In the fall of 1885, our oldest boy, then two and one-half years old, was taken very ill. Diphtheria had for some time been raging to a considerable extent in the city of Grand Rapids, where we then resided. But a short time before, friends, who had just buried a little daughter, who had died of that disease, had visited at our home.
Our little Rolin’s throat was badly cankered, he could no longer lie down without strangling; and we felt that by naught but the power and mercy of God, could he be spared to us. With a sad, aching heart, I laid away his little playthings, thinking I might never see him use them again; and as I looked over to the cemetery on the hill beyond us, a great yearning cry of anguish went up from my soul, as I thought that, in all human probability, I might be called within a few days, to there lay away the form of my darling.
More from a sense of regard for the feelings and convictions of others, than because of any confidence in the power of human remedies to meet the demands of the case, husband sent for a physician. As the one sent for was not in his office; the friend who went for him brought another, prominent for skill and experience. After careful examination, he pronounced the child dangerously ill of diphtheria, and said to the friend who brought him: “They do not realize how sick that child is; whatever is done for him must be done quickly.” He would leave no medicine, unless we gave him entire charge of the case, and this we did not feel ready to do.
After his departure, husband said to me: “If you wish me to send for the other physician, I will do so; but for myself, I can as easily exercise faith in God to heal Rolin as to trust Him for means to pay a doctor.” Then, while I sat with Rolin in my arms, he knelt and prayed.
As he plead with God that, if it were according to His will and for His glory, He would spare and heal the child He had given us, I knew he was wonderfully helped of the Spirit. When he arose he told me that he had the positive assurance that his prayer was heard, and that Rolin would recover.
For hours previous, the sick one had been suffering greatly; but he immediately appeared very much better, and soon dropped into a sweet sleep. We laid him down among the pillows, and soon after retired, and that night we all slept well. The next morning, Rolin was up, dressed, and playing as usual about the house, and there was no more sign of diphtheria in his case.
In a short time a sister in the Lord, who had been with the previous afternoon, but who left at about the time we sent for the physician, and who knew nothing of what had transpired in her absence, came to the door. As I met her she said: “I have good news for you. Rolin is going to get well.”
And upon careful inquiry we found that at very nearly, if not exactly, the same time that husband said to me that God had assured him that Rolin would recover, this sister, then a mile and a half away, had testified the very same thing to those that were with her.
A few weeks later, husband was just as miraculously healed of the same disease, and the very next day rode over twenty miles in a cutter; and though it was a very cold, raw, windy November day, his throat did not trouble him in the least.
Yours in the love of Jesus.
- Mrs. S. B. Shaw
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893