“Why isn’t he getting any better? I can’t take much more of this!” Renee Peterson exclaimed in frustration as she loosely wrapped her ten-month-old son, Jason, in Saran Wrap. It was all she knew to do to give his irritated skin some relief while he slept. Covering Jason’s body with a soothing gel, then wrapping it with Saran Wrap, had become a nightly ritual over the past few months in an attempt to calm the torment of Jason’s itching.
Before Renee and her husband, Damon, resorted to this very unorthodox practice, it was impossible for Jason to get through the night without cries of discomfort. Even with his fingernails trimmed, he still found a way to scratch so badly that some mornings, he would wake with blood-covered sheets. The treatment offered temporary relief, but when morning came, Jason’s skin would once again erupt in pain.
The Peterson’s nightmare began when Jason was three months old. He developed what appeared to be typical baby acne. But after a while, the “acne” had gotten worse, not better, and showed no signs of disappearing. They consulted a doctor who diagnosed Jason’s condition as impetigo. He assured them that with a special prescription, it should clear up within a week. The week came and went, and Jason’s skin only worsened.
Damon and Renee had wrestled with taking Jason to a doctor. They didn’t have insurance or the money to cover the medical expenses. But even more importantly to them, they wanted to trust God for Jason’s healing.
The Petersons are no strangers to the faith walk. Both were born again and Spirit filled as children, and they grew up in strong, faith-based homes and churches. Damon, introduced to Andrew’s teachings in 1989, started volunteering on AWM’s Helpline in 2003, one month before Jason was born. He began working full time on the Helpline just after Jason’s birth.
As a Helpline worker, Damon ministered to people every day over the phone, helping hundreds receive salvation, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and healing. Now, he struggled to see his own son healed.
“We were standing in faith and believing that Jason was healed,” Damon recalls. “We know that God is a good God and this wasn’t His fault. We believe that God provided Jason’s healing when Jesus died on the cross.”
Because of the Peterson’s belief in God’s Word, they knew healing was theirs. But they couldn’t bear to see their tiny infant in so much pain. “We really wanted a supernatural healing,” says Damon, “but at the same time we didn’t want Jason to suffer while we waited for the manifestation.”
“Damon and I prayed over Jason every night at bedtime, but the condition just wasn’t clearing up,” Renee remembers. In fact, it wasn’t long before the irritation on Jason’s face had spread, infiltrating his body with tiny red bumps. At only six months old, Jason did all he could to get relief from the itching that agonized his little body, even to the point of scratching himself on the carpet until he bled.
Damon and Renee had taken Jason to both a family doctor and a dermatologist. One doctor diagnosed Jason’s condition as eczema, which he said produced the infection on his skin. He informed the Petersons that the eczema would never completely go away. The other doctor said that Jason just had extremely sensitive skin, so they would have to be extra careful with him, like avoiding giving him bubble baths. He also told the Petersons to make sure their house was chemical free and to always wash Jason’s clothes with chemical-free detergent. The doctors had other suggestions as well—everything from covering him in shortening to keep his skin moist, to wrapping him in wet clothes!
Desperate, Damon and Renee tried everything the doctors and anyone else suggested, including the use of prescription ointments and antibiotics. For months they did all they knew to do and prayed every way they knew to pray. Jason’s condition did not improve.
Damon and Renee immersed themselves in the Word and in Andrew’s teachings, trying to gain any possible insight into why Jason’s healing had not yet manifested. “We knew we were the ones who had the problem,” says Damon. “It wasn’t God, and it wasn’t Jason. There was something we were missing that kept us from receiving from God.” Frustrated, Damon went to Andrew for help. “We’ve got to be doing something wrong,” Damon insisted.
Andrew shared with Damon the principles from his teaching “Our Sabbath Rest.” He told Damon, “Don’t worry about whether or not you’re doing anything wrong. Just trust, and rest in what God has already provided.”
Damon went away from his meeting with Andrew encouraged, knowing that his job was to stay the course and stay out of doubt. The spiritual battle was raging, and for Renee, the fight was especially intense. While Damon worked, Renee stayed home with her children, forcing her to confront Jason’s condition every moment of every day. Not only was she continuously face to face with the circumstance, but she was also under attack from the reactions of other people.
“People constantly asked, ‘What’s wrong with his face?’” recalls Renee. “Some people would give advice and others would just stare. It took an emotional toll on the entire family. Even our other son, Jared, noticed when people made comments and looked at Jason differently.”
Damon and Renee realized the only way they would achieve victory was by staying focused on God’s promises of healing. They could not afford to be moved by what they saw or by what they heard from others. God’s voice was the only voice that mattered.
They continued to confess God’s Word over their child and trust that the manifestation of Jason’s healing was on its way. Without knowing what else to do, they dug in their heels of faith and remained determined. “We realized that it’s just a matter of persevering through the process,” says Renee. “We had to keep our eyes on the goal and do whatever it took to get Jason’s healing. It was difficult; we had to remind ourselves that the healing really was there, and we would see it.”
For thirteen long months the Petersons helplessly watched Jason suffer. Then one day, God handed Damon the key to unlock his son’s healing. “I was watching the kids ride their bikes in our driveway,” recalls Damon. “I was completely at the end of myself; I simply did not know what was taking so long with the manifestation of Jason’s healing. I began praying in tongues; I didn’t know what else to do. Suddenly, I felt impressed in my spirit to pray for Jason’s heart. I didn’t understand why, but I knew it was the Lord speaking to me, so I obeyed. I spoke to his heart and commanded it to be the way God designed it to be. I didn’t think any more about it; I just did what God told me to do.”
That simple revelation and act of obedience set Jason on the path to healing. At first, Damon didn’t understand why to pray for Jason’s heart, but it wasn’t long before it began making sense. He had always noticed Jason’s hands and feet were very cold and bluish in color—even as a newborn. He also noticed that Jason had very little energy compared to most infants his age. But the very next day, after Damon spoke healing to Jason’s heart, his hands and feet warmed up and returned to their normal coloring.
“I came home from work the day after I prayed for Jason and grabbed his bare feet to tickle him,” says Damon. “It was very cold outside that day, yet his feet were really warm. I asked Renee if she had just taken his socks off, but she said he had been barefoot all day. Then I felt his hands and they were just as warm.” They knew God was at work.
During the following week, Damon and Renee watched in amazement as, little by little, Jason’s skin cleared and became completely normal. They still don’t know the exact connection between what was wrong with Jason’s heart and his skin irritation, but they’re all right in not knowing. They’re just thrilled to have their baby back—the way God created him to be. Their once lethargic son, who spent most of his young life in misery, is now happy, smiling, and full of energy.
The Peterson’s perseverance to remain aggressive in their faith finally paid off. Their miracle proved that God was not withholding Jason’s healing or waiting on them to “do” certain things before He would respond. They just needed to get to a place of total rest in God, where they could hear clearly. All it took was one word from God and one act of obedience. Your miracle may also be just one word away!