I have had at least two specific times in my life where I really experienced God’s Love and Mercy towards me.
The first one was when I was about 13 years old. I was growing up as a young boy on the Island of Scalpay, which is part of the Western Isles of Scotland. As kids we were always messing about in boats. This particular Summer’s day. It was round about 1967 as I recall. Myself and a much younger lad were out in my grandfather’ rowing boat just larking about with the oars and splashing about. The younger lad then decided he wanted back on shore.
So I rowed the dingy across to this jetty that was close by. I drew the dingy alongside the jetty and stood up to lift my younger friend on to the jetty, which I managed to do balancing myself on the edge of the dingy.
In the process of doing so I lost my balance and fell into the water and when I surfaced the dingy was a few yards away and I could not get back in. Then sheer panic set it in as I could not swim. I was trying desperately to keep myself afloat but my head kept slipping under the water. Being the sea I kept swallowing the salty water. I can still feel the taste of it in my mouth to this day. By this time I could feel myself getting weaker.
I kept sinking under despite thrashing about in a desperate attempt to keep myself afloat.
My strength was waning fast, then miraculously noticed after resurfacing for the third time I was closer to the jetty. As I did so I noticed what looked like a rope which was attached to a link or something, hanging down the side of the jetty. By this time I was nearly drowned. I was able to summon enough strength and made one last desperate lunch and managed to grab the rope. Which being attached further up the jetty I was able to hold on to and keep myself afloat until help came.
My saving grace was that rope.
I believe God put it there to save my life.
If it had not been there I would have drowned. God’ grace and mercy comes from above as that rope did. Though I was only 13 years old I made a decision there and then to follow the Lord and get to know him.
Another specific incident happened in 1992. I was a fairly healthy 37 year old in full time employment as a team leader in an alcohol rehab unit. One day while at work all off a sudden I became aware I was seeing two of everything in front of me. I was experiencing double vision. I went home after my shift and thought I will be fine after a night’s sleep. But in the morning when I woke up the double vision was still there. I went to my doctor.
He asked was I a heavy drinker which I was not. Then he suggested probably a virus of some sort which will correct it. I went back to work with a patch over one eye so I could see normally. But after one month my condition has worsened. Not only did I have double vision but I noticed both my eyelids had drooped and I was getting weird sensations of weakness in my arms and legs and other parts of my body.
I was back and fore to clinics for the next few months. Had various tests done through eye specialists, etc. By this time I was a physical and mental wreck. I could barely walk 100 yards and I had to rest I felt so weak. I could hardly see where I was going my eyes were so bad. I was experiencing panic attacks every time I was outside.
By this time most of the muscles in my body were affected. I couldn’t swallow my food properly and felt I was choking when I ate. I could not hold a conversation more than two minutes and then my voice would fade away. Anyway to cut a long story short i was sent to a specialist hospital in Glasgow and I was eventually diagnosed with a very rare muscular condition called Myasthenia Gravis. The Greek definition being Grave Muscular Illness. I was told by the specialist that there was no cure for the condition and that if it affected my respiratory muscles I would have difficulty breathing.
I was told there was medication I could take to alleviate some of the symptoms but until they found a cure it was something I just had to try and manage and live with the best I could. I returned home and the next few months were very hard. I could barely walk or see. I had severe anxiety attacks ,especially if I had to go out anywhere. Every day was just an effort to get washed and dressed.
My wife was at the end of her tether. She told me afterwards that she saw my condition deteriorate so much she thought I would be dead by Christmas. I new other people had died from the condition. One Sunday evening after my wife had gone off to church. I was feeling at a really low ebb.
I could see no light at the end of the tunnel.
I felt my life was ebbing away.
I fell on my knees and cried out to God. Please God help me and heal me of this thing! I prayed for a few minutes, pouring my heart out to the Lord. I then managed to get back on to my feet and switched on a tape of a sermon someone had given me. The guy was preaching on king Hezzakiah’s illness in the prophecy of Isaiah.
He came to a point in the sermon which really made me sit up and listen. He said maybe you are listening to this sermon on tape and you have a serious illness. I am telling you the Lord is going to heal you! Well by this time I was over joyed. I really felt the Lord had heard my prayer and I felt this tremendous peace come over me.
Well in the next few months with the help of medication I began to get stronger. I was able to go out more and had the strength to do certain things.
Within a year I was back at my work part-time.
I was still on medication but feeling so much better. Eventually after a couple of years I was back at work full time again. It is now over 20 years since I had the illness. I have had a few minor setbacks but on the whole I have maintained my health. I have been abroad on a number of occasions and have lived a fairly normal life and done things I never ever thought I would be able to do so again.
I am at no medication now. I work as a support worker to a young lad with special needs. I praise and thank God every day for my health. I take nothing for granted. Each new day is a Great Blessing.
I believe the Lord heard my prayer and healed me. I am a living testimony of his healing power. I know of other people with this condition who are not so fortunate. Every day is a struggle for them. Some have even died as a result of complications due to their symptoms. I am here for a reason.
God in his great love and mercy saved my life twice. I fail him so often to my shame. Yet I am so very conscious of his presence in my life Guiding me and protecting me every day.
I hope my testimony will help even one who might be struggling in the depths of despair like I was.
Fear not God is at hand and he is Almighty to save.