The Palm of God

The Palm of God

Dave’s throat was healed. Terry’s was not.


God healed people in the Bible—He can do it in our world, but we don’t have if we don’t ask…

It was November 1998.

One evening, my husband and I discussed all the reasons why we still hoped for Terry’s healing. A number of friends, along with us, had received numerous dreams, visions, Scriptures, and prophetic words. Dave’s miracle increased our faith to believe such things were possible. Terry had met with remarkable spiritual leaders—Paul Cain, Jack Deere, Mike Bickle—leaders who had prayed for and seen healings. We even attended a conference in Portland with Terry and his wife, Vanessa. Nearly a thousand people extended their hands toward Terry as the speaker prayed for his healing.

My heart cried out—What are you waiting for, Lord?

Around that time, I had a dream that Terry was in a burning building. The people holding the safety net were supposed to create equal tension on all sides in unison, making it safe for him to jump. Instead, the people were having a tug-of-war over the net—a pretty clear message.

Holding Holy BibleUnity had been a key ingredient in Dave’s healing. One visiting speaker discerned that the spirit of denominationalism in our town was very divisive. Perhaps God was waiting for the Body of Christ to come together in unity and reconciliation. Terry could be the catalyst for such a gathering.

Our home group put an ad in the local paper:

“NOTICE TO CHRISTIANS OF ALL DENOMINATIONS: In an effort to promote unity and reconciliation, there will be an all-church prayer time for Terry Van Dyken, a Gallatin Valley resident suffering from throat cancer, Friday, November 21, 1998 at 7:00 p.m. Chief Joseph Middle School.”

Rear View of Friends Standing on Stone WallWorship leaders for the event made peace with each other. All of us organizing the event made every effort to be reconciled in personal relationships, and many fasted for three days before the gathering. There were several “prayer walks” around the school and word got out across the state.

Around 250 people came. A few made public apologies and some reconciliation happened one-on-one in the crowd. We worshipped together and then laid hands on Terry to pray. Afterwards, many stayed for over an hour, mingling like it was a block party. Yet I left the meeting with a hollow feeling inside.

The next day, I was deeply grieved. Something about the gathering felt stilted. Had we missed something? I called my friend Jenny. As we prayed over the phone, God gave her a prophetic word to encourage me:

Hands in sky“Do not be dismayed, for I am bigger than all the problems. There were those who were humble, those who were not. It is always the way. Do not be afraid. Pray for unity, intercede. My son (Terry) is in the palm of My Hand. Do not fear. There will be other meetings. The time is not yet ripe. I am the Author and Finisher of your faith. Take heart, My Daughter. I will have My way where people are submitted to Me. Let peace reign. There will be a time to talk. There will be more healing and reconciliation. There will be a time to stand up and time for revelation. Do not fear man. You have not disappointed Me. The ways of man are slow. We must be patient. My peace, I give you.”

Do you feel the kindness in those phrases? I did. I sat at my table and wept.

God is not formulaic. We can always ask Him for things, but we can’t tell Him what to do. Though Terry died a few months later, I was certain of one thing: that God loved Terry and called him “My son.”

And that love is more important than life itself.


  1. Sometimes God does not heal. Plain and simple. It is not a lack of faith. It is not that God did not hear. It can be many things.
    My friend died a month ago from Cancer. I wanted her to get well. But she felt God called her to go home. My best friend 20 years ago did have the prayer for healing. She died. She was 24. I hated God for that. I loved her so much and I needed her. Apparently He did more!
    I have inherited milroy’s disease. Had more prayer than everest is tall. Never happened. I do not believe it will now. Why not? Certain not because God can’t. My gut is that He WILL NOT. Not here at least. WHY? I do not know.
    Well actually, just as I am writing this I do know. Because I hated my body parts that have that with a passion. HATED them. HATE them now, at times. And my Papa God wants me to learn to love them AS THEY ARE, just because He does.
    Sometimes our healing IS NOT physical. It is healing spiritually and emotionally, which, sometimes GOd see’s as so much more important for the person. We are all different, and He gives us what is best for us, to bring us closer to Him. I tell you. In heaven, with healed feet, I am going to paint my toe nails every day and wear Dior and Louboutins for at least 1,000 years! 3 inches high, thankyou! ( And to those who thinks God can’t allow this – He is bigger and He is laughing as I say it! He knows full well and I tell you, He will enjoy me wearing them and showing off to Him as much as I will!)
    I have a brain condition, where my brain has slipped into my brain. Now, in 1999 I had a brain tumour the size of an orange in my head. It was so big it was pushing my eyes out the front of my head. It was suggested by a christian I know, not to have surgery because God could heal me by faith. I did not listen. I had surgery. I KNOW God put me in the right hospital, with the right surgeon. He told me in an audible voice that I was very sick, but I was not going to die. And He gave me psalm 41. If I had not had surgery I would have died. Lack of faith? Course not!! God gives us physicians, it is one of His own titles! He gives us plants for medicine.
    Sometimes we get healed miraculously sometimes not. But I am SURE if He intended for me to be healed that way he would have told ME! Not just them. Turns out their motive was poorly. It was done in works not love. They had no idea. They are blinded, sadly by a spirit of unrighteous religion. Also. I believe like Stephen in the bible, when God intend to do it that way, He gives you the strenght and knowing, so you can hold out, IN CERTAINTY. Sure you wobble at times – who wouldn’t? Dying is scary! But God knows this and He is bigger! He is a God of Love and Understanding. Not a God who is ridged when we fall. Faith comes in stages. We grow, and it is a journey.
    So, my brain slippage. I tell you, I have been on at God for that one!! ANOTHER brain op? I would not wish that on my worst enemy! It terrifies me! But when I talk to God, ALL He will say on the matter is “I know.” Thats it. Nothing else. I was angry, I was MAD! At times still am. No certainty of my life. No control over it. But I have come to trust (At least on a good day, even hour!) That God has told me as much as I need to know. And He knows the rest, and that is enough.

    • Nicola, You have been through so much in your life. I’m particularly moved by your last few sentences! Wow.