The Foot of an Athlete

“Ew! What is that on your foot? Does it hurt? It must hurt. Is it itchy? I’ll bet it itches like crazy.”

“Mom! It’s fine. Just leave it alone,” my son protested.

“Nope. Can’t do it. We’re going to pray.”

And pray we did — for weeks. I asked him to keep it clean and dry, to wear only white socks, and to use medicated creams and powder. He did all of that, but it persisted. So we continued to pray.

My son, who refused to complain about physical ailments, always downplayed any infirmity. Like the time he had bronchitis.

The doctor prescribed several medications, including a cough syrup. While we were having them filled, he announced to his mother, the pharmacist and anyone else who would listen, “I’ll take the other stuff, but I’m not drinking any of that cough syrup.”

My son was 15, over 6 feet tall, and very opinionated. Why no cough syrup? I have not a clue. Maybe he was asserting his independence. Maybe he thought he was smarter than the doctor. Maybe he just didn’t like the taste. I don’t know, but he was adamant.

Didn’t he realize it was important to take an expectorant to help clear his chest? Didn’t he know bronchitis is serious business? Didn’t he know he was stepping on the very last nerve of his very concerned mother?

The very wise pharmacist, sizing up the situation, looked up at the boy and casually commented, “Big boy like you oughta drink it all down and lick the spoon.”

I was fascinated by the scene which began to play out before me. I watched the wind leave his sails as he acquiesced to the words and wisdom of the older man.

“OK,” he mumbled.

OK? OK? Was that all he had to say for his bluster and swagger, his thunder and bumptiousness? OK?

Well, OK. He took his medicine and recovered.

This foot thing was another matter, though.

This time there wasn’t a wise pharmacist to advise him, but a family praying for Him. And just like before, I was fascinated by the scene which began to play out before me. He chose to acquiesce to the words and wisdom, not of the older man, but of his heavenly Father. He chose to believe God for healing.

Weeks later we heard him shouting from the housetop, “It’s gone! It’s gone! I woke up this morning, and it’s gone!”

Sure enough his foot was completely healed. Healthy skin appeared where the infection had been. His foot was completely healed. It wasn’t a gradual “getting better.” It was a sensational “now you see it, now you don’t.”

He had waited a painful and itchy and long time, but his foot was completely healed. Faith was birthed in his heart, the sure and certain confidence of knowing that God is the Healer and that He had sent His healing virtue forth into the foot of a Tennessee teenager.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart .”  — Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)


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