Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
A couple of weeks ago, Mary and I attended a special event celebrating the fortieth wedding anniversary of the parents of our daughter Erin’s husband. At dinner, we chatted with Jeff, a relative of Erin’s husband and a successful businessman. During the course of our conversation, Jeff said he is thankful everyday for his healing from Parkinson’s disease.
I think his story is an excellent example of the relevance of faith in God. Like most businessmen I know, Jeff tends to be more focused on facts than feelings. In light of the evidence, he says that God’s intervention is the only reasonable explanation of his healing. Here is his story.
A few years ago, Jeff was diagnosed with Parkinson’s by two doctors, one of whom is considered a world leading specialist in this disease. At the time, he was experiencing many of the classic symptoms including uncontrollable shaking. In addition, he had difficulty performing basic tasks like writing and withdrawing cash from a bank machine.
Subsequent to his diagnosis, Jeff requested time with Mary and me to discuss various matters including our faith in God. A few weeks later, he and his wife Joanne together with their two children came for a visit. Over dinner, we discussed life, business and politics. Afterwards, while the children retreated to our recreation room, we told Jeff and Joanne about our individual faith journeys and the reason for our hope.
Miracles – when evidence suggests the only reasonable explanation of an event is God’s intervention – still happen today.
In the course of the conversation, Mary said that Jesus still heals today, since we have experienced his healing touch in our own bodies and seen it in many others. In the Bible, we read that Jesus healed everyone who came to him. And he has the same compassion and capacity in 2017 (“For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.” – Hebrews 13:8, The Message) After Jeff agreed to receive prayer, we prayed in the name of Jesus that the Parkinson’s disease would leave his body.
Several weeks later, I received a call from a very excited Jeff. He had just been in for a regular checkup with the doctors who were monitoring his Parkinson’s. When asked how he was feeling, he said “great.” One doctor performed various tests and looked puzzled. The senior doctor then took over. Taken aback by the results obtained by the first doctor, he performed the same tests. At the end of this process, he said something to the effect of, “I don’t know what is going on. This has never happened to me before. You don’t have Parkinson’s. In fact, under Ontario rules, you can’t see me anymore!”
Jeff has never again experienced any symptoms of Parkinson’s. In groups I attend, we have often seen answered prayers including other healings. That is one of many good reasons to join a professional peer group!
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.