“What to do when darkness returns”

I’m reading bits and pieces of a book I’ve read before, just whenever I have a few minutes while eating or waiting for something. This passage is a powerful reminder that when you’re facing serious crisis you need to get serious about your stand of faith.

One of the darkest hours that I’ve ever spend in my life came right after my wife and I first started living our life of faith.

When I surrendered my life to Jesus, He became a light unto me. He became the One I wanted to live for. From that day, I determined that I would serve Him for the rest of my life, but then the darkness came. I was just beginning to really live for God. I was on fire, and it seemed that nothing could shake my faith in God.

We went to a church service to hear Brother Kenneth Copeland. Our children were just babies and we had put them in the nursery. During the service a woman came running to us with our youngest daughter in her arms. Our daughter had blood running out the end of her fingers. I didn’t know what had happened.

The woman came up to the front of the auditorium and brought our baby to us. Of course, when the people saw all that blood and heard the baby screaming, fear erupted in the place. I held the baby in my arms and turned and looked at Brother Copeland. I was not only about to find out what I believed, but I was also about to find out what he believed. It’s one thing to preach faith; however, it’s another thing to live it.

Satan was trying to steal my faith. His motive is always to discourage us and cause us to turn away from God. That day it looked as if darkness had returned to my life, but God proved that He was a light unto me.

With the baby in my arms, I turned to look at Brother Copeland and he stopped preaching his message and walked off the platform and came to where we were standing and laid his hands on my daughter’s fingers. He said, “In the name of Jesus, I command the blood to stop and the pain to cease.” The bleeding stopped instantly.

She closed her eyes and then laid her head on my shoulder and went to sleep. I had blood all over me. Brother Copeland walked back up to the platform and said, “Let’s get back into the Word of God.” He just prayed the prayer of faith and went back to preaching.

I took my daughter into the men’s restroom to wash the blood off of her. I still didn’t know what had happened to her. When I started washing the blood off, I then discovered she had cut two of her fingers off behind the first joint. Now, I don’t know how it affects you when one of your children is injured, but darkness tried to come over me and fear tried to rise up in me.

Satan began bombarding my mind, telling me she’d never be normal. He told me that her fingers would always be deformed. However, I remembered the Word of God, and I knew it was Satan who was trying to steal it from me. I remembered the book of Deuteronomy, which talks about the blessings of Abraham. I knew that all of those blessings belonged to me. The Word of God says, “Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body…” (Deut. 28:4). So I declared, “God, this little baby is the fruit of my body, and You said she would be blessed. In the name of Jesus, I believe You will restore my baby’s fingers.”

My faith began to rise, and fear began to leave. I then heard a knock on the door. I went to the door, and it was the nursery attendant. She said, “Brother Jerry, what do I do with these?” She had in her hands two little fingertips that she’d found on the floor in the nursery. She handed them to me, and now I held in the palm of my hand two little fingertips with nails on them that had been cut off my daughter’s fingers.

Once again, darkness tried to come in. Fear started arising again. But I continued to confess the Word of God.

We were advised to take our child to the hospital to get her fingers properly dressed. When we got to the hospital, the nurses were amazed that the baby was not crying with pain. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, they got us an appointment with one of the top plastic surgeons in the state of Louisiana.

When he examined her fingers, he said, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing we can do. It got the nail root. It got part of the bone. Those fingers will never be normal. They’ll always be short.”

I said, “Sir, you don’t understand. My God will restore my baby’s fingers.”

He said, “No, no, son, you don’t understand. It’s medically impossible.”

I said, “Sir, that’s where my God specializes — when things get impossible.” I told him, “Sir, please understand me. I’m not against you. I’m not belittling you, and I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I appreciate your dedication to the medical field. I appreciate all the years that you’ve given to studying how to help people and to save lives, and I respect you greatly, but I’m not basing my faith on what you say. I’m basing my faith on what God said, and He says that all things are possible to him who believes.”

However, this doctor didn’t understand, and he was totally convinced that it was impossible. He said, “All we can do is take a skin graft. We’ll take a piece of skin from her hip and cover her fingers. They’ll never be normal. They’ll never have nails.”

We knew that we couldn’t leave them exposed, so I said, “You go ahead and do the skin graft. God will do the rest.”

He said, “I don’t want you to get your hopes up.”

He then went over to my wife and said, “Your husband doesn’t seem to understand.”

She said, “No, sir, you don’t understand. Our God will restore our baby’s fingers.”

He took the skin graft, bandaged up her fingers, and had her stay in the hospital that night.

Brother Copeland had one more service so I went to hear him preach. When you find yourself in a dark situation, that’s not the time to run from the Word. That’s the time to run to the Word. Why? Because faith comes when you do.

I drove back to that church that night and allowed Brother Copeland to feed my faith with the Word of God. After the service, I went back to the hospital and preached everything to Carolyn that Brother Copeland had preached to me. Now, we both would be operating on the same level of faith. We were trusting God for a miracle.

The next day we took our baby home. Once we were home, we absolutely surrounded ourselves with the Word of God. We didn’t turn the television set on. We didn’t pick up a newspaper. We didn’t hang around doubters. We protected our spirit diligently by staying in the Word of God.

We consumed the Word of God through faith-building tapes and books. When we spoke to each other, we talked about the Word. If people came into our house talking unbelief, they either had to sit down and be quiet or leave.

After three weeks, we took our baby back to the hospital, and the doctor removed the bandages. Much to his surprise, the fingers were growing back. He said, “This is impossible. I can tell there is some growth taking place.” He then said, “But they’ll never have nails.”

I said, “No, sir. My God will restore my baby’s fingers.”

He said, “Impossible! Bring her back in three weeks.”

We kept on reading materials that stirred our faith. We continued to pray. We were not willing to have our dream stolen. As far as we were concerned, our daughter was healed completely.

After another three weeks, we took her to the doctor again. He cut the bandages off and screamed, “My God!” We looked and saw that God had restored fingers and nails and they were the right length!

We experience a tremendous victory when God restored our daughter’s fingers. Since then, there have been many times when the devil has said, “Jerry, this is impossible or that’s impossible.” When he does, I just go to my daughter and say, “Terri, could I borrow your fingers for a moment? The devil’s trying to tell me that we’re facing another impossibility.” Then I’ll just say, “Satan, look at this. Years ago, you told me that this was impossible, but look what God did. God took an impossible situation and turned it around, and if He did it once then He can do it again.”

When darkness returns, you have to remind the adversary of the victories that you have already seen. Declare them out loud. Tell the devil that the God you service is a God of victory and triumph.

If Satan Can’t Steal Your Dreams, He Can’t Control Your Destiny by Jerry Savelle (pp. 100-107)

What I noticed in this story

While this is a great example of God’s miraculous intervention and inspiring in so many ways, there is ONE THING that stands out to me right now. THIS is the message that God is telling me in the “now”, and I believe it’s for me and for my friends who may read this journal.

Notice what Jerry and Carolyn did between the declaration of faith and the uncovering of the completely restored fingers: THEY GUARDED THEIR HEARTS. They were DILIGENT. They took it SERIOUSLY. They got EXTREME in their focus.

They did NOT continue “life as normal” while “saying positive things” about how God was going to heal their baby’s fingers.

THEY GOT SERIOUS. Nothing was allowed to distract them or put bad seed in their hearts. No TV. No worldly news. No friends or family members who would speak words of doubt and unbelief.

Do you need some extreme change in your life?

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” — Matthew 11:12

What’s happening in your life? Are you under attack in some area? Are you tired of getting beat up by some habitual sin? Are you finished with failure? Ready to see the impossible happen?

I’m ready to get violent about achieving the dreams God has placed on my heart. I’ve been gradually getting more forceful about it for a few years now, and I see the growth gaining momentum.

The will of God will be done in my life, and I will not settle for anything less.

How about you?

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” — Jesus, in John 10:10 (emphasis mine)

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