Published Nov. 10, 2009
What does it take to be healed from a life-threatening illness?
That's something Tim Greene had to deal with for most of the past decade.
As this well-known former member of the Greenes tells it, "I got sick in August of 2000. One day I was sitting in my easy chair and I hollered for my wife and I knew something was bad wrong. She came running downstairs and said, What's wrong, Honey?' And I said, Aim, I can't move my legs.' And she said, You're kidding!' And I said, no,' and both of us stood up and as soon as I stood I fell to the ground and took her with me... It was just a very terrible day but a day that we'll never forget..."
As it turned out, Tim had been exposed to toxic black mold (in an old car, if memory serves) and it had gotten into his sinuses. Eventually, Tim had to give up singing with his family group, the Greenes, and moved to the North Carolina coast, on doctors' orders, to take advantage of the cleaner sea air. But initially it helped little.
"I was confined to a bed for almost three years and to a wheelchair for almost four years... I was in Texas in a clinic out there for eight weeks for the first time, then for six months following. So, I was in a wheelchair for quite a long time and confined to a bed and staring at four walls for a long, long period of time."
All of this resulted in significant medical bills, which still weigh heavily on the family's finances.
Even for someone such as Tim, who had spent his entire adult life serving the Lord through singing and as a preacher, there were many times of questioning God as to what His will would be for his life, why he was being subjected to this life-threatening illness, and, of course, why God seemingly would not provide a healing.
He began to get an answer to that last question last year. "The Lord really showed my heart when I was praying down at the beach one day that he would send a preacher, and this preacher would come baptize me in the Atlantic Ocean just like Naaman was baptized seven times. I know, that might sound a bit far-fetched, but that's what the Lord spoke to my heart and told me. And, Paul, I believed it, and my wife believed it, my family believed it. And we waited over a year.
"Finally one day a preacher by the name of Larry Walker called me and we were talking for just a moment or two and I hadn't spoken to brother Larry in a long time, didn't even know what he was doing, what was going on in his life. But before the conversation got a minute into it, he said, You know, Tim, I just need to come baptize you.' And, sure enough, he came down to the beach and we went to the ocean and he baptized me seven times, like Naaman.
"The first time in the water it was cold, 58 degrees in the Atlantic Ocean. By about the third time it started feeling pretty warm. And by the seventh time, folks, it was hot! I was hot all over and the Lord healed me that day, not because anything special was in the water, but because I believed. And that's what it takes for healing great faith and believing. And I am so thankful to tell you today that God has healed me and I'm doing great today."
But Tim confesses that, even when this process was getting started, he did have some lingering questions. "It's very easy to question something so miraculous like this. And even on the way to be baptized that day, I had some questions. And I started praying in my spirit and said, God, if this is wrong, please show me if it's wrong, and God, if it's right, please show me it's right.'
"And we went to church together, me and my wife, and the pastor that came to baptize me and his wife. We went and sat down inside the church house no one knew we were coming, we didn't even know what church we were going to go to that particular Sunday morning but we just decided to go to this particular church. And when we sat down, the choir got up and they began to sing so beautifully. But the old devil jumped up on my shoulder and started telling me everything I was doing was wrong and I shouldn't go through with this. So I stepped outside into the vestibule of the church and I started praying again and I said, God, please show me if this is right, and God, if this is wrong, please show me. I don't want to do anything to hurt your precious name.'
"I went back in and sat down during the church service and the preacher gets up and says, folks, your pastor's not here today, he's sick. But I came to preach for you today. I have no idea what your preacher was gonna preach about, but I want you to turn your Bibles to 2nd Kings chapter 5. I'm gonna read for you the story of Naaman going into the water and being baptized, seven times.' And I tell you, Paul, it was a glorious, glorious time..."
Now Tim says his mission is to tell people everywhere that he can about his healing back in May of this year and about the God who is able to do such an amazing miracle in his life. "I'm just traveling all over the country and sharing this wonderful story, this great good news, this glorious happening, what God has done for me. I'm going anywhere I get the opportunity and tell people that not only did Jesus save me in 1975, He healed me in 2009 in the month of May. And I'm just loving going around telling everybody what's happened."
What a wonderful testimony! In fact, just this morning as I write this I received an e-mail from a listener who heard Tim's testimony on the air. He wrote, "I felt the Holy Ghost all over while that story was being told."
No, God doesn't always choose to heal in such an obvious way. I, for one, believe that every time we recover from any kind of illness it's a miracle the "built-in" kind installed by our miracle-working Creator in His creation. But there are testimonies on a regular basis from around the world of truly miraculous healing even resurrections.
But that's where faith comes in our faith that, no matter what, God will do what's right. "And," as Tim said, "that's what it takes for healing great faith and believing."
PS: If you have any first-hand accounts of miraculous healing that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them.
PPS: If you'd like to invite Tim to share his testimony in your church, you can write to him at email@example.com.
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