Paul Hickman believed Christianity was for “weak-minded” people. He considered it little more than a “crutch.”
But Paul, 61, had a problem. Major back surgery decades years earlier left him in excruciating pain. To deal with the pain, he took 20 pain killers daily, but it had little effect. He even attempted suicide in a failed attempt to escape the incessant torment.
In an interview with Inspire Magazine, Paul tells tells of a miraculous healing that changed his life.
Paul was invited to a Christian sports dinner by former professional soccer player Mick Mellow who along with Linvoy Primus, another former soccer pro, operate a program called Faith and Football.
At the dinner, event speaker Bob Maine invited people who needed healing to come forward for prayer.
“After declining three times, I gave in and thought at least I could then go home and take some painkillers. The speaker asked me a couple of questions and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. No-one had touched me. I felt an amazing sense of peace and love.”
After being helped up, Maine asked Paul to do something he was incapable of doing.
“For the first time in eight years I touched my toes. It was quite remarkable and I was in no pain,” said Paul.
The healing was so complete, on his 50th birthday Paul recognized he was badly out of shape and decided to start walking and jogging. it was that year, he entered the London Olympic-distance Triathlon.
There are different types of triathlons. The Olympic triathlon has a 1.5 kilometre (.93 mi) swim, 40 kilometre (25 mi) bike, and 10 kilometre (6.2 mi) run. The most extensive run referred to as the Ironman involves a 3.8 kilometre (2.4 mi) swim, 180.2 kilometre (112 mi) bike, and a 42.2 kilometre (26.2 mi) run.
From his first Olympic triathlon, Paul has moved on to Ironman competitions and hopes to compete in four in 2014..
Being slain in the spirit
In Paul’s testimony we see a reference to him going down under the power of God also referred to as being “slain in the Spirit.” It is a controversial subject which some Christians have criticized. But it is real and it is Biblical.
There are instances recorded in the Bible of people falling to the ground under the power of God. In the garden where the Roman guard captured Jesus, we read as the soldiers approached the Lord:
So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. (John 18:4-6 NASV)
There are other references as well:
- In the Book of Daniel, we read of Daniel’s encounter with an angel of God. When an angel touched him, Daniel fell to the ground Daniel 8:15-19 and again in Daniel 10: 8-11.
- A similar thing happened in Paul’s Damascus road experience where he encountered the risen Christ. The account is cited twice in Acts 9:3-4 and Acts 26: 10-16. In the latter reference, Paul says many members of the group fell to the ground.
- In Revelation 1: 14-17, the Apostle John collapsed to the ground when he encountered Jesus.
- 1 Kings 8:10-11 mentions a time in the Temple of Solomon when the presence of God was so strong, the priests could no longer stand.
- Ironman triathlete, 61, on the miracle that changed his life: Inspire Magazine
- Healing baffles government computer and doctors: opentheword.org
- Man raised from the dead by son’s shout, shocks medical staff: opentheword.org
- Did a Bible miracle prove itself?: opentheword.org