returned, walked over to Leon and shook his hand. He said, “I do not use these words lightly, but we have no explanation for your recovery. It is a miracle.”
Leon is back to his old self now and lives a normal life. There is no sign of cancer anywhere in his body. He continues to enjoy life to the fullest, never taking for granted the gift of healing God gave to him.
I have shared this story with several people, and each person has had a different response. Although most are amazed, some are skeptical, and wanting a reasonable explanation for the disappearance of the tumor. One person asked me if he was on certain medications that could have brought about the healing, while another person asked me if the doctors could have been wrong…did they each take their own X-rays or use the same ones. And another wondered why Leon would be healed and not others who were faithfully prayed for as well. There is no medical explanation for Leon’s recovery, and we do not have the answers behind the miraculous healing by God either. Questions do go unanswered.