Like many Christians, I have said repeatedly to the Lord, “Lord, make me more like Jesus.” On Saturday night, May 9, 1998, I was in for a surprise. While doing some construction work in the basement of my house, I accidentally stepped on two 3 1/2″ spiral nails, which I had not yet removed from a wall I was in the process of taking down. Without warning, the nails drove themselves forcefully into my right foot. Ouch! That hurt. It was probably the bone in my foot tha prevented the longest of the two nails from going any further, and — without any hesitation whatsover — I pulled my foot away from the board and out came my foot. After the initial scream, and after taking off my shoe and sock to look at my foot, I stared at the flowing blood and cried, “Oh, but for the precious blood of Jesus. That precious blood that flowed for me!” It was a time of rejoicing.
My wife, who was standing right beside me at the time of the accident, was quick to help. While waiting for her to get the medical kit, I squeezed the area of the wound so as to allow the blood to flow unhindered, so as to remove any debris that might have gotten inside the wound. My wife, a nurse, by training, applied some hydrogen peroxide and then some iodine. The hydrogen peroxide didn’t hurt very much. The iodine did. Again, I let out a scream. Ouch! She put on two bandades, and a home-made tensor, to help put pressure on the foot. Throughout the whole ordeal, I was filled with the Holy Spirit, and distinctly sensed God’s presence the whole time. And what an awesome presence that was. Singing, rejoicing, shouting praises to His name — all of these things, and more!
In all of this, I felt God’s peace. “I am with you.” I did not sense that I had sinned and so somehow “deserved” this problem. Perhaps it was even providential — God would use it for His glory. I knew I had to rely upon the Lord. So I did. The next morning was Sunday morning. I got up a usual, but a little sore, of course, around the foot. (I think any foot would be sore under those circumstances.) My wife — who knew she had made a committment to be involved helping in the church nursery this morning at our “regular” Sunday morning church — said to me, “Do you think we should go to a hospital?” It was Sunday morning, and the regular doctor’s offices were all closed. I replied, “Yes, I think we should go,” even though I sensed there was no impending danger. My wife then called someone from the church and said, “I would like to cancel my commitment to be at the nursery this morning, as my husband needs to go to the hospital.” With that taken care of, I proceeded to use the bathroom.
As I was in the bathroom, the Holy Spirit began to minister to me. “You’re all right. There is no impending danger. You can go to church this morning and honor Me.” That was a sudden, different, thought, than I had expected. Holy Spirit, are you speaking to me? My wife just cancelled her commitment at our regular Sunday morning church! I pondered the thought without telling my wife about it just yet. I had to shave, and take care of a few things. Just a short while later, when I was downstairs, I said to my wife, “You know, I really think we should go to church this morning. I don’t think there is a real need to go to the hospital right now.” My wife replied, “But I cancelled my committment to be at the nursery this morning.” I just waited. And waited. I knew the Lord had “something up His sleeve.” My wife then replied, “Well, the Life Center is having a special thing for kids today. Now that I have cancelled my committment with our regular church, let’s go to the Life Center.” So we did. In a short while, we arrived.
This church, located many many miles from our home, is a beacon of light to the whole Ottawa area. We have been there many times during the evenings and have been very blessed, especially in recent months. We even thought that we might make the Life Center our home church. But, from our own standpoint, we had never sensed that we had the “go ahead” from God to truly make the Life Center our home church. This morning was different. As an indirect result of the blood that flowed the night before, here we suddenly found ourselves at the Life Center on a Sunday morning. As soon as I walked in the front door and the awesome worship music began to hit me, I could feel an amazing presence all over me. I have heard good worship music before. I have been touched by God before in amazing ways. But this morning was different. This morning, for the first time in many years, the Holy Spirit was truly filling me. I began to cry. I cried. I cried. I cried. I cried. All throughout the worship service, for a whole hour, I kept crying.
Later, I met someone with whom I shared. I told him the story of the blood that flowed the previous night and how it caused us to come to the Life Center this morning. He is a very humble man, not full of pride at all. He said this in a very gentle, humble way — almost jokingly, “When you cancelled with that other church that you were going to go to this morning, thinking that you were going to go to the hospital instead, what God was saying to you was, ‘Now that you’re free, you can come to church.” And come to “church” we did. Without trying to be boastful, arrogant, or sensationalist about it, we have discovered that this is the church where God really dwells among His people. How about you? Have you discovered the power that comes from really worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth? People are getting healed. I myself was healed of many hurts during that one-hour service in which God’s love was amazingly poured out on me, during which time I crying out a lot of pain, under the awesome influence of God’s holy love bearing down upon my soul. If you are ever in the Ottawa area, I invite you today, to come to the Life Center and find out just exactly “what God is doing in our city.” You will be amazed.