I was once the pastor of a dear lady who has passed on now, named Cora Lee Layman. She was an example of faith to me and hopefully to you as you read this. Even though she struggled in some areas, she had her strengths also and God used her to challenge my faith. She had once sat under a pastor of a "Word" church which had a great impact on her life, and was never satisfied afterward listening to any preacher that wasn't strong in the Word. I am writing this tribute to her because there are many people like her that think no one ever takes notice of their struggles or sacrifices, nor their victories. Well, someone might be watching you too and write about you some day because of the example that you have been to them.
Since Cora lived nearby, she would often visit with us, especially when she was burdened about something because she knew that she could always find encouragement. On one such day, she was burdened with thoughts of failure and told me that the devil was telling her that she wasn't good enough to go to heaven. Well, I knew how to get her attention and teach her a lesson that she would never forget, so I looked at her straight in the eyes and said, "I agree with him, you aren't good enough to go to heaven!", and paused. You should have seen her face as her mouth dropped open and she said, "What!" I said, "You aren't good enough to go to heaven. None of us are. We aren't going based on our goodness, but based on Jesus Christ's righteousness." She immediately knew what I was saying, and laughed as she agreed with me. I told her the next time that the devil tempts her with those thoughts, to just agree with him and let him know that you aren't trusting in your righteousness but in the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. That will shut him up immediately!
Some time later, after we had both moved on from the church that I was pastoring, she came by the house wanting me to agree with her in prayer. She had a small growth on her neck that appeared to be a mole that had gotten inflamed and had grown to over a half inch tall. It looked terrible and I wanted to suggest that she get a doctor to look at it, but she came to me in faith wanting someone to agree with her in faith that Jesus would heal it. It was amazing how similar it was to one that developed on my cheek the year before, that began to grow abnormally after I cut it shaving. I believed that if I commanded it in faith to wither and die like Jesus spoke to the fig tree, then it would have to obey me. But, I also knew that sometimes it takes significant time for mountains to move, and this mole looked awful on my cheek. I took the easy route and went to a doctor to get it cut out. As I considered Cora Lee's situation, I decided that I would not say anything to hinder her faith, but pray with her and agree with her based on the Word of God.
I know the Word works if we have the patience to wait for the answer. However, the lack of patience and the weariness of the battle causes many of us to give up before the answer arrives. In these trying days, longing to see the soon return of the Lord Jesus, Hebrews 10:35-38 speaks directly to us, and everyone waiting in faith for an answer. "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: ..."
It wasn't a week after Cora Lee and I prayed and agreed that Jesus would heal that growth that it just fell off one morning. Cora stopped by the house to show me the spot on her neck where it had been. It was totally healed and there was no sign that the growth had ever been there. Praise the Lord! God used that to show me what he wanted to do for me also if I just had the patience to have waited on the answer. Cora Lee's healing should be an encouragement to everyone that faith in Jesus Christ as your healer still works today.