EMPTY NEST by Curt Swarm

Multiple Sclerosis, Meet God


When Ginnie's brother, John Harvey, of Jefferson City, Missouri was 31, he was driving home when he noticed there was an image on the left side of his vision.  When he turned his head, the image moved.  All of a sudden, at a stop light, he couldn't see.  He nudged his pick-up to the curb, got out and sat on the rear bumper.  A motorist stopped and asked if he was all right.  John said, “No, I can't see.”
He came to in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.  The paramedics told him he'd had a seizure.  A plethora of tests followed, revealing two brain masses that were thought to be tumors.  The doctor told John, “This doesn't look good.”
John's pastor was with him and asked John about his relationship with Jesus Christ.  “Are you ready?” he asked John.
Without hesitation, John said, “I know who I belong to.” 
John was transferred to another hospital with expertise in cancer.  However, after more tests, that included a spinal tap and brain biopsy, it was discovered that the masses were not cancer, but inflammation.  There was also inflammation behind his left eye.  Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis.
In the 14 days John spent in the hospital, his general doctor dropped in to see him in the early mornings.  The doctor read scripture and prayed with John.  John was also on his church prayer list so there were many people praying for him.  One of them from his church was a young lady, Rebecca, who didn't know John, but prayed for him anyway.  This was in October, 1994. 
John's neurologist put him on a strong medication, BETASERON, and told him not to drive for six months.  John had to give himself a shot every other day, which he managed.  It was a time where John had to get used to the idea that he had an insidious disease, with the outcome unknown.  But his faith was growing.  He had to trust that God would take care of him.
There was another episode with a seizure when John was pheasant hunting with a friend.  When he went to Promise Keepers at Mile High Stadium in Denver with his father, he was delighted to realize his general doctor, the one who had prayed with him in the hospital, was sitting four rows back.  It was a comforting to know that so many people were behind him. 
Then John went to a Singles Adult Retreat at Windermere Baptist Conference Center, Lake of the Ozarks and listened to a pastor preach a sermon on facing fears.  “How appropriate,” John thought.  Later that night, he took a flashlight and walked off into the woods to have a talk with God.  “God, I don't know where this disease is going, or how it's going to end, so I give it to You.  You take care of it, I can't.  Whatever is your will.  Thy will be done.”  A peace came over John that he hadn't felt in years.  Everything was going to be all right, no matter the outcome.
Some friends of John's from church invited him for dinner where he would meet a young lady named Rebecca.  She had prayed for him when she didn't even know who he was.  They hit it off.  Rebecca and John are now married and have two children.
John was sick of giving himself shots.  He felt like a pincushion.  He met with his neurologist and told him that he didn't think he had MS anymore.  The neurologist seemed surprised.  “Your recovery is amazing, John, considering that when white males get MS, they have worse symptoms and suffer more than others.  You're in the worst demographic, but you're doing great.  I've never seen a case like this.”
John smiled.  “It's God, Doc.  I put it in God's hands, and He's taking care of me.”
"Well, I'm going to change your medication to something lighter.  No more shots.  The doctor winked at him, “But you keep doing what you're doing.”
John, now 60, doesn't feel like he has MS anymore, but he takes his medication.  He would be willing to relive what he went through because there was so much good that came from it.  John gives full credit and glory to God for healing him.  That is why he is on earth, to glorify God.       
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com

EMpty Nest, column, commentary, editorial, opinion, Pen City Current, Mt. Pleasant, Curt Swarm, author,


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