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The God Who Heals - by Elroy (Al) Plue

In July of 1997, I was scheduled to see a VA doctor who wanted to perform exploratory surgery on me in order to pinpoint the numerous health problems I had been experiencing. The doctor I was scheduled to see had unexpectedly gone home, so instead, I saw the assistant surgeon.

After a casual conversation, he asked me, "Have you ever asked Jesus into your life?"

Startled by his question, I answered, "I've been looking for a church but haven't found one yet."

"You don't need a church to have a relationship with God," he replied.

"How do I do that?" "Ask Him to come into your life, and He'll begin to direct your footsteps," he smiled.

That night I went into my bedroom, dropped to my knees, and said, "God, I hope You're listening because I sure want this to work. You see, I just can't live like this anymore."

I spent the next few hours reviewing my life and recalled how I had messed up my children's lives, my marriage of 28 years, and myself. "God, I need help. Please send me somebody. And God, if You can't help me, I don't want to wake up in the morning."

Two days later a business associate outlined the message of salvation to me and asked if I wanted to invite Jesus into my life. I responded, "Yes!" I became born again as I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus as my Savior.

One month later during a church service, I fainted. Although I tried to get up, I fainted three more times. Foaming at the mouth while being taken to the hospital by ambulance, I remember hearing the medic say, "I can't get a reading. Is he dead?"

Once at the hospital, the doctor immediately started an IV. He was bewildered as he looked at my test results. "You should be dead. You don't have enough electrolytes in your system to be alive!"

The next day a doctor was reading the x-rays that were taken at the VA hospital. He then sent me to see another doctor. Getting off the elevator, my heart sank when I saw the sign on his door: Byersdorf and Gates: Cancer Surgeons.

When Dr. Byersdorf put my x-rays on the screen, he asked if I had seen the test results and if I knew what they meant.

"No," I said, wondering what news would follow.

He then explained that I had colon cancer and lymphoma cancer in my chest.

"What does that mean?"

"You need to be operated on immediately. Without surgery you have approximately ten days to live."

Shocked, I asked, "When do you want to operate?"

"First thing tomorrow morning," he said. "Go home and tell your family your situation." Then he added, "Because of your poor health, the odds of living through this surgery aren't good."

"What are my odds?" I wondered out loud.

"Less than 20 percent."

"Why have the operation then?" I asked.

"You'll die without surgery!" he said. "At least, if you're operated on, you'll have some hope. Go home and try to muster up a good attitude."

Taking his advice, I went to the home of my estranged wife. I gave her the doctor's report and asked her to tell the kids. I then went home to be alone. In my bedroom I began to talk to the Lord.

Being a new Christian, I had learned a few spiritual truths. I knew from reading the Bible that when Jesus went to the cross, He provided both salvation and healing for me, and all I had to do was to ask Him to be healed.

I poured my heart out to God. "Lord, I know there's a time for everyone to die. If my time is up, I'm prepared for that; but if I don't have to go yet, I don't want to. I want to see my sons married and to see grandkids." Thinking of my future I added, "I want to get my house in order and give restitution to my family instead of the heartache that I've caused them."

At 3:30 in the morning, a bright light awakened me. A blue haze surrounded the light and slowly moved from the corner window toward me. I said, "God, is that You?"

The light penetrated my chest and warmth flowed through my body.The light rested awhile; and when it began to withdraw, an emotional weight lifted off me. The light moved back to the corner where it entered the room and seemed to hover there as if to say good-bye.

I laughed and cried. I knew God had touched me.

I fell asleep and awoke the next morning full of exuberant joy. Walking back and forth through my apartment, I repeated, "Thank You, Lord."

Checking into the hospital, the staff thought I was either in shock or just plain nuts. "What a great attitude you have," they said. Little did they know that the doctor would only have to do a "mop-up job." God had already done the real work.

Prior to the surgery, the doctor told me I would need a minimum of two weeks of round-the-clock monitoring in the intensive care unit and then three to five weeks of recovery.

When I awoke in intensive care, the nurse said, "If I didn't know better, I would say you never had surgery. All of your vital signs are normal!" The next afternoon I was moved out of the ICU unit. Every time the medical staff checked my vitals, they left my room shaking their heads.

Several doctors accompanied Dr. Byersdorf when he visited me. He described the lymphoma as an old cow pie that got too much sun. He said they scooped it up, did some trim work, and felt that they had gotten all of it. The colon cancer was also successfully removed.

Later, a nurse came in when I was up and said, "You shouldn't be out of bed!"
"But I have to go to the bathroom," I explained.

"You've got to be kidding," was all she could say.

My doctor frequently told me that I was the talk of his colleagues. Some said my recovery was a miracle; others said it was medically impossible.

The doctor soon asked, "Do you want to go home? We're not doing you any good here. All of your systems are normal, and you can rest at home." I was released from the hospital three days after surgery.

Initially, I was told that it would be at least two months before I could drive a car. I drove in four weeks. The doctor said it would be six months before I could return to work. I went back to work in two months.

Before starting a year of chemotherapy, I was told I would lose my hair, be sick, and lose weight. I had no sickness, kept all of my hair, and gained fifty pounds.

Five years after my surgery and after being told that I only had ten days to live, I am still going strong.

from Miracles Still Happen

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