SECRET MANNA, EARTHEN VESSELS
BY: BRENDA IMUS
MAY 16, 2002
Several years ago I was excited about attending a Christian gathering that had been planned for several months. Some brethren from out of town were to be there, and I looked forward to experiencing (key word, there) their ministry. That afternoon, before the meeting, I was working in the barn. I tried to close a big sliding barn door, and it stuck. So I put all my weight into the task, until it pulled free – too free, as it turned out. The heavy wooden door slammed closed against my wrist. I felt it snap. The pain was unbelievable.
I stood shaking and fighting off a cold sweat for several moments. Though the pain was bad, my disappointment at the prospect of missing that night’s meeting was even worse. I began, instinctively, to rub the wrist, and to pray. I couldn’t tell you for the life of me exactly what words I spoke... only that as I prayed, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me stronger and stronger. I began to know that this prayer was one that was going to be effective, and that my wrist – though obviously fractured – WOULD be healed. Within a remarkably short time, it was.
At that time we didn’t have water piped into the barn, so I needed to take a couple of buckets over to the creek, fill them up, and carry them back to the horses I’d put inside. While the pain had largely subsided, there was still a dull ache in my wrist. As I picked up the empty bucket to dip into the water, I was jabbed by a sharp doubt: should I be doing this with my injured wrist?
Clear as a bell, the Spirit asked me, “Who will you believe: Me, or the pain in your wrist?”
I chose to believe God, and began filling the buckets with water. As I did so, the pain completely disappeared.
That night during the meeting I shared this experience with several others. It was evident that they were more than a little skeptical – they knew I was telling the truth as I understood it, but doubted the wrist had actually been broken in the first place. If God were going to heal someone, why wouldn’t He do so during a gathering, so that He might receive their praise, and everyone might be encouraged? Why would such a marvelous thing be accomplished in secret?
This was my own question toward God as well, and I persisted in asking it for several days. Finally, the Lord revealed the following: “I chose to heal you in a private place, so that YOU will understand that I am able. When the time comes, and you absolutely MUST depend upon me and me alone, you will have no doubts as to My ability.” I further came to understood that our most profound experiences with God are personal ones, when we receive a revelation regarding some aspect of His character. Ironically, I had experienced a true touch from God... but was disappointed when no one else SAW it! I was beginning to understand that God is not pleased with Christian ‘side shows,’ or with having His power called upon for the purpose of lending credibility to someone’s ‘ministry,’ or ‘spirituality.’ He often chooses to meet us in the private, secret places.
Last year this lesson was enlarged upon. My daughter Jamie and I were riding two young horses. It was a wonderful day. We’d ridden a couple of hours into a beautiful, totally private spot where we could swim and picnic and rest the horses, which we did. The horses were both working well, and the weather was perfect. Since Jamie had been in college for several years, we hadn’t had much opportunity to enjoy one another for quite some time. It was a magical day.
After we’d ridden about half-way back, we stopped to briefly rest the horses in a sandy clearing. Suddenly there was a noise from the brush, and her horse spooked – hard. I barely had time to notice this before my animal followed suit. Somehow I managed to stay on, and assumed that Jamie, who is a strong rider, had done the same.
But then I saw her horse on the other side of the clearing, with no rider. She was laying in a crumpled heap in the middle of the clearing. My heart dropped into my stomach. Dismounting, I called her name, but there was no response, though I detected slight movement. I quickly tied the horses (I had the presence of mind to know we didn’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere without even a horse to ride out on), and rushed over to her.
Jamie is an outstanding athlete (was female athlete of her graduating H.S. class), and has had her share of bumps, bruises and sprains over the years. She’s learned to take such things in stride – but it soon became apparent this was different. She was HURT. Gaining consciousness, she talked deliriously. She sobbed over how much pain she was in – and it was evident from the way her body lay on the ground that she was definitely broken. She looked like a broken doll.
I began immediately to pray. I asked the Lord to grant me wisdom, and to heal Jamie’s broken body. As I prayed, my daughter became more aware of her surroundings, but continued laying there, crying helplessly. When I knew she’d be all right for a moment, I went to our saddle bags, and discovered that the cell phone she had packed seemed to have been lost. I found some water, and took it over to her. She had not moved, and I knew it would be foolish to attempt to do so.
However, the unmistakable sense of God’s peace, and presence, began to fall on me in that desolate, and desperate, place. I knelt down and laid hands on Jamie. I not only asked the Lord to heal her, but I reminded him, over and over again, that HE was the only hope we had. I reminded Him of the lesson He’d given me, when my wrist had been broken, and told Him that I was counting NOW on His mercy and healing power. There was no one, nothing else, that I COULD count on. Slowly, Jamie began to move. Though it took a long time, she eventually rose to a sitting position. One hip – I had been certain from the way she was laying that her pelvis was broken–was extremely painful. She was still crying, hard. But I had a strong inward witness that God was doing something miraculous.
I walked back over to check the saddle bags for anything I could find that might be helpful. As I did so, the Lord spoke to me: “Tell Jamie she has to stop crying. She needs her strength.”
I turned to tell her that the Lord had instructed me to say to her, and she immediately became quiet.
Within the next half hour, we got Jamie on her feet, and then somehow up on the back of her horse. I tied a lead rope to her horse (she couldn’t move well enough to use the reins), mounted up, and started leading her horse back to where we’d parked the truck and trailer. My young horse had never ‘ponied’ another animal, and her horse had never been ponied – it is a process that usually requires training. They both acted, this day, as though they were well used to the practice.
On the way out, several grouse flushed from the side of the trail right into our path – neither horse spooked in the slightest.
Back at the truck, we got Jamie dismounted and into the truck, and I put the horses on the trailer. It was about a half hour ride back to civilization… and we fully intended to get Jamie to a hospital a.s.a.p. She was still in great pain.
But as we headed back to town, she began to express doubts as to the need for a hospital visit. She asked me to just bring her home, where we would wait and see. On the way, I called her dad at work, and told him what happened. (The cell phone? It HAD been in the saddle bags, exactly where I’d been looking for it…)
It turned out that, while Jamie was extremely sore for a few days, she never did have to visit a doctor. In fact, she never even got a small bruise! While others may doubt – because they didn’t SEE her immediately following the accident – she and I both know that God granted us a miracle that day. A ‘hidden’ miracle, accomplished for our eyes only.
Partly due to these experiences, but also because of what I am learning in the Lord, I am increasingly convinced that Christ is, for now, ‘hidden’ within the earthly body of His saints. This is by His choice. I sense that once we understand this, and stop trying to ‘make’ Him manifest His power and glory in the assembly and before the world before the time is ripe, that we will be permitted to experience Him, more and more, ‘in the secret places.’ As we come to know Him thus, our personal faith will be strengthened… and as each one of us begins to walk in a greater measure of personal faith, we will be preparing for the time when His power and glory WILL be manifest more frequently through His strong, believing body, and to the world. Then will the world begin to SEE the One whom we worship.
But until the Lord Jesus Christ is ready to manifest Himself to the world, we must be willing to walk the hidden walk, pray the hidden prayer, eat the hidden manna… and experience the ‘hidden’ Christ.
Psalms 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Proverbs 3:32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
Isaiah 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Love to you all,
Psalms 45:1 My heart is overflowing with a good matter; I speak of my works to the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
SECRET MANNA, EARTHEN VESSELS [Brenda Imus] 1