Pastor and apologist Elijah Stephens is working on a documentary about medically verified healings as I have covered previously on this blog, and he was recently interviewed at the Uncommon Legacy podcast (which seems to be a very good podcast!). I highly recommend the episode, Stephens humbly shares his own doubts and struggles as well as making the case for a courageous faith combined with intellectual honesty that I highly resonate with.
While not spoiling the medically verified healings that the film will cover, Stephens shared a testimony of what I call a combo miracle – a healing combined with prophecy. You’ll find that at 15:30 into the podcast. A secretary at his church had severe breathing problems and needed to go home from work because of it. She was a cessationist herself and very skeptical to miracles, but still Stephens was allowed to pray for her for two or three minutes. During the prayer, he briefly spoke out that the Lord would send His angels to touch her.
The next week, she entered the church staff meeting in tears. She said that when she was alone in her house, she woke up in the middle of the night and a light was shining into her chest. She saw a man standing over her bed and another man in front of her, and she was obviously frightened. She heard them talking, one of them said ”Get her up” They grabbed her, took her to the bathroom and as she turned on the light they disappeared. Shocked, she then discovered that she had been completely healed.
In and of themselves, the healing from breathing problems as well as the angelic apparitions are quite easy to dissect. As far as we know it may have just been symptoms of bronchitis that disappeared, and we don’t know for how long. The angels could possibly have been part of a very immersive dream or hallucination, although those seldom carry persons out to the bathroom. A more probable naturalistic explanation is that the woman is making it up.
Yet, Stephens have known her for a long time as a Christian skeptic and cessationist. It would be more probable, if her breathing problems disappeared, that she would appeal to naturalistic explanations rather than invent a story about angels that frankly is pretty embarrassing and weird.
And then we have Stephens’ prayer that binds the healing and the angelic visitation together. The fact that she experience the healing at the same time as she has this vision greatly improves the possibility that it indeed was a miraculous event. While the testimony doesn’t have the same weight as a medically verified healing, the fact that the healing isn’t isolated but combined with a marvelously supernatural event according to the testimony of a skeptical cessationist still makes it very significant when researching the reality of miracles.