This content is part of a series.
You Will Be My Witnesses
Rediscovering Church, Part 1 of 10
Text: Acts 1:1-11
Tony R. Nester
There's a story told about a young pastor who visited an
elderly woman who was quite sick in the hospital. He
entered the room and saw a person lying on the bed, gasping
for breath. He decided to have a short visit, not to tire
her. He asked, "Would you like me to pray for you?" She
nodded. "What would you like me to pray?" asked the young
"I want you to pray that I will be made well, that God will
give me health," the elderly woman replied. The preacher
gulped. But he prayed, praying something like "God, if it
be thy will, restore this sister to health. However, let us
accept thy will, so that whether she receives her health or
not, she will know that you are still close to her."
When the prayer ended, the old woman's eyes flashed open.
She sat up. She startled the preacher by throwing her legs
over the side of the bed. She stood up. She stretched out
her arms. She turned around to the astonished young
preacher and said, "I feel better. I feel like I've been
With that she walked out of the room, headed down the hall
toward the nurses' station, shouting "I think I am healed!"
The young preacher staggered out, went down the stairs, out
the door of the hospital and into the parking lot. As he
stood at his car, before opening the door, he looked up
into the heavens, and said "God, don't you ever do that to
me again!" (1)
The church is often like that young preacher - we're
shocked when God acts in ways we don't expect. And yet it's
good for God to surprise us with his presence and power.
Sometimes we need to be shocked if we're going to have our
eyes opened to what God can do in us and through us for
When God started the church he did some pretty amazing
things. There was nothing tame about it. Believers were
shocked repeatedly by the power of God in their lives. God
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