A simple kingdom math equation: what does special time with your kiddo plus Auntie Anne’s delicious cinnamon pretzels, plus a teenage boy on crutches at the mall equal?
A kingdom encounter... With the teenage boy walking away carrying his crutches in hand, knowing how good Jesus really is!!
Last night, Jeanine and I spent some special time with our nine year old son, Tyler. One of his favorite outings is to go to the Lego store in the mall, then go to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, then walk around the mall eating our pretzels. After he got his Lego fix, we headed over to sink our teeth into a delicious cinnamon pretzel only to find out the shop was closed due to a flood in the store. Bummed that we couldn't get a pretzel, I suggested we could go over to another mall across town to the other Auntie Anne’s Pretzel place. Tyler’s eyes lit up as he said, “Really?!”
“Yeah, let's go.”
We got to the other mall 20 minutes away, and when we walked in I saw a teenage boy on crutches (i.e., an invitation for a kingdom encounter) with his family. I thought to myself, “Let's get our Auntie Anne’s cinnamon pretzels, then we will see if we can pray for the young man.” We got our hot, freshly made cinnamon pretzels and rounded the corner only to find the boy and his family were gone. Disappointed, I started heading toward the mall exit when I saw the boy on crutches with his family heading out of the mall as well. I thought, “If they stop or we catch up to them, I'll see if they will let us pray for him.” Sure enough, the family stopped right by the mall exit. Tyler and I walked right over to them.
I asked, "Hey, what happened to you?"
"I injured my ankle at a basketball game tonight," he replied.
"Are you in a lot of pain?"
"Oh yes, and I can't move it or put any weight on it."
"Really? Well listen, we love to pray for people, and we've seen Jesus heal a lot of people when we pray for them. Can we take a moment to pray for you to see what happens?"
He looked at me then looked at his dad, who gave the safe nod of approval. Then I asked him on a scale of one to ten what his pain level was, and he said it was about a seven. “Can we put our hands on you shoulder and pray?” He agreed.
So there we were in the mall entrance with our cinnamon Pretzels in one hand and our other hand on the teenage boy. Tyler and I started to pray a simple, quick prayer: “Jesus, let your power come upon his ankle. Pain go.” Then, I explained to the young man, “Sometimes when we pray for people, they start to feel heat, tingling, or the pain just leaves. Are you feeling anything right now as we are praying for you?”
“I'm feeling a tingling in my ankle right now.”
“Did you feel that before we started praying?” He said he didn’t. I continued to pray, blessing the presence of God on him. Then, I invited him to try do do something he couldn't do before. He started moving his ankle around.
“I couldn't do that before!”
I asked him what his pain level was, and he said it was about a three pain level. “If your pain can go from a seven to a three, then it can go from a three to a zero.”
With a surprised and shocked look, he said, “OK.” So Tyler and I prayed again, and this time the young man started moving his ankle around. He cautiously put all his weight on his foot, and then he started walking normally with his crutches in hand.
“There is no more pain!”
I excitedly said, “Isn’t Jesus awesome?!”
The boy and his family said, “Yes! He is!”
Tyler and I walked out of the mall thanking Jesus for healing the kid and for our freshly baked cinnamon pretzels. As we got into our van to drive off, we watched the boy walking normally to their car with his crutches in hand, smiling in wonder.
May we see more kingdom math equations! Going about our day, plus seeing a need, plus taking a risk, equals a kingdom encounter.
The kingdom of God is at hand no matter what! Thank you, Jesus, that it is your good pleasure to give us the kingdom.