Gabriella Oliveri is a miracle baby. Shortly after birth, her breathing faltered, then her heart stopped. For four minutes she lay lifeless and all seemed lost. But her brave parents refused to give up on God. Where others could only see oxygen tubes and a flatlining heart rate monitor, her mother Hayley had a vision of Jesus and her dad, Nathaniel told the doctor to ‘prepare to be astonished’.
Prepare to be astonished indeed as you watch this heart-rending video that reveals what God can do when believers choose to step out in faith. Parents trusting God to turn an impossible situation around, a fearless pastor refusing to accept the worst outcome and a baby literally raised from the dead… this doesn’t sound like everyday life to me. It’s quite astounding really, but that shouldn’t be the case.
Miracles, signs and wonders can be the norm in the lives of ordinary Christians because we serve an extraordinary God. This is the idea behind Nathaniel and Hayley Oliveri’s ministry known as ‘Normal Christian Life’. Nathan is one passionate believer. He must be to have gone around praying for others to be healed while his own daughter lay dying.
What do we do when crisis comes?
“What do we do as Christians when a crisis comes?” asks Nathaniel in the video. “When we are facing a serious trial and are overwhelmed… What if we weren’t moved by any situation around us because of Jesus within us? The world is waiting to see Christians go through trials and have unconditional peace.”
It’s not surprising then, that this video has had over 3.6 million views on YouTube and more than 8,000 comments.
- “This is proof Jesus is real,” says Sienna;
- “When I thought Gabriela was going to die I felt that my heart was going to break,” wrote Kacey, “But when Jesus walked in and healed her I was very happy because God can do anything”;
- “I cried, this is beautiful, thank you Jesus, for saving this little girl’s life,” says Lorraine;
- “See God is real,” says Helena. “I even thought she was not going to make it but she did make it”;
- “Astonishing indeed…my faith is increased watching this video!” says Nubian.
The world is watching us as believers, looking to us to be an example when things go wrong in our lives and point them to the answer, Jesus, offering them hope in the darkest of times.
Gabriella’s story is one that moves people deeply. I was so touched while watching. We can all be inspired by the words of Hayley Oliveri who talks about putting fear aside and embracing ‘a bubble of God’s peace’. “Right then was a very weak moment,” she says, ” but I saw a vision of Jesus. He walked right up to Gabriella and put His hand on her.” After that, she knew everything would be all right. We may not be so fortunate to have such a vision in our situation, but we can rest assured that Jesus is with us because He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
At one point, the logical condition was that Gabriella would not survive. But Nathaniel was prepared to share the Gospel no matter what. His faith was sufficient to boldly tell the doctors and nurses that his daughter would live, despite her deteriorating condition. It seems disrespectful to tell medical professionals what to do, but we have to make a stand for our faith. Nathaniel told the doctor to ‘prepare to be astonished’, but he also asked what was medically necessary for a recovery. He then prayed for that process, step-by-step. Without being glib or haughty, we can be confident in our God and believe Him for His intervention in our lives.
I loved the part where the medical staff called the couple’s pastor because they thought they were in denial. They hoped she would help them come to terms with the reality of the situation, but they underestimated Katherine Ruonala of Glory City Church. She is not your average pastor! Instead of encouraging the Oliveris to accept their daughter’s fate, Pastor Katherine told them to take a photo, “You’re going to need it for the testimony!”‘ And, she instructed the nurses to help express milk for the baby.
“There is nothing God cannot do!” she concludes and that applies equally to this real-life account of a miracle baby and whatever miracle God wants to birth in your life.”