Our big God adventure: episode 25 – God intervening by showing us great and mighty things we do not know: Part 3

Wilco working in our garden in the 90s

In her latest testimony, missionary Lydia Venter illustrates the power of obedience and prayer

God has shown us these profound and startling realities through His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep mysteries of God. Who can see into a man’s heart and know his thoughts? Only the Spirit that dwells within the man. In the same way, the thoughts of God are known only by His Spirit. You must know that we have not received the spirit of this rebellious and broken world but the Spirit that comes from God, so that we may experience and comprehend the gifts that come from God.  — 1 Cor 2:10-12 (The Voice). 

One day in the mid-nineties my neighbour, Magda, phoned to hear if she could bring over her grandmother, “Ouma Soekie”, who had been suffering from severe gout — especially in her feet and toes. Apparently, she couldn’t even wear lady’s shoes anymore as the condition had torn the tendons and caused severe bumps and infection in the skin over the joints. She wanted me to pray for her. Of course I invited them over.

As we sat in the sitting room and as I inquired about her health, I felt the need to also ask this precious old lady if she harboured any bitterness in her heart towards anyone. Her eyes filled with indignation as she conveyed to me her story:  A few years before her husband’s passing, she had found a love letter in the inside pocket of his jacket. It was from a lady in their church, declaring her love for him. Her husband promised her that he had no interest in that woman. As far as she was concerned, they had a wonderful marriage and she believed him and that was the end of it.

As I sat listening to her I couldn’t help but feeling sorry for the pain Ouma Soekie had carried for so many years. Surely the devil is a liar! Her voice revealed the deep disgust and even hatred she still felt for the woman as she shared this memory. She ended with “… and I don’t think I can ever forgive her!!”

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Old lady’s feet (PHOTO: depositphotos.com)

This last statement obviously opened the door for me to share about the Father’s love and how the Word in Matthew 18:21,22 illustrates His heart on forgiveness when Peter asked Jesus how often we should forgive the brother who had sinned against us. “As many as seven times?”, he asked. Jesus replied: “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” It was at that moment that I requested her to go home and write down the names of people who she knew she had to forgive, and then to come back the following morning. 

At day break the next day my hubby was already in the garden working on some flower beds, while I was preparing for the ministry that was to take place that morning. Magda’s grandmother arrived just after 7am. As we enjoyed a cup of coffee together, I suddenly felt a strong inclination – which I knew could only be from Holy Spirit – to ask her where she would go if she was to die that day. My mind rebelled as this lovely lady had been a regular churchgoer all her life. What on earth would she think of me? I surely didn’t want her to feel bad or, even worse, take offense and walk away. The conviction however was too strong to ignore. After asking this sensitive question as gently as I possibly could, her eyes filled up with tears. “Nobody has ever asked me this question”, she said. “I really don’t know…”

I then asked her if she would like to receive Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Saviour. I didn’t have to invite her a second time. As she repeated the sinner’s prayer after me, I was totally unaware of Wilco who had been on his knees for some time in the garden, praying for Ouma Soekie. He later admitted that the conviction to intercede for her came over him so strongly, that he could barely stand. What a God moment! What an encouragement to know that the Lord is constantly raising up people to stand in the gap for others and even for us.

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What an amazing God we serve! 1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what Ouma Soekie became that day … a daughter of the Most High. After praying she turned to me, saying: “I think I should now forgive that lady …” Oh WOW!!! As she released this deep-rooted bitterness into the pit of hell, I felt the thick presence of God in the atmosphere. She – at that moment – was the purest person on earth. I bent down next to her, anointed her foot with oil and said a simple prayer of healing. The next morning the phone rang. Magda’s excitement was tangible as she told me that her grandma’s feet were already showing great improvement. A week later Ouma Soekie was wearing her high heel shoes. Jehovah Rapha had brought complete healing and wholeness not only in her body, but in her entire being. Praise His awesome Name. 

I have asked myself many times what would have happened if Wilco hadn’t prayed in the garden that day. I don’t know, but what I do know is that our lives are all interlinked with one another. We are the Body of Christ. Jesus, Who is the Head, controls all the body’s functions. Think of the Holy Spirit as the nervous system relaying messages back and forth from the brain to different parts of the body. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” — John 14:26

Although Ouma Soekie had gone to be with the Lord many years ago, her memory lives on in my heart. I also have memories of me not being obedient … In the next few chapters I will share some of those unfortunate incidences that are still haunting me up to this day. 

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord” To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” — 1 Sam 15:22

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