We received many responses to the last Langstaff Letter; hence this follow up letter.
WHY AREN’T YOU HEALED?
A pastor in St. Cloud wrote, “I think another dimension can be our personal responsibility to maintain health, physically and emotionally. Healing may not come if we are violating stewardship of our health.”
At the same time, I was reading a devotional by Bob Gass which stated, “One pastor writes: ‘I stood on every healing Scripture in the Bible. Finally, I got so sick that I had to be rushed to the hospital. There they discovered I had five arteries completely blocked and scheduled me for a bypass surgery. When I came through it, I started questioning, ‘How could this have happened to me? I’m a pastor. I believe that God heals. I’ve prayed for others and watched Him heal them.’ Then I remember! I’d been warned repeatedly that my cholesterol and sugar levels were too high. I needed to change my diet, but I wouldn’t listen. I was addicted to fried and fatty foods. They were so tasty I couldn’t give them up.’ Keep reading – your life could depend on it! Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs can kill you, but so can eating the wrong food! Paul writes: ‘Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (I Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV) (Bob Gass).”
A LETTER FROM IRELAND
Many expressed their feeling about seemingly unanswered pray. This response came from Ireland, “I have been supernaturally healed of degenerative disc disease in my back and neck. My “frozen shoulder” was healed in 2012. My son was healed of peanut allergies in 2007. He was also healed of permanent hearing loss in his right ear in 2013. I have seen people healed of various other issues.
“What is the common element in all of these? The request was made, people prayed, and God healed. This is it. This is not a formula….but it is the common thread in every case that I have seen over the past 20+ years. I wish there was a formula for a healing guarantee. But there is not. Here is why I say that:
“My dad died of cancer in 2010. My cousin’s husband died in 2018, a passionate pastor, after 18 months of a serious debilitating form of meningitis. Bill Johnson, from Bethel, has seen many people healed of many things, yet his son is +90% deaf. And on and on the stories go. We all have them.
“So what do I do? When I see a need, when I have a need, I make the request known. I pray and ask God to heal. And then I watch and wait.
“God CAN heal. God DOES heal. But WILL He heal in this situation before me? I do not know. But He is God, and I am not…and I would rather ask Him and feel disappointment in not seeing healing than to not ask Him at all.
“But I keep asking, keep praying, keep watching and waiting and celebrating the healings that do take place.”
AN HONEST WORD
“I have watched two particular people die of cancer in the last twenty years that really rocked my faith at the time. One was my brother’s wife whom lots of people were praying for, and the other was my sister whom lots of people were praying for. I don’t have a good answer to this day why but my hope lies with Him who does. I was admittedly angry with God in regards to these two people, but as you say in the article, I don’t have an answer. I praise God for where they are now!!”
It was also pointed out that people in ministry and leadership also face challenges regarding healing. Craig Nelson and his wife Suzy are a wonderful couple with a ministry called ‘Miracles in the Marketplace,’ where they have seen wonderful miracles of healing take place. They also present a conference each January in Minneapolis, now in its 8th year, entitled ‘Twin Cities Prophetic Conference (for details visit http://www.miraclesinthemarketplace.org).
Recently, I read an article by Suzy that caught my attention and touched my heart. “As many of you may already know I (Suzy) had surgery in June to repair a brain aneurysm. Everything went very well during the procedure, and I took the month of June off from work and ministry to recuperate. I have had lots of prayer support and know that those prayers carried me through. My head is fully recovered, but I am still working on building up my stamina.
Craig has faced various health issues over the last two years, but we are both believing for complete and total healing. Isn’t it interesting, that as people of faith who consistently pray for the sick and see so many healed, we still struggle in this area of our lives? God never promised that our lives would be easy, but He does promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. It leaves us wondering how those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ can make it through the trials and tribulations of life. Our dear friend, Dr. Robert Cornwall, who has gone home to be with Jesus, used to say, ‘Life is hard. Serving God is easy. Don’t confuse the two.’ His words ring loud and clear in our ears and in our hearts at this time, and we hold fast to God’s promises regarding our light and momentary afflictions.”
To which I say, ‘Amen! Don’t give up! Keep praying and believing.’
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
A number of pastors and leaders sent encouraging responses.
“Wonderful article. So positive, so balanced, so Biblical, so real!” “You bring balance & grace to a very difficult issue. Good on ya Mate! Shalom.” “A balanced apostolic word – I am forwarding your article to the pastors in my area.”
ANOTHER WONDERFUL STORY ON HEALING
Let me finish off with another great story from Lee Strobel’s book ‘The Case for Miracles:’ “Duane Miller’s greatest enjoyment came from preaching at his small church and singing songs of worship. It wasn’t just his livelihood to lead a Baptist congregation in Brenham, Texas; it was his passion, his calling, and his source of joy and satisfaction.
When he awoke with the flu one Sunday morning, his throat was like sandpaper, and his voice would “catch” on words. Each syllable was painful to speak. The flu soon disappeared, but his windpipe remained ablaze, and his voice reduced to a raspy whisper. His throat felt constricted as if someone were choking him.
For all practical purposes, Miller’s voice was gone. No longer able to preach, he resigned from his pastorate. He eventually landed a government job researching records-a position he then lost because of his inability to speak meant he couldn’t testify in court about his findings. Insurance stopped covering his treatments, and he faced thousands of dollars in medical bills.
“For the first time in my life, I felt utterly useless. My income, my future, my health, my sense of well-being, all were suddenly beyond my control. It was a terrifying and humbling experience,” he said.
Over three years, he was examined by sixty-three physicians. His case was even scrutinized by a Swiss symposium of the world’s leading throat specialists. The diagnosis: the flu virus destroyed the nerves of his vocal cords, rendering them limp. When Miller asked about his prognosis for recovery, a doctor told him, “Zero.”
Despite Miller’s protestations, his former Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Houston prevailed on him to speak. A special microphone was used to amplify Miller’s soft, hoarse, croaky voice-and the class agreed to endure the grating sound because of their love for him and his teaching.
Ironically, his text was Psalm 103, where the third verse reads, God “heals all your diseases.” Miller said later, “With my tongue, I was saying, ‘I still believe that God heals,’ but in my heart, I was screaming, ‘But why not me, Lord?'”
He went on to the next verse, which says the Lord “redeems your life from the pit.” He told the class, “I have had, and you have had in times past pit experiences.” As soon as he said the word pit, the choking sensation disappeared. “Now, for the first time in three years, I could breathe freely,” he recalled. “I heard a gasp from the crowd, and that’s when I, too, realized my voice had come back. I could hear myself!”
His stunned audience began to clap and cheer, shout and laugh; his wife, Joylene, broke down in tears. “I don’t understand this right now,” Miller stammered-with a fresh, new voice. The dramatic moment of Miller’s recovery had been captured on audiotape, which went viral. Subsequent doctor examinations showed his throat looks like it never had any problems; in fact, against all odds, even the scar tissue has disappeared.
Said one physician, “Even if I could explain how you got your voice back by coincidence-which I can’t-I could never explain what happened to the scar tissue.”
Today, Miller is pastor of Pinnacle Church, serving the Cedar Creek Lake area of Texas. Ironically, he also hosts a daily program on a Dallas radio station-yes, using his voice to tell others about the God who he is convinced still performs miracles.
“You see, God didn’t just restore my life,” he said. “He amplified it.”
At his website (http://www.nuvoice.org/about-us.html), you can listen to the tape of when his voice came back.
A FINAL WORD
Let us not stop! Let us keep believing! Let us keep expecting! Let us keep looking to the Lord who is the one who heals!
I have contracted a rare, painful, disabling illness. I asked the Lord for permission to seek physical healing which He declined.
Who am I to tell God that He must heal me, take away my pain, and extend my life? Things of this world are trivial. Worrying about physical things distracts from the Great Truth: Jesus has written my name in His Book of Life. Rejoice in the Eternal not the world.
I consider my suffering to be a stewardship. He has entrusted me to demonstrate that His Eternal Kingdom is superior to all the tribulations the World can throw at us. It is an honor I don’t deserve to be steward of The Gospel with my disease. Suffering as Christ would is the goal.
Brethren, we will all sicken and die eventually. Why worry when we can’t add a single hour to our lives.
Thanks Alan I can’t hear it enough, miss you both!
Wow! This letter has so encouraged me! So many are quick to give their opinions regarding why someone has not been healed. So much speculation and condemnation comes from those who stand in judgment: “They lacked faith,” “They didn’t pray enough,” “They didn’t pray correctly,” etc. They reduce the sovereign healing of God to a work of man. I think of it this way: We pray, God heals. Our responsibility is our response to HIS ability! Let’s be honest, this side of heaven, we’ll never fully understand all of God’s ways.