It has been a few weeks since I posted a blog post, and the reason for that was because I was on holiday in South Africa. My wife (Wendy) and I went down to visit family – her parents and my parents and siblings are there. The only problem was that this trip was an essential one, but not a pleasant one. It has raised some difficult questions for me to answer but, as usual, God has answered with His usual wisdom. Let me take you through what happened.
Wendy’s dad was ill, he had a form of bone marrow cancer (multiple myeloma). Our trip was partly to see family, but mostly to come back with a testimony of healing. You probably know my views on healing, but in case you don’t, I don’t believe illness is from God. I believe that we have authority over it, and I believe that God’s will is for us to be well. If you disagree with me, you’re entitled to your opinion, but you won’t change mine. If you would like to know why people don’t receive their healing, take a look at ‘Why We Don’t Get Healed‘. Anyway, back to the story. We left the UK and, upon arriving in Cape Town, we realised that Wendy’s dad was more frail than we had thought. This encouraged me to start ministering to him and, as expected, we started to see a mild improvement. He was coughing all night, which hurt his shoulder, which was broken at the collar bone basically due to the cancer. I rebuked the cough (amongst other things) and it stopped immediately. If the cough stopped, so would the rest! The next day (after a cough free night), we moved onto the other symptoms and causes.
This is where it fell apart. My father in law died. This was not part of our plan. I briefly considered raising him from the dead, but I decided that it would be best to let things be. Even though I believe in healing, and I believe that one day I will raise someone from the dead, he was 70 years old and we all need to die at some point. I decided to call it a day. This left me upset and open to ‘enquiries’ from the enemy.
‘He died because you failed’. ‘Where is this authority that you claim to have?’. ‘I won this fight and I’ll win the rest’. These are some things that were going through my head from the enemy. So I took them to God and asked Him, “Was it my fault or was it just his ‘time to go’?” After feeling a tremendous sense of comfort, I believe that I heard God’s response, which went something like this. “Does it matter? Look at what the devil has ‘won’. Your father in law is with me in heaven, he is pain free and in perfect health. This is where he will be for eternity, and this is where you will one day meet up with him. The only down side is that you won’t see him for a time, while you are on earth.”
You see if God had said that it was my fault, it would have broken me. If God had said that it was just ‘his time to go’, it would have seriously messed with my theology, and dare I say scripture. I don’t believe that God gives people illness and kills them, I believe John 10:10. Having said that, my father in law was 70 years old, so maybe it was just his time up. I don’t know, but I am not prepared to water down my faith because of what happened. The bottom line is that death has in fact lost its sting. I understood this on a theoretical level, but I now understand it on an emotional one. Illness is from the devil, part of the curse of the fall of man. It is not from God. Yet even when the illness wins, we actually win. This is what Jesus has done for us on the cross. I was incredibly happy that my father in law made Jesus His Lord and Saviour, as I now know that I will see him again at some point. This is not goodbye, merely “until we meet again”.
Do you have this assurance? Do you know Jesus as your Saviour? When you do, you realise that death truly has lost its sting. I would hate to be in the situation that I was, without my father in law knowing Jesus as Lord.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9).