Spring is a great time for new beginnings. In the spring of 1845 young Ellen Harmon got to see a wonderful new beginning for her friend, Frances.
Eighteen-year-old Ellen was visiting her friend in the little town of Topsham, Maine. Frances Howland was sick with rheumatic fever, which is very painful. Her hands were so badly swollen that you couldn’t see the joints of her fingers. The doctor didn’t seem to be able to do much to help poor Frances.
Ellen, along with some friends and the Howland family, held a special prayer meeting for Frances. “We all knelt in earnest prayer to God in her behalf. We claimed the promise, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive” John 16:24. The blessing of God attended our prayers, and we had the assurance that God was willing to heal the afflicted one,” she wrote.
Frances was lying in an upstairs room, and as soon as the prayer session ended, Sister Curtis dashed up the stairs. Ellen wrote that “she entered the sickroom with the Spirit of God upon her, and taking the invalid by the hand, said, ‘Sister Frances, in the name of the Lord arise, and be whole.’ New life shot through the veins of the sick girl, a holy faith took possession of her, and obeying its impulse, she rose from her bed, stood upon her feet, and walked the room, praising God for her recovery. She was soon dressed, and came down into the room where we were assembled, her countenance lighted up with unspeakable joy and gratitude.”
The next morning Frances was feeling so well that she came down to breakfast. For family worship someone decided to read James 5. While he was reading, the doctor came in and without disturbing anyone went upstairs to visit his patient. Not finding her there, he came down into the kitchen where everyone, including Frances, was sitting. He stared at her completely amazed and blurted out, “So Frances is better!”
“The Lord has healed her,” said Mr. Howland. The group continued reading from James 5 about the prayer of faith and God healing the sick. The doctor listened with an expression of amazement and disbelief upon his face. After the reading, the doctor made a hurried exit.
For Ellen Harmon, this springtime miracle helped her remember that with God all things are possible!
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