I read, Yearning for the Living God, by F. Enzio Busche a few years ago. He is a convert to the church from Germany and was called to be a General Authority and served as a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He also served as president of Germany Munich Mission and president of the Frankfurt Germany Temple.The following account is taken from his book on pages 202-05.
The reason I selected it is because of a recent event in my life where I had a similar experience with a health problem that has dogged me for years. I know the Lord can be near and intervene to help us in time of need when we suffer physical, mental, and emotional pain. I hope that all who read this account will be lifted in their faith and will be inspired to call upon God with increased faith when their need is great. Regarding prayer, Elder Busche said: “Whenever a person is very sincere, willing to listen, and ready to obey, dedicate himself, and surrender, the Lord is willing to do anything to help that person.” (P 196)
“…when I was in Munich as a mission president…I was plagued with frailty of body-a condition called deep-vein phlebitis…As I established my new life in Munich, the rhythm of my routine was interrupted with a change of pace and movement. Somehow, this started an inflammation of my deep leg veins. The difference between this form of the disease and normal phlebitis was that I had deep pain, pain in places where there is normally no pain, according to medical professionals.
The doctor that I went to could not give me any answers. I was in terrible pain for several weeks, such pain that I would not have believed it possible for someone to go through pain like that. It happened especially at night when I didn’t have to do anything, when the body came to rest and when I was in bed trying to find some sleep. Many times in the night I got up and tried to walk, but I didn’t feel well enough, so it was really an uncomfortable situation. I was not able to just stay in bed and be sick because I was a mission president, and I had to run the mission. So I just did all the things I needed to do-even doing the regular interviewing of missionaries. I sometimes laid down in the back of the station wagon to give my interviews.
It was, in some dimension, a spiritual time, but it was also a very challenging time. Sometimes I really felt I was at the end of my ability to take the pain. I tried many different approaches. I could not take any painkillers because then I would be drowsy and I would not be able to function as a mission president anymore. I was not used to taking painkillers anyway. One night towards morning, about 3:00 or 4:00 A.M., I was in so much pain I could not stand it any longer. I went down to the living room so I would not disturb my wife. I fell down on the ground and began to scream and shout and cry with all of the energy of my soul to my Heavenly Father. Slamming my fists on the ground, I heard myself say that I commanded in the authority of the priesthood to anyone listening that this pain would be taken away immediately or I would be taken dead. As soon as I was through with my pleas for help, I felt complete exhaustion come over me. It was like I had finished a marathon. I was so exhausted I could hardly move anymore, and I was just able to get myself to the couch. Falling on the couch, I fell asleep immediately.
When I woke up, it was a bright day. It was about 10:00 in the morning, and I was completely refreshed. The pain was gone and it has never come back. I was so happy that I could hardly believe it. I was absolutely humbled. I still had my problems with the veins-the normal problems, but the pain was gone, so I could deal with it. I still deal with it today. It will always be with me, but I can manage it when I take precautions and am careful, and I always watch for the prompting from the Lord about what to do. My experiences with communication with God have shown me that we really must mean it when we pray. As Mormon says, ‘And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such’ (Moroni 7:9). In praying we must go to the root of honestly with ourselves because we cannot hear truth when we are not honest to the core. We must express our feelings without flowery words and be willing to accept the consequences of our prayers. When we do, the Lord will be there with us and teach us what we need to know and what is good for us in that very moment.“