Recently, God reminded me how much He loves to heal and touch people with His amazing love right where they are even on the tennis court!
I love to play tennis, and over the past few months I’ve been coached by Martin, our fitness club’s tennis pro. As Martin and I have become friends he’s naturally asked me what I do for a living and about my role as a Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry pastor. I’ve told him stories of what God is doing at the ministry school and on our mission and ministry trips. As our friendship grew and he listened to my stories, I began to sense a hunger in Martin for the things of God.
A couple of weeks ago, Martin arranged for me to play tennis with a young man from the club. As we waited for him to arrive, Martin told me he was in pain and had to take a break from tennis because he had recently strained his back playing the sport. The court was crowded and we didn’t have much time, but I quickly said, “Hey, Martin, I’d love to pray for your back.” He agreed. I put my hand on him and prayed a short prayer: “In Jesus’ name, be healed right now.”
As we started to walk away, Martin began to exclaim, “Oh, my goodness! That’s crazy! That is crazy!” He was almost hysterical as he said with passion, “I can’t feel any pain! I can’t feel anything!” The teenagers on the court began to look our way. “That’s Jesus,” I told Martin. “This is what He does!”
Soon after, I left town for a mission trip to Peru. When I returned, I ran into Martin at the club. “Man,” he told me, “I’ve been talking to my girlfriend. Something crazy happened when you put your hand on me that day. It was like something went into the muscles in my back and then spread throughout my body. I felt dizzy and lightheaded but amazing!” He then told me his back was completely healed and he’d been able to play a few games of tennis that same week.
“We see this all the time,” I told him. “When an infinite being touches a finite being, our bodies sometimes react in unusual ways. Because God is joy, when He touches you, you feel joy too.”
A week later, the head tennis professional of the club approached me. “Hey, Matt,” he said. “Thank you for what you are doing with Martin. It’s really good for him. He told me about when you prayed for him.” I marveled that Martin was sharing his experience with the head professional.
It is a beautiful thing to go into the world on mission trips and shine the love of Christ in the nations. But even more, I love that I was in my fitness club to play tennis and all I did was take a moment to pray for a friend, and a life was forever changed.