“And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.” – Isaiah 38:7-8
The prophet Isaiah, usually known for his strong rebukes and for being the voice of God’s correction and judgment to the wicked and rebellious, shows us something quite different and remarkable in this passage. He had come to visit the very sick Hezekiah with a word from The Lord, an unpleasant word but truth none the less. He came to tell the King that he was going to die. Hezekiah humbly cried out to God in truth and brokenness and after much praying and weeping, The Lord spoke again unto Isaiah. He told the King that The Lord had heard his humble and tearful prayers and would grant him fifteen more years. Not only that, but The Lord promises that he himself would defend his city. Then to prove His ability to do this impossible thing He gave and even more impossible sign. The sun moved backward in the sky by the space of ten degrees on the sun dial.
Hezekiah did recover that day, however I’m sure there were times when the enemy would try to creep in and steal God’s promises from him with lies and doubts. Perhaps the devil would tell him, “you were not really going to die, you weren’t that sick.” Or perhaps the enemy would try to make him doubt that God was for him and had promised to stand not only in his defends, but in defends of his city also. However there was nothing the enemy could do or say that could contradict these impossible truths spoken to him by God when coupled with an even more impossible sign. Every time Hezekiah looked up at the majesty of the unstoppable sun, he was reminded of the even greater majesty of his unstoppable God.
Like Hezekiah, I too faced a time of grave illness that I would not have recovered from, but God had other plans and extended my years. After a period of hospitalizations, paralysis, and nearly two years of being bed ridden fighting to come back from the very brink of death, God gave me a word, a mandate, a promise, and a sign. During this time of sickness I had lost everything, my health and mobility, my career, relationships, every form of dependency on anything and everything but God. However it’s in times like these that we truly learn that if God is all we have, then we really do have all we need. It builds trust, which builds obedience, which builds miracles.
God told me that He would give me my life but I would be required to hand it right back over to Him. He would restore me but only so that I could serve Him in ministry and total obedience. Of corse I agreed. The first thing He told me to do was simple. I was to go visit an old friend that I use to do ministry with when we were teens. He had moved to Baton Rouge and I hadn’t seen him in some time. With that I got up and took my first steps in faith, obedience, and simultaneously in physical recovery.
I really had to do very little as this friend randomly called me asking for a group of us, all old church friends, to come hang out and visit with him. So we did. The whole bunch of us talked and caught up over dinner then went into a theater to watch a movie. Nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary, just simple obedience. However when we came out of the theater something extraordinary caught our attention. It was around 9pm in the evening and it looked like mid-day. The sun was still sitting high in the sky. We were astonished and honestly a bit confused. Others were standing around looking and talking about it. It was the oddest thing. The sun did not begin to set and get dark that night until around midnight. The next day the papers and internet were abuzz with stories offering different possible explanations of rare atmospheric events and light refraction, but for me there was no refraction, we saw the sun itself stand still that night. God had given me an impossible promise and coupled it with and even more impossible sign. I thought, surely if He is big enough to do this then He is big enough to do the rest. I decided that night that his impossible power deserves an impossible faith.
That was many years ago and yes the devil came in at times of pain, trial, and hardship trying to steal my promises and make me feel crazy for believing God but he could never steal the impossible confirmations God sent constantly to reassure me of His power and faithfulness. Through many trials, labors, and acts of obedience sense that day God has brought me into full-time ministry, much of which is in the very city that God gave me this confirmation in. I have made many life long friends and ministry partners there, I have been granted not only years to my life but life to my years, and many years later God even called that friend and I together not only in ministry but in marriage. He has become a pastor, an evangelist, a powerful man of God, and my husband. Though the road is long, difficult, and very narrow, God is faithful to see to the fulfillment of His Words no matter how impossible they may seem. Yes you will feel crazy at times but God will always confirm His word. If we will be crazy enough to submit to God, listen, and obey Him against all resistance, He will deliver, restore, and reward us against all odds.
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26