WFW: God is Big

September 22, 2009


“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory… ” Ephesians 3:20

God is amazing.

I could end today’s Word For Wednesday right there and that would be enough, but I’ll continue on with a very nifty story. It comes from a book called God Can Do It Again, by Kathryn Kuhlman and Jamie Buckingham. It’s a book of reports and testimonies by those who had been miraculously healed of horrible diseases and conditions. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend that you do!

One of the testimonies was from a doctor, Robert S. Hoyt, M.D., who served in the Naval Air Force and was a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology. His story tells of his searching for God. He went to Ethiopia in 1965 to establish a department of pathology in Haile Selassie I University.

It was while I was Africa that I came face to face with the reality of God’s power. I was particularly impressed with a Roman Catholic sister, a missionary, whose great love and compassion for the sick overwhelmed me. I saw Sister Gabriel throw her arms around lepers, tuberculosis patients, and persons with horrible skin diseases. I had never seen a love like this in action and I began to realize just how empty and powerless my own life was. I began to yearn for God’s love and power in my own life, and instigated a deeper quest than before.

During my year in Africa, I learned of the miraculous moving of the Holy Spirit in the Wallamo Province in the southwest part of Ethiopia. The details of this story, which took place during the second World War, are found in Fire on the Mountains by Raymond Davis. Three missionaries had gone into the Wallmo Province by muleback (the only means of transportation at the time). It took them three years to learn the language and another year to win the hearts of thirty-five natives. Then the Italians invaded Ethiopia, and the missionaries were driven out, leaving behind a pitifully small handful of native Christians. The only thing the missionaries left behind was a crude translation of the gospel of John.

Five years later, one of the missionaries was allowed to return to Ethiopia for a visit. He kept hearing stories about a huge Christian movement in the Wallamo Province. After three months, he finally wrangled a way to visit in the southwest section of the nation and found a church with more than 10,000 members. He was aghast. Entire villages of born-again Christians were scattered throughout the province– and most impressive were the tremendous testimonies of healing. People who had been blind were now seeing– cripples were now walking.

Apparently, when the missionaries translated the gospel of John, and then were forced to leave in such a hurry, they forgot to tell the natives that the day of miracles was past and that the miracles Jesus performed in the power of the Holy Spirit were impossible today! Those new Christians has read the gospel, believed and prayed, and God had moved.

I believe the missionary records and testimonies of these miracles in Ethiopia and I returned to the United States amazed at the power of the Holy Spirit in modern times in Africa. I wondered why God did not move this way in America?

The doctor went on to tell of his pursuit of these things can happen, and more specifically, how he could have the power of God in his life. He says he found a book by John Sherrill (former editor of Guideposts magazine), They Speak With Other Tongues. The book– which I just recently read and finished– tells of Sherrill’s investigation into this charismatic “sect” of Christianity only to discover that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is “mainstream” when you look at the lives of those in the early church; if anything, the “new mainstream” of dead lifeless religion is the true “sect.” Sherrill was baptized in the Holy Spirit. You may know him from Guideposts, but he also wrote The Hiding Place (the story of Corrie ten Boom) and God’s Smuggler, the story of Brother Andrew.

This story solidifies to me that God is WELL ABLE to get His message across; He is WELL ABLE to heal; He is WELL ABLE to provide us with His grace (power), with His love, and with His Spirit. God may not do things in our time, but He does do them. All we need to do is keep on going, keep on seeking.

God is BIG!!! He’s bigger than our biggest comparisons!

And that’s the truth.

For more of The Word For Wednesday posts and participants, see Yeah, Right!


6 Responses to “WFW: God is Big”

  1. akaGaGa Says:

    To add to the story of how big God is: It seems we’ve both written posts this week that started in other books … and center around the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    A “holy coincidence?” Not.

  2. Jay Says:

    Awesome story! It proves your point very well! šŸ˜‰

  3. RE-EntrePOD Says:

    Yes Rebecca My God has the ultimate V I P Room.
    only the :wubs: tested true are admitted.
    Very Nice Post – anything about Ethiopia gets my attention.


  4. Rebecca Says:

    Lovely story! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Renee Says:

    Excellent Story! It just shows that God doesn’t have limits… the only limits He has are what we put on Him by not believing. Like Jesus said, “If you can believe. All things are possible to him who believes.” It is amazing to see what God does through people who simply believe!

  6. Miss Szymanski Says:

    I love this story! It reminds me of how Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).” These Ethiopians received the Word as little children — simple, childlike faith. A child is so trusting of his father, and this story demonstrates that very well. It’s a great lesson for us today: will we humble ourselves and become like little children who simply believe what God says, regardless of our feelings and thoughts? It seems that God kept the Ethiopians from hearing all the “miracles are not for today” garbage, so that they could hear the plain truth of God’s Word and be saved. God is indeed big; there are no barriers that He cannot cross! šŸ˜‰