We all have a perfect match—not to save us from a terminal disease but to save us from the disease of sin and the dust of death.
Bruce A. McKenney
There was no lack of thanksgiving that November evening when I walked into Auden’s hospital room.
Healing of the body
Auden had been waiting for a healthy liver ever since he was born. One liver had to be rejected at the last minute while Auden was on the operating table waiting for it. But another had been found. It was his mother’s.
After undergoing many tests and even corrective surgery, the day had come for the transplant operation. Part of Mom’s liver would be given to her son, Auden. On the night before the surgery just days before Thanksgiving, the Lord brought an unexpected blessing. Another liver had been found right in the same hospital. It was a perfect match! Mom didn’t need to put her life at risk to save her son. The Lord had answered prayers for healing that was no less of a miracle than the healing of those ten lepers in the Thanksgiving Day gospel lesson:
As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” When he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priest.” As they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:12-19).
There were tears of joy and relief. There were hugs and kisses. There were prayers of thanksgiving for this unexpected gift!
Healing of the soul
But Auden and his parents had other, more important reasons to give thanks that night before surgery. They all had a perfect match—not to save them from some terminal disease but to save them from the disease of sin and the dust of death. In order to be the perfect match, this person not only had to share the same human flesh and blood, he also had to be divine so that he could offer up the perfect life and perfect sacrifice sinners needed. There is such a perfect match: Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man! While he walked this earth, he not only had the power to save people from deadly diseases, he also had the power to save sinners for heaven! He did that by donating his entire body and soul on the cross.
Auden knows and believes in Jesus as his Savior. He confessed that he would go to heaven if a new liver couldn’t be found. His faith is evidence that God had already performed a more miraculous organ transplant in him long before his liver transplant. At Auden’s baptism, God the Holy Spirit took away Auden’s heart of stone and gave him a heart of flesh by which he knows who his Perfect Match really is (Ezekiel 36:26,27). By that faith, Jesus has made him well for eternity!
Auden still has his ups and downs since the surgery, but he now is well enough to come to school this fall and to church this Thanksgiving to give thanks to God for his healing of body and soul. We all have reason to do the same!
Bruce McKenney is pastor at St. Paul, Lake Mills, Wisconsin.
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Author: Bruce A. McKenney
Volume 103, Number 11
Issue: November 2016
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