By Rob with Dave Franco
A successful businessman is about to lose his life until the Holy Spirit intervenes.
Rob had experienced basketball aches and pains before. At 51 years old, and after a lifetime of being on the court, most things had hurt at one point or another. But on this day, severe shortness of breath after just a few minutes of play concerned him. What is this all about?
A trip to the doctor revealed blood clots in his leg had passed through his heart and into his lungs.
Following the doctor’s orders to a T, Rob found he was getting weaker and his breathing was still extremely shallow. Each trip back to the doctor made him increasingly uneasy—the doctor’s words were getting more serious and more sunny, as if he was getting so bad she had to compensate with a more everything-is-going-to-be-okay tone.
Three weeks passed, and he was getting worse. Drained of all energy, just a trip from the couch to the bathroom required rest. He barely recognized himself. His skin was a gray hue, and he aged ten years.
“We may have to perform surgery, but let’s continue to wait,” the doctor said with her light demeanor. “The good news is that when this kind of surgery really needs to be done, the world comes to San Diego.” The doctor gave him a smile again, but it sent a chill through Rob. The world comes to San Diego? This is no routine surgery. This is dire!
A call to a pulmonologist friend confirmed his fears. The surgery would include shutting off his entire system—essentially killing him to save him.
The surgery would include shutting off his entire system—essentially killing him to save him.
And even if Rob survived, there was a good chance that his brain might never be the same.
Rob’s mind began to spiral, lost in disbelief that his life had come to this. But it wasn’t just any life; it was a life that most people dream of.
Rob excelled at everything, entering Harvard Business School as one of the youngest students in its history. Two years later, with his Ivy League MBA, he went to Wall Street and secured a job with Goldman Sachs. His star power was evident immediately, and he made partner at thirty-four. He was picked to run the West Coast operations where he orchestrated some of the largest mergers and IPOs in the world. Not only was he sitting on top of the financial world, Goldman Sachs went public and turned Rob into a very wealthy man.
Now, as a dad and husband as well as an owner of a rising technology company, the sudden prognosis of life by death made no sense. They have to kill me to save me. And my mind will probably be different. Please don’t let them take away my intellect, Lord. That’s my strength.
Nights were the worst. Labored breathing made it nearly impossible to sleep. The realization that he could be near death tormented him. His brilliant mind couldn’t overpower the voices in his head. He was out of ideas, out of answers, and for the first time, out of control.
In the middle of the night, he lay in bed looking at Jennifer as she slept and held his hand. Her 50th birthday party was in three days and, with no energy to get up and out, he wouldn’t be able to get her a gift. In his eyes, she deserved so much. She had always filled the household with joy and was so beautiful as she slept. What will her and the kids’ life be like if I’m not around? How could it come to this?
Suddenly, a song that he had heard at Rock Church began to descend on him. The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty, let all the earth rejoice. It began to ring out in his mind, over and over. How great is our God, how great, how great is our God.
He began to drift to sleep—the first time in weeks that he slept longer than one hour. The next morning, he noticed a swell of energy. He knew what he was going to do with it. He unsteadily got in his car and drove into town.
Standing in McNally’s antique store, he asked the owner if he had an antique angel in his inventory—Jennifer had always been an angel to him.
The owner noticed an emotion in Rob’s voice that seemed to suggest that this was something more than a gift of love—almost as if it was a way of saying goodbye.
This was something more than a gift of love—almost as if it was a way of saying goodbye.
Rob began to explain. It was the first time he had cried in public in his adult life.
“My wife and I would like to pray for you,” the owner said. As he did, Rob, who was always very conservative with his expressions of faith, felt overcome in a way he never had. He had never raised his hands to Heaven before. But for the first time in his life, he was not fighting for control. With his hands in the air, he was surrendering his life, giving up all control to the One who deserved it. Rob was done being Rob. The old Rob, the one who didn’t believe in the power of the Holy Spirit was dead and gone.
When he walked out of the store, he was different. Something’s happening to me, he thought. Suddenly, Rob found himself thinking about Pastor Miles, with whom he had struck-up a friendship. He texted: Pastor Miles, can you come to my house?
It was one of those moments that seemed to be entirely orchestrated by God. Because as Rob’s hands were rising in the antique store, Pastor Miles and his wife were being prayed over by a friend and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, as they got into their car, a thought popped into Pastor Miles’ mind. “We need to go over to Rob’s,” he told Debbie. At that moment, he received Rob’s text. Miles and Debbie looked wide-eyed at each other.
“We’re coming over,” Pastor Miles texted his reply.
When they arrived, Pastor Miles gathered pillows from the furniture, placing them behind Rob.
“What are you doing?” Rob asked.
“I’m going to pray for you. Get ready because the Holy Spirit is going to do something in your life,” Pastor Miles said.
“That kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me,” Rob asserted. “I’m not really like that, you know.”
Undeterred, Pastor Miles put his hands on him and prayed that the Holy Spirit would spare his friend’s life.
After 30 seconds of prayer, Rob began to feel tingly…
Suddenly, as if a chunk of time had disappeared, he was looking up toward the ceiling—laid out. “Well?” Pastor Miles asked.
Rob looked around trying to make sense of what had just happened. He was feeling his body coursing with life-giving oxygen and strength rising in his muscles. A few moments went by.
“Rob? How do you feel?” he asked again.
Rob lifted his head and sat up. Then he stood. Soon, he was briskly walking up and down the halls and around the house as if his body was brand new. And it was.
Rob did die to be saved. It just wasn’t at all the way he was expecting.
POSTSCRIPT: Rob, having never gotten the surgery, is in perfect health living in North County.
For information about the Rock Church's Divine Healing Ministry, click here.