I'm amazed at the ways Satan is right there to drag me down and steal away the good things You have for me! I have been moderately healthy for the last three weeks or so. Just yesterday, after You spoke to me and I was so at peace with knowing I had made the right decision about where to go to church, I began to experience symptoms of that old familiar asthmatic bronchitis. I kept thinking about whether or not I should go to the doctor, and I just didn't feel like it was going to be as severe this time. And, admittedly, I could not reconcile myself to the fact that I would probably have to pay in excess of $200 to get the kind of treatment that would make this go away.
But now it all makes sense! And what amazes me more is that You lead me to the sources of information and encouragement I need! I found a tape of a letter that Granny had made for Grandpa Schneider when I was about a year and a half old. I've always known right where it was, but this time I decided I'd just listen for a while. I want to try to transcribe what I heard before I explain how this applies to me.
There was one thing I wanted to tell you about that I told you a little bit about on the phone. I get kind of excited when I talk about this. I may knock the tape recorder off or get to yelling or something. But it's about my healing, because that's just been... Well, you can imagine what it's like after all these years to not have to go around with a headache all the time, to be able to breathe freely, no problems at all. I had been anointed and prayed for once at Pasadena ... oh, maybe a couple of years ago ... and once much longer ago than that, and both times nothing happened. I had prayed, I thought, as we were supposed to. I believed God could heal me, but nevertheless, Thy will be done, and if there was some reason for me not to be healed, I was willing to accept it. I always thought that was submission and that was the way we were supposed to pray.
I guess you didn't know much about this bronchitis that I've had for about the last five or six years here in Houston. The climate here is so humid and there's so much pollution that this heavy air just hangs over the city. And when it's foggy or there's extra pollution--when it's bad--I just sometimes couldn't be outside at all much of the time. Any time I had had a cold or a sinus infection, I'd come down with this bronchitis that was almost like an asthma. When it gets bad, when I get an infection, I just have to go to the doctor as quickly as possibly. It's like I was going to die, I'd become so weak. It really was a serious problem.
I'd had a cold over Christmas. Well, the cold finally left, but I was left with this sinus congestion and bronchial infection which was getting pretty bad. I stayed home from work to go to the doctor.
I had been reading a book. I can't even tell you the title--I don't have it any more. But this woman's theory was that it is God's will to heal us because there's a Scripture that says ... Oh, my, now I can't quote it! ... 'By his stripes we are healed'? It's the same verse that's talking about he took our sins, and by his stripes we are healed. She says that shows that it is his will. I had always wondered about this because... Did you ever read anywhere in the New Testament where anyone asked for healing and Jesus told them, 'It's not my will'? I had never been able to make myself believe that it was ever not God's will. This really appealed to me when she said this. I don't feel like God would have told us to call the elders of the church and pray if it wasn't His will.
Her belief is that illness comes from Satan, that he attacks the body with illness just like he attacks you spiritually with temptation. So he attacks us spiritually and physically. We don't have to accept his temptations, and we don't have to accept his illnesses. We claim healing. The healing has already been provided for just like salvation has or forgiveness of sins. But we have to claim it on faith just as we do salvation. It's already been done on the cross.
So I was ready to go to the doctor that morning, and I was really pretty sick. But I decided to see if what she said worked. She said, 'Quote these Scriptures and read the Bible. Surround yourself with thoughts of Jesus so that your mind is on Jesus, and resist the devil and he will flee from you.' And if you won't accept his illnesses, he'll just have to take them with him. And she said always pray in Jesus' name. Jesus said the authority is in His name. It's like he gave us the power of attorney. So we can use his name in claiming these things.
So I read a while. I prayed, and said, 'All right, I'm going to try this. Satan, I refuse to accept your illness, your bronchitis and your sinus, so you just take them and go.' And I picked up the Bible and read and just happened to turn to the page that told about Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law. And it said immediately she got up and served them--cooked a meal or cleaned the house or something. She got up and did her housework.
So I thought, if I really believe, then why am I lying here in bed? I've spoken my piece, I've said my prayers, and I've told Satan to leave. Now the thing to do is to get up and act like I was healed. It didn't matter whether I felt it or not if I really believed it was done.
So I got out of bed and came and started cleaning house, and I was not really aware just when this bronchitis broke up. But it acted as if I'd had a shot, as if I'd been to the doctor. All this bronchial congestion loosened up. It took me about two days to get rid of it all, but it workedd just the same as if I'd had the shot. I've not had it since, and we've had some of the foggiest, smoggiest days in Houston. I've always had trouble when we went to Pasadena because because the pollution is so bad there. So I am very, very thankful to the Lord for that!
The following Sunday I had a migraine headache. It was the first I'd had in a while, but you know what they are, Dad. I prayed and went to church. I had to play the piano at church. Then we went out to eat, and I got so sick in the restaurant I couldn't eat. So we prayed again. I was sick all that day, vomited all night. The next morning, I could hardly raise my head off the pillow. I finally prayed for the strength to read the Bible a little. I opened the Bible up at random and read about the man who had been at the pool of Bethesda who had been ill for 38 years. And Jesus said to him, "Do you want to be well?" He answered yes, and Jesus said, "Then roll up your bed and go home."
I laid there, my head hurting so bad. I had prayed and thought I was resisting Satan. Finally, I prayed, 'Lord, what is there about this that's going to help me? I just don't see it.' Finally, it dawned on me. He said, 'Roll up your mat and go home if you want to be well.' I thought, "That's really what helped me the other day. I got up."
Well, my head was hurting so bad I thought I couldn't, but I said, 'I'll do it.' So I got out of bed, and I said, 'In the name of Jesus I'm going to go on about my business.' I made it as far as the bathroom and vomited. But I went right on, read the Bible a while, came in here and fixed myself something to eat, and started doing my work, and my headache left. I had a little touch of one last Sunday for the first time in over a month. But we prayed, and it didn't get really bad. It did leave. It didn't develop into a really bad migraine.
So we are really rejoicing because I have spent so much money for medicine--prescriptions and going to the doctor to get shots. But it's not just the money. The money is not what matters. I believe that healing is for us and that we are learning how we can have it! Of course, it seems like with me I have to learn the same lessons over and over and over again. I'm sure this is nothing new; it's something that others have known all the time. But I believe it's more than a coicidence that the next Sunday after I had been healed... Gerald and I are altar workers. I went into the prayer room Sunday morning and again Sunday night with two different people, and each time we were there, I prayed with two different people for healing. One has told me that she feels like she has been much better and much more free from pain than before. The other lady had just lost a baby--the fifth miscarriage she'd had, and they wanted a baby so bad. So we prayed that God would either heal her so that she could have a baby or else choose one that they could adopt. They've been trying to adopt one for some time, and have not been able to get one. There are so many people wanting to adopt babies now and so few babies available, and it's very very expensive. The only places they've found where they could get a child,, they would have to wait several years and it would cost them about $2500. Besides that, the agencies require them to be able to show proof that they could send that child to college. It's almost a hopeless situation for ordinary people.
Today I have prayed a prayer. I will try to recapture it here, although it won't be nearly as effective as it felt to speak it. By the way, this has been the first time that I have been able to speak such a prayer.
Lord, I thank You for the healings You have been doing. Thank You for the peace about deciding where to go to church. I recognize You as the Source of that healing. Today I claim all of my healing in the name of Jesus Christ, that Source. I no longer accept the bronchitis, the glaucoma, the retinopathy, or the problems with my cornea. I no longer accept the loneliness. In the name of Jesus I renounce them. Take them and return to hell where you belong. All of them: the illnesses, the bitterness, the hatred. I claim my clear, perfect vision. I claim my free breathing. I praise my Jesus!"
And now I will do as Granny did. I will go on about my business as if it is done.