Tag Archives: Jehovah Rapha

Many Are the Afflictions of the Righteous and What We Can Learn From Them

When adversity comes, knocks, strikes, and hits down your door

My husband and I recently made a beautiful ascent into Jerusalem onto the Mount of Olives (where Jesus’ feet will one day land) that descended past the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before His afflictions and crucifixion. The steep path led into the Kidron Valley that led up to the Eastern Gate through which He will return to the city.

I’ve documented our trip with images and explanations on my Facebook page: C.R.O.W.N. Calling Real Ordinary [Wo]men NOW. That’s about all I’ve done business/ministry wise in the last four months since we left for Israel in October.

We soon learned that a descending of afflictions into the valley follows an ascending

Jerusalem is a city built on the mountains. So, to go out from Jerusalem, the disciples had to go down. They had to go down the mountain. So, to send them out from Jerusalem was to send them down from Jerusalem. Just as important as it is to ascend the mountain is to descend it. In fact, that’s the direction of ministry . . . down the mountain (Jonathan Cahn, The Book of Mysteries, (Charisma House Book Group 2016, pg. 325).

Our traveling plans were to return home through Germany to see our daughter and family at their Army post. She had warned us that they were on the top fourth floor of their apartment building. They had missed getting into a house four months prior when they moved there. But it didn’t matter that they had no elevator, because Jim and I were both afflicted that whole week.

After arriving home, I discovered I had double pneumonia; Jim had ear and sinus problems. Six weeks after I recovered, I was able to care for my sister who had a hip replacement and get ready for Christmas for our children. A couple days later, I went for a walk and then another sudden affliction hit me…a complication from the pneumonia which put me on a breathing machine three times per day for thirty days. Today is the first day off that contraption!

During this trying time, I tried to pray which was hard since energy was out the door. But, one morning I heard in my spirit, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” How encouraging that was! I looked it up in my Bible:

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart; and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:18-19 NKJV).Click to Tweet

 

Many are the Afflictions of the Righteous with free arrows and shield laminate

What is the Definition of Affliction?

To afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain and suffering. To afflict means to cast down; to strike; humble; overthrow; to distress so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish; trouble; injure; torment.

Afflictions are the state of being afflicted; the cause of persistent pain or distress; great suffering.

What strikes me about this definition is that a “cast sheep” is one that has turned over on its back due to outside sources. Because it’s heavy with lamb and wool, it cannot turn over on its own. Without the shepherd’s help, it will die. To be enlightened how we are like sheep, go to>>  Sheep of the Lord and Jehovah Rohi

Where Do Afflictions Come From and Why?

The Bible shows where adversity comes from and why most clearly in the book and story of Jōb.

Jōb lived in the land of Uz with his wife, seven sons and three daughters. He was a righteous man, who was blameless, honored God and shunned evil. He was blessed by God with material wealth: seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and a large number of servants.

One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?”

Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”

God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Jōb? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”

Satan retorted, “So do you think Jōb does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him and his family or his possessions, bless everything he does— he can’t lose!

“But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”

God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.”—Job 1:6-12 The Message

Ruins of Jerusalem with text overlay of How to Find Deliverance from Adversity and Afflictions

 

 

If you are going through a difficult time right now, you will want to go HERE to read this full story. The story of Jōb will help you like no other. It guided me at our most difficult days years ago. It shows what is going on behind the scenes where Satan brings disaster upon Jōb by taking away everything he owns except his wife. Eventually, his own body is struck with painful boils.

Job’s three ‘friends’ came to see him. They accused him and his adult children of sin and criticized him for days. Never did they pray for him.

Job gets so frustrated that he said, “I’m going directly to God for answers.” Of course, this is exactly what God wanted to hear >> The Story of Job.

We will look at four principles this story teaches us about suffering, adversity and afflictions, and what God is doing by filtering through His great big hands what Satan wants to bring against us––and how we can overcome.

Why Face Adversity?

Although Job was angry with his friends, one thing they did do was to put some fight into him. Would Job have given in to his afflictions and let them get the best of him if they had not troubled him more? We don’t know, but Job did learn to face his adversity. And, in doing so, He overcame.

Do you know of someone who lays down in the face of troubles and gives in to every blow that comes along and are always sick, having surgery or are perpetually distressed? They live by their emotions, and only what they can see, feel, taste, touch and only what the doctor says about them.

The first step to overcome is to face it by going to the Great Physician to see what He says about it, rather than what friends say. Facing adversity takes courage and means FIGHTING to overcome.

The Lord delivers those from afflictions who not only fight the spiritual battle, the good fight of faith, but they know God by knowing His Word; it’s not automatic and takes a lot of effort, but it’s so worth it.

Through Job’s story, we learn these four principles:

Afflictions Help Us See God and Know Who God Is

 

Flowers with text overlay of Jeremiah 30:17

1.      God is sovereign. We cannot understand his working through rational thinking alone.

When we want to ask, “Why God, why me?” we must remind ourselves that God sees the big picture of what He hopes to accomplish through our lives. Job took his complaints directly to God and God answered him. Bottom line: Job realized how small he was and how big God was and that there was a purpose in his whole ordeal.

The Lord had asked Job to listen to Him and give Him some answers. Listen closely to Job’s reply, for this is the purpose of all suffering: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6 NIV).Click to Tweet

2.      God’s will toward us is good – always God is good. God really is near to those going through adversity. He always makes His presence known – when we are looking to Him and His word.

After many weeks of weakness, I pulled out my ARROWS SWORD & SHIELD (a 5 x 7 laminate) that I made after previous difficulties. I spoke these Scriptures over myself out loud declaring His promises as already fulfilled while thanking God for strength and healing although I didn’t feel like it.

The next morning during my one hour of computer time of scheduling pins for my Pinterest business, SEVEN times this Scripture crossed my vision:

“For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 30:17).Click to Tweet

God always cares and will communicate His care to his children.

Afflictions Bring Growth in Humility and Reveal His Divine Purposes

3.      We can focus on our innocence and question God’s justice as Job did, or we can grow in humility and wait for God to reveal Himself and His purposes for us.

The Lord spoke to Job and answered his questions. Job replied, “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head” (Job 42:1-3 Msg).

Job found that God did not have a list of offenses against him, but his only offense was his complaints against God during the suffering. He knew God had to have had a purpose, and now he knew what it was: “I admit I once lived by rumors of you, now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!” (Job 42:5 Msg).

Afflictions Make Us Stronger and Build Character

4.      The testing of our faith is an individual, personal testing.

At times uncontrollable forces will come against us. Family, friends, health, houses and job, and other sources of strength may be taken away leaving us seemingly ALONE in the battle. It’s in this ALONENESS, however, that we must hear God’s voice rather than the voice of others.

We must trust God alone to fill our voids and return us to victory. After Job did this, God asked him to pray for his friends; in doing so he had to forgive them, and Job was healed. God restored double to him of all he lost, and he was now on the road to be able to comfort others as he had been comforted by God alone (2 Cor. 1:4).

Who Can Overcome Afflictions?

We know the righteous will be delivered as Psalm 34: 19 says, but what about non-Christians? Does God hear their prayers, too? My friend Janice was married at seventeen years of age. Her husband tried unsuccessfully to drown her when she was pregnant. At the birth of her daughter, the doctor announced, “You will never take this baby home. She has only half a liver.”

But, Janice, not yet a Christian, did what James 5:13 says to do, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” She went out into the hallway to call her sister to pray for her. A woman appeared beside her and voiced the prayer over the phone. To read this miraculous story go HERE

How Can Suffering and Afflictions be Overcome?

Barbara Watts suffered from multiple sclerosis. It hit her while she was witnessing to a friend. Her story shows how perseverance and the Word of God brought her miracle from this incurable disease. And it all happened in a church that did not believe in divine healing. Here is her story of faith>> What Does the Mature Bride Look Like?

God is Jehovah Rapha [The Lord our Healer]. Over and over again I’ve seen miracles of healing from my past, in our marriage and with our children––mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Here is my story of learning about faith and how to pray for family and friends: Because God is Jehovah-Rapha I Am Healed

What Current Afflictions Are Teaching Me

I’ve realized that my old habit of a performance mentality is not dead. Early in my marriage, I unknowingly felt I needed to work to gain God’s approval and was unable to see myself as God saw me. I’ve written about that in My Red Umbrella Story.

With all that needs to be done with a Web site and business/ministry, I’ve lately let that wrong attitude gain mastery in my life at the exclusion of other more important things.

Over these last few months, and without ‘my’ help, God has demonstrated that He doesn’t need my help (but he wants me and loves me). He has brought a 279% increase in traffic to my site with six times more organic browser searches. If I’d not been absolutely prevented from writing more posts and doing other ‘marketing’ things I would not have known that.

Immediately upon falling ill, I asked God, “How am I going to keep up with Pinterest?” When I read about Jesus turning the water into wine and the marriage feast, He spoke to my heart, “Just fill one jar, or one day, at a time with your pins and trust me to turn them into wine.” He’s doing that. And subscribers are still finding my free ecourse on this site––with the excerpts I’ve given you here.

I’ve determined not to make any more deadlines of my time with the Lord so I can “get on the computer.” I will not merely throw a kiss to Jesus from a distance, and I commit myself to spend more time with Him in His Word and in prayer.

I’ve repented and  made a quality decision to do only what He says when He says and how He says––having descended the mountain into the valley where other people are.

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Revelation 2:2-5 (NKJV)

“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot [b]bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.

“Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

May I Pray with You?

I’m closing with more Scriptures about affliction, but if you’d like me to pray with you, please hit reply or post a comment below.

Here are some additional helps you may enjoy:

Because God Is . . . I Am << this link is the booklet given away with the free ecourse of GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? You can get it now for only $.99 that makes it available at your fingertips on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and many more. It has additional healing Scriptures of Jehovah Rapha and eleven more Hebrew names of God that cover every area and need in life.

Eyes Wide Open << this link is the booklet given away with my periodic newsletter. It will help you know who Holy Spirit is, His benefits, and how you can know Him better and give you the power to live the Christian life. Same price; same reading apps.

lady in chair afflicted with text overlay of 4 things you should know about afflictions suffering and adversity

Scriptures about Afflictions:

Psalm 34:17-20 ESV

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Romans 8:18 ESV

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 5:3-4 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Psalm 119:71 ESV

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

James 5:11 ESV

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Romans 8:28 ESV

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

Psalm 22:24 ESV

For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

M8H Because God is Jehovah Rapha, I Am Healed

After working in Texas for a year where we experienced Jehovah Rapha to some extent, Jim discovered the church was in arrears the equivalent of his salary. We knew we had a decision to make. God had given us this promise:

During one year of having no job and living by faith, because we had No insurance, we learned to trust God as Jehovah Rapha. These stories and more can happen to you also, when you trust in the Lord's goodness and promises.“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”—Jeremiah 29:11-14

Maybe this was the time God would lead us back home, but where was home? It could be Oklahoma or Kansas. In obedience to God in doing the right thing for the church, Jim resigned. While I was typing his resignation, he received a phone call from an Oklahoma church to come in view of a call for pastor. After turning in the resignation, the church called back and withdrew its offer—due to lack of experience. Nevertheless, we could hear our Shepherd calling us further north.

In faith, we made arrangements to move, holding to another promise:

“So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’ declares the Lord. “I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile . . . I am with you and will save you,” declares the Lord . . . . “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds.”–Jeremiah 30:10-11, 17

Jehovah Rapha healthTwo weeks later, Jim received a phone call from Kansas, asking him to lead his sister and brother-in-law’s church services for three Sundays and two Wednesday evenings. It was an interim for the interim pastor position. At first, I thought I should stay behind with the children, but the Lord showed me Proverbs 24:27, “[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside, and get it ready for yourself in the field, and afterward build your house and establish a home” (Amplified).

My parents took Kurt and Francy and settled them in school while one-year-old Matthew stayed with us. After the month in Kansas, we traveled back to Texas to move.

Jehovah Rapha and our baby

That night, Matthew grew very irritable, pulled at his ears, and cried constantly. Jim and I prayed for him as we sat in the porch swing. I continued to rock him, and through my own tears, kept repeating the Word out loud, “By Your stripes, Lord Jesus, Matthew has been healed; You redeemed him from the curse of the law because You were made a curse for him on that tree.”

After what seemed forever, which was only about ten minutes, Matthew suddenly settled down and was his happy self again.  Jehovah Rapha had arrived. The same thing had happened with Matthew when he was about one week old. He was fussy, but I didn’t know why. I prayed for him all night long. Later, when examined by a doctor, he said, “This child’s ears burst at one time.” They had healed; he could always hear and never had any trouble with them again.

After moving to Kansas where Jim’s sister and family lived, Jim found a construction job. We still could not say, “We know where we have come from and where we are going.” We continued to seek the Lord’s guidance. When we thought maybe we should go into business and open a Christian bookstore, I was invited to a Successful Living home party where Christian books were the product. Wow! I thought. I’d never heard of this before.

Successful Living’s mission was to take the bookstore to the people, since only ten percent of Christians take the initiative to seek out a bookstore. I signed up as an independent dealer/ distributor, got my kit that contained a few books and put them on the shelf.

Jehovah Rapha and my friend Jack

Jehovah Rapha healingJumping ahead a few years when I was in full swing as a book distributor, Jack D. called me every once in awhile. I special ordered any book he desired. Paralyzed from his neck down with multiple sclerosis, he called me because I delivered to his house. Jack’s friends plastered Scriptures over every inch of ceiling and walls. He trusted God would raise him from his bed with complete healing.

Jack hired young people to care for him around the clock. Many read his inspirational books to him. His front door was left open so they could come and go unhindered. He had a couple televisions stolen from him, but Jack kept forgiving and influencing them for good. He was a joy to be around and his faith in God was unshakable. Friends picked him up for church, taking pains to see he got out of the house to worship His God.

I, for one, agreed with Jack, that God was going to heal him. I discovered a great book by Reginald Cherry, M.D., The Bible Cure. I just knew there would be something in there that would help Jack, if “I would just have enough faith.” Surprisingly to me, Jack said, “You know what spoke to me in that book? It was the chapter about ‘Facing the Ultimate Cure—Death and Beyond.’”

Within two months, Jack was dead. He died of cancer. I learned to try to look at the big picture, remembering God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine, and that we must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God—in a balanced approach. Jack left behind a legacy of faith and love to his unsaved daughters who had to take down every Scripture from the ceiling and walls. To those who worked for him, and to all who knew him—God would give the increase.

Jehovah Rapha and our son

 

Because of Jehovah Rapha, I am Healed: miracle stories that can also happen to you.

From this experience with Jack, I learned to pray about how to pray when confronted with a friend’s problem. At times, I’d forget, but I never felt it was wrong to believe for the miracle, just to keep in mind that God has His individualized pathway of healing for that person. My philosophy was tested when our son, Kurt, called six months after he married. “Mom, doctors say my aortic valve needs to be replaced.” I didn’t take him seriously; he was always joking about everything. But, he wasn’t this time.

I wanted to ask God for a creative divine miracle, but I stopped, and asked “Lord, how do you want me to pray for Kurt?”

Immediately, God spoke to my heart, if being able to replace an aortic valve with a new human valve is not a creative, divine miracle, I don’t know what one is.

Nine years later, Kurt called with the same message, “Mom, the doctor says my aortic valve needs to be replaced again; it’s worn out.”

“Lord, how do I pray for Kurt this time?” The reply: If a mechanical valve that’s been perfected in the last nine years is not a miracle, I don’t know what one is.

 

Kurt and his wife Davi had just moved to a city with a great heart hospital two miles from their home in Arkansas. Kurt came through surgery fine, but afterwards, his lungs did not readily operate. He was still on the ventilator three days after surgery. I called friends for backup prayer. At 4:00 a.m., I was telling Kurt about the prayer of authority my friend Jo prayed for him with me over the telephone—repeating her words, “We speak to these lungs, in the name of Jesus, to the fluid to be cleared; to the heart to heal.”

At just that moment, three nurses ran into the room, “What’s going on?” “Nothing, we were just praying,” I said.

“Then, why don’t you pray again.”

I continued to pray, claiming Matthew 18:19 that where two or three are gathered in His name, Jesus is in the midst, and repeating the prayer I’d just prayed.

The head nurse said, “Jehovah Rapha is here,” and then she admitted, “The monitor sounded. We are going to do an X-ray, and see what’s going on.” Another nurse told us about having her hearing restored through a new surgery. We had a praise meeting right there.

The X-ray revealed a wire may have been pulled out of place. The next morning, Kurt was off the ventilator and breathing on his own. Whether or not the wire had anything to do with the fluid, we don’t know, but Jehovah-Rapha was definitely there.

Jehovah Rapha and my past

Jehovah Rapha and GraceBacktracking a few years when Kurt was about twelve, Francy ten and Matthew five, their little brother Hank was born—right in the middle of income tax season while I was working for a CPA. He called me two weeks after the birth offering to pay for my sitter if I would come back to work. I could hardly stand it mentally and physically, but I did. After April 15, I was hired to stay on. One day, the accountant called me in to his office and said, “Ann, you are an air-head; one day you do great work, the next make mistakes. I’ve recommended you as secretary for my church.”

What did he expect from a new mother getting no sleep? Who does he think he is, pushing me off to his church so he can get rid of me? I was devastated.

About the same time, Kurt and Francy made comments to me, “Earth to mom! Earth to mom!”

I felt absolutely worthless, like I could never do anything right. Why did I have to be made this way? That’s when my eyes caught the title of a book on the shelf, Personality Plus, by Florence Littauer. She had read Tim LaHaye’s book, Spirit Controlled Temperament, about the four temperaments, which originated with Hippocrates four-hundred years before Christ was born.

Florence felt the author secretly knew her and her husband, and decided to do more research. The result is her book that describes the strengths and weaknesses of: The Sanguine (The Talker), the Melancholy (The Thinker), the Phlegmatic (The Watcher), and the Choleric (The Doer).

When I read that the Phlegmatic had her head in the clouds much of the time, I knew that was me. But, I also saw that one fourth of the population had to be just like me, and that this personality also had strengths. Slowly, I began to see that Jesus personified a perfect balance of all the temperaments, and that should be my goal, to trust Him to make my weaknesses His strengths, for He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Understanding the personalities not only helped build self-esteem, (or god-esteem), but helped me to understand my husband and children. We bought a camper so we could teach the kids while enjoying togetherness outdoors. When Francy discovered she scored just like me, she cried and said, “Mom, I don’t want to be like you!”

“Then don’t be content to be a watcher, get involved in your life,” I told her, and she did. She picked up a viola at a friend’s house, could play it, took private lessons, and was chosen for the Wichita Youth Symphony. She ran cross country in middle school and high school track meets and now competes several times a year in marathons—after having two sons of her own.

Even then, I did not realize how much more I needed to change to find healing from my past in order to help my marriage survive and to be the support my children would need in the years to come.

 

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Jehovah Rapha, our marriage and life

After about fifteen years of marriage and having learned to accentuate the positive rather than the negative, our marriage was still like a roller coaster ride. Things would go along just great, and then all of a sudden, the peace was sabotaged. Since first seeking the Lord together, marital intimacy seemed out of reach, again and again.

For three great years, I was secretary of that accountant’s church; then, finally eased into the inspirational book business/ministry, holding book parties and placing and servicing family reading centers in grocery stores. I was always on the look-out for a great selling book to put on my racks, when a whole case arrived on my doorstep that I hadn’t ordered—Love is a Choice, written by Christian psychologists, Hemflet, Minirith and Meier. The ordering distributor knew something I didn’t, so I began to order it. It sold out every time.

Jim discovered the book after our worst and almost fatal argument. We were at the bottom of a downward spiral. He went out to my storeroom filled with books on all four walls, picked up this book and read it through. “Ann, I want you to read this book, and we are going to discuss it chapter by chapter.”

“But, I’ve tried. I can’t get into it, and I don’t see how it applies to me, anyway!”

I was to learn it all applied to me; it applied to both of us in similar, yet different ways. Codependency is a word used traditionally to describe children of alcoholics who had not received nurturing and love in childhood. When they entered a marriage relationship, they were unable to give what they had not received. Their hearts were like half-filled love tanks, straining to borrow from their partner to replace what was missing. The couple sought happiness in the other person, not realizing it was something only God could fulfill. Alcoholism is not the only culprit; co-dependency, originating from abuse of children, can be passive in nature—from any lack of nurturing.

During an all-night “discussion,” my Choleric leader husband, with the Lord’s help, opened my eyes to be able to face my past, and to see how it was affecting me. I never talked. I didn’t know how to talk, struggling to express myself in any circumstance. On the other hand, Jim found it very easy to find words. At any confrontation I would leave, never facing anything head-on. Another book helped me see I was just as “guilty”—of anger. I was just holding it in, seeking to punish Jim by not talking to him. But, why did I have so much trouble with this?

My father never talked. At a family reunion late in his life, he spoke to the whole extended family, sharing how he, his twin brother and four other siblings were brought up to “be seen and not heard.” In a chapter he wrote when he was eighty-two years old, and published in a compilation book, His Forever: Stories of Real People Finding Jesus, he wrote, “‘You’ve got to smell like a man!’ These are some of the few words my father ever spoke to me.”[1]

And, so the cycle went. My parents were very loving. I was so blessed to have them as my parents; they taught me about God. Their priority was teaching children in Vacation Bible Schools, at summer camps, and in our church’s Girl’s Auxiliary. Mother taught the Bible to her junior high class faithfully. They overcame many things they lacked and both became published authors, yet both lacked nurturing themselves as children. Mother had thirty nannies after her mother died of Scarlet Fever. When I asked my father about a character in the novel he wrote, he admitted, “She never heard the words, I love you; that was me.”

Before learning all this from my father, I realized I had a self-esteem problem and that I didn’t like myself, and until I did, no one else would either. I made a list of things I had been too timid to do, or not allowed to do as a child. One by one, I did them with my children; simple things like going to the circus. I’d been too timid to raise my hand in third grade when asked if there was someone who had not yet performed a duty that would allow the class to go to the circus. I was the only one who couldn’t go.

Facing these things changed my life. Helping my father with his book and getting it published helped build our relationship. Since then, I’ve been able to relate to my Heavenly Father.

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Slowly, inch by inch, I’m still learning to confront in love, to be a helpmate rather than just a pleaser, [learned from another book: Pleasers] to face every situation, to talk to my husband and with my children and grandchildren. I’ve learned God created us (and instituted marriage), not to make us happy (only God can do that), but to make us holy. Healing is a life-long journey; life should be a healing journey leading to absolute wholeness.

[1] James Stuart Bell and Jeanette Gardner Littleton, His Forever: Stories of Real People Finding Jesus (Avon Massachusetts: Adams Media, 2006) pg. 175.

MAKING IN PERSONAL – JEHOVAH RAPHA

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M8F Forgive Because God is Jehovah Rapha

JESUS CAME TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR THE PRISONERS – FORGIVE

Greg Anderson, author of Cancer and the Lord’s Prayer, found that sin was at the root of his problem. In 1984, a nagging cough revealed lung cancer. His left lung was removed. Four months later, he was in the hospital again to have a lump removed from the base of his neck. The surgeon closed him up because the cancer had spread too far. Greg was given thirty days to live . . . until he learned to forgive.

Because of Jehovah Rapha forgive

In his youth, Greg was part of a family who prayed at meals, before bed and on Sundays. His church prayed for him; yet all he knew to pray was, “Our Father, which art in heaven.” End of prayer. With the help of his wife, Linda, Greg found people who had been healed of cancer. He wanted to know their secret. Time and again, they pointed to the “Lord’s Prayer” as their answer. He was instructed to pray it slowly and deliberately. He could not get past the part, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12).

Greg hated his father, and he now realized hate had put him in prison. “At one of the lowest points in my cancer journey, Linda helped me begin to understand how blaming both my earthly father and my heavenly Father, one for abuse and one for perceived abandonment, simply added to the suffering I was experiencing.”[1] Greg made a list of those he needed to forgive, with his dad and his verbal abuse at the top. In addition, he had to face one classmate in person, to bless him, before he was free.

Greg discovered that as he forgave he was forgiven. When he forgave is father, Greg felt he let go of toxic emotions and his attitude changed. Understanding his dad’s limited relationship abilities, he could now honestly bless his dad. Today, Greg is founder of Cancer Recovery Foundation. His message of hope and healing, through history’s greatest prayer, reaches more than five million patients and family members worldwide each year.

Greg learned there is no such thing as general forgiveness. God wants us to be specific— very specific. That means facing where we have come from.

Forgiveness, even specifically, seems out of the question for many individuals who have been sexually or mentally abused. They say, “I cannot forgive that person.” What they say is true. They cannot. Only God can and has already done that through the blood of Jesus Christ, His only Son who died for that person’s sin.

Joan Hunter, with a healing ministry, has led the way for thousands to be able to separate the sin from the sinner. She deals with issues of the heart, instructing to “put that person’s SIN on the cross and then forgive”; that Jesus is the only One who can forgive sin. This brings healing and freedom.

Denise’s decision to forgive brings healing

Forgive and look to Jehovah Rapha alone

Denise’s healing arrived when she faced her abusive past, a past she did not know she had. Before her healing and feeling up to adopting a baby, she battled severe stomach problems. She had trouble breathing because of acid, reflux-type problems. All she wanted was for the “doctors to fix me!” Every time she visited one, she was placed on a new drug that led to anxiety attacks and other problems. She was hypersensitive to everything; on steroids for a year-and-a-half that caused emotional oversensitivity; so then she cried all the time and was given an antidepressant. It made her feel like she was climbing out of her skin. She finally realized drugs were only making things worse.

“Okay Lord, I will obey you and look to You alone,” Denise committed to quit looking at her circumstances, which only led to being a hypochondriac and obsessed with what was going on inside her body.

She began by reading books about spiritual warfare and spiritual healing. She realized how the television shows and bad movies she and Joe were watching opened themselves up to spiritual attack—disturbing their peace. Joe did not know what to do with her in this state, so every night after work she went to her room to read. At bedtime, she slept in her chair—still feeling like acid was in the top of her head.

One book led to another until Freeing Your Mind from Memories that Bind, by Fred and Florence Littauer, and Lord, I Want to be Whole, by Stormie Omartian, gave more answers— answers the Lord alone gave her. An incident of unauthorized touching, which happened at a friend’s house, gave her flash backs of sexual molestation when she was a child. Men had always been predators to her, but after facing this past event, healing came quickly, if not immediately.

This flash back led to another—a head injury. She wondered, are there other lies I believe? She called her brother Tom to find out, “Hello Tom, do you remember our being in a car accident and in an ambulance?”

“I thought you’d never remember that. I was nine years old and you were four. Mother and our step-dad were in the car, drunk. He was accusing her of cheating on him. He said, ‘I’m going to kill your baby.’ He sped up, driving crazy, hit a semi head-on. Denise, you were the only one really hurt. You went through the windshield and spent two days in the hospital. There were other accidents, but this was the worse.”

“I’ve had a flash back of a large knot in the middle of my forehead, that’s all.”

“A lady at the hospital was very mad at mom because she was drunk. She told her this had better not happen again!”

Forgive and be free

Forgive and be free! Read how Greg was healed of stage 4 cancer with history's greatest prayer, and how Denise was healed by facing her past. There is hope!

Before this, Denise grieved for her mother all the time—captive to her rose-colored memory. From the time she was sixteen, she knew her mother was not everything she should have been, but now she was free. She was free to break that generational curse and determined not to make the same mistakes her mother made. She would never shove things under the rug to never deal with them and move on like nothing happened—like her mother did. She would raise her children to know God and teach them His ways; she would forgive.

During this time of seeking God, Denise was given three dreams revealing different stages of her healing. Two angels showed her a mirror that reflected her back. It held three ulcerated sores on it. They turned her around and waved their hands on her back, turned her around again so she could view it, and said, “See, you are all healed.”

Later, Denise had another dream, more like a nightmare. A mask was being pulled from her face, and then it was forced back on, bringing shackles with it. She said, “No, I will not go there again!” She knew then, that she truly was healed, and the things that had blocked her from relationships, especially with her husband, were all gone.

The only thing that upsets Denise now is when she is agonizing over someone else who does not know God’s amazing grace, “I’ve been freed from a lot of baggage, things I didn’t even know I had. People are living like they are asleep, living life unaware. God doesn’t want us to live life asleep, just going through the motions. He says we are to be alert and aware. The enemy is prowling like a lion seeking whom he may devour. If we are carrying all this baggage, we are blind. How then can we be aware?”

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[1] Greg Anderson, Cancer and the Lord’s Prayer: Hope and Healing through History’s Greatest Prayer, (Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith Books, 2006) p. 55. For more information, visit his Website at www.CancerRecovery.org

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M8C Story of Job & Jehovah Rapha

“Why God, Why Me?”

Job lived in the land of Uz with his wife, seven sons and three daughters. He was a righteous man, who was blameless, honored God and shunned evil. He was blessed by God with material wealth: seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and a large number of servants.

One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?”

Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”

God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”

Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him and his family or his possessions, bless everything he does— he can’t lose!

“But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”

God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.—Job 1:6-12 The Message

Sometime later, Job’s livestock were attacked and stolen; his ten children died in a tornado, all in the same day. “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:20-22).

Jehovah Rapha, story of Job

Job was tested a second time

On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

So Satan went from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.—Job 2:1-10 NIV

Job had three ‘friends’ who heard about all his calamities:

Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar went to visit Job to console him. When they saw him they could hardly believe what they saw and cried, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. They sat with Job for seven days and nights without saying a word—speechless at viewing his suffering. Things would have been great if they had just wept with Job and told him how much they loved him, prayed with him and left. Instead, they each, in two rounds, and for most of the forty-two chapters in Job, spouted their eloquent wisdom from their own experiences, what they believed to be true of how and why God was dealing with him.

Eliphaz was sure Job had to have sinned for all this to have happened, “Think! Has a truly innocent person ever ended up on the scrap heap?” (Job 4:7 Msg). Sin had to be the blame.

Bildad was sure Job’s children had sinned. “It’s plain that your children sinned against him—otherwise, why would God have punished them? . . . There’s no way that God will reject a good person, and there’s no way he’ll help a bad one” (Job 8:4, 20 Msg). He told Job what to do: to get down on his knees before Almighty God before it was too late so God would come running. “Even though you’re not much right now, you’ll end up better than ever” (Job 8:18 Msg).

Zophar agreed with Eliphaz—Job had sinned. “You claim, ‘My doctrine is sound and my conduct impeccable.’ How I wish God would give you a piece of his mind, tell you what’s what! I wish he’d show you how wisdom looks from the inside, for true wisdom is mostly ‘inside.’ But you can be sure of this, you haven’t gotten half of what you deserve” (Job 11:4-6 Msg).

Job’s Divine Revelation

Job s divine revelationAmong Job’s well-meaning friends’ ascertains, Job stands by his innocence, and with divine revelation of the coming resurrection of the body and soul from hell, he says, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another” (Job 19:25-26).

Before this revelation, Job had become so completely worn out with his friends’ visit that he cursed the day he was born. “So why did you have me born? I wish no one had ever laid eyes on me! I wish I’d never lived—a stillborn, buried without ever having breathed” (Job 10:18 Msg).

Possibly, Job’s friends served their purpose, for Job made a desperate and wise decision, “I’m taking my case straight to God Almighty, I’ve had it with you—I’m going directly to God. You graffiti my life with lies. You’re a bunch of pompous quacks! I wish you’d shut your mouths—silence is your only claim to wisdom” (Job 13:3-5 Msg). Job went before God with a lengthy complaint, starting with:

“Please God, I have two requests;

Grant them so I’ll know I count with you:

First, lay off the afflictions;

The terror is too much for me.

Second, address me directly so I can answer you,  Or let me speak and then you answer me.

How many sins have been charged against me?

Show me the list—how bad is it?

Why do you stay hidden and silent?

Why treat me like I’m your enemy?

Why kick me around like an old tin can?

Why beat a dead horse?”—Job 13:20-25 The Message

God answered Job out of the eye of a storm:

“Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?

Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?” (40:8 Msg emphasis added).

God then gave Job a lengthy accounting of all his creations in the sky above and the earth beneath, asking Job if he could stand up to them. He said, “I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you—you can surely save yourself with no help from me!” (40:14 Msg). He addressed Job’s cursing the day he was born by saying, “Look at the land beast, Behemoth. I created him as well as you” (40:15 Msg).

When the Lord finished speaking, Job replied, “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head” (42:1-3 Msg).

The purpose of all suffering

Purpose of suffering of JobThe Lord had asked Job to listen and give Him the answers. Listen closely to Job’s reply, for this is the purpose of all suffering: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Job went directly to the Lord, whereas before, his worship had been merely in the sacrificing of animals. He asked, he listened, and he heard. God answered, and spoke directly to Job’s need, at the point of his obedience—through repentance.

Job found that God did not have a list of offenses against him, but his only offense was his complaints against God during the suffering. He knew God had to have had a purpose, and now he knew what it was: “I admit I once lived by rumors of you, now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!” (Job 42:5 Msg).

Next, God spoke His displeasure to Job’s friends, “You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:8). God told them He wanted Job to pray for them. Do you think God was trying to make a point with Job’s friends—that they should have prayed, leaving the situation in His hands?

Job is restored double

God blessed Job again by restoring double what he had before. He was healed in all four areas—physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. With the same wife, who hopefully had a change of heart, he had seven more sons and three more daughters.

This time, the daughters’ names are recorded, saying they were the most beautiful in all the land, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. Spiritually speaking, this is huge: Job was granted the heart of God by seeing his daughters through God’s eyes, as equal in the kingdom, with the same spiritual inheritance. Job lived another hundred and forty years, seeing his children to the fourth generation.

The Bible does not clearly say when God healed Job. When God first began speaking with him, He said, “Now gird up your loins like a man” (Job 38:3). The Message says, “Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall!” Possibly Job was healed in response to God’s Word; maybe after he prayed for his friends. Whenever it happened, Job experienced the healing power of Jehovah-Rapha.

Job experienced the crossing of the Jordan in a spiritual sense. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, defines the Hebrew word for Jordan as yarden (yar-dane), meaning “a descender.” Its primitive root word is yarad (yaw-rad), which literally means “to go downwards”—[also: to bring down; to cast down; to go down; going down; to take down, etc.] Crossing the Jordan means stepping down. It means humility—putting self on the altar so God can work.

Crossing the Jordan also means getting to the other side, to overcome—healing in all four areas of our lives. Job overcame from the inside-out, whereas Janice experienced healing from the outside-in: Job, an obedient believer; Janice (from previous post), not knowing what she believed. The result for both was the same—first-hand, experiential knowledge of God.

Are We Willing to Suffer in Order to Overcome?

Job may have never known the behind-the-scenes scenario of satan’s requests before God, but we have no excuse to be ignorant. We have the rest of the story and must take heed. It was Job’s obedience that caught satan’s attention, as well as God’s. God even initiated the conversation with satan about Job’s righteousness saying, “There is no one on earth like him” (Job 1:8). We must ask ourselves if we are willing to suffer in overcoming, or to be humiliated for the Lord’s sake.

If we are to experience God as Jehovah-Rapha, the Healer, we need to be willing to pay the price of discipleship in order to know Him. We must expect to be tested with bitter waters for a season, trusting they will be made sweet, with this assurance in our heart:

“If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail” (Isa. 54:15-17).

M8B The Destroyer vs. The Healer

THE DESTROYER

One thing is for sure; we will never understand who the Healer is without knowing who the destroyer is. The Lord very graphically demonstrated this to the children of Israel, and therefore, to us. Numbers 21:5 records a different time than the Deuteronomy account when the people complained against Moses saying, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Because of their sin in complaining against God’s servant, God sent venomous snakes among them. The snakes bit them and many died. “The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people” (Num. 21:7).

To LOOK at the Bronze-Serpent  Destroyer Was the Same as LOOKing to Jesus Who Heals

The Bronze Serpent DestroyerThe Lord told Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and live. We know that the “. . . ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, [who] leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Rev. 12:9). All the children of Israel had to do for healing was to look at the bronze serpent Moses made, and they were healed. Jesus himself told us, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

With eternal life, or salvation, comes healing of soul and body. Jesus, the bronze serpent, overcame what the ancient serpent brought into the world—sin and disease. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). In our looking back, He paid the price for us, just as He paid the price for those who were healed in the desert, as they looked forward.

A few years ago, a certain woman found herself viewing all the poverty and suffering in the world and was overcome by it. She asked the Lord, “Why has all this happened?”

She immediately saw herself, in her mind’s eye, in the Garden of Eden. The Lord spoke to her heart, “This was my plan.”

She realized that is why Jesus had to come, to overturn the deceiving, rebellious, spirit of satan and sin on mankind. (His name is not worth capitalizing.) She remembered what the Bible said about satan, that he was a created angel of God, and that he rebelled against God; He thought he was as good as God and should be God:

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.—Isaiah 14:12-15

Satan was cast out of heaven, and a third of the angels followed him (see Rev. 12:4-9). He is called the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4) and the “. . . ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Eph. 2:2). He and his demons, or evil spirits, blind the eyes of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel. Therefore, we are caught in the middle of an ever-growing spiritual battle between God and satan, until satan will be eventually hurled into the bottomless pit at the end of the age:

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore . . . .—Revelation 20:1-3

Caught Between the One Who Heals and the Destroyer

Destroyer vs HealerSo, where does all this leave us? Caught in the middle, for a season, that is us. That means suffering, and putting up with adversity. It means fighting; it means choosing sides, whether we know we are choosing or not. Those who choose God and His ways will go to heaven to be with Jesus and his angels. Those who turn away from God and His ways are choosing satan’s ways, and will go to hell to be with him and his demons. This is true reality. Many try to rationalize away the reality of hell, even some pastors, but it is a very real place. Because hell is real, heaven is real; heaven cannot be real if hell is not real!

The Bible warns of hell repeatedly. The KJV mentions hell fifty-four times, thirty-one times in the O.T. and twenty-three times in the N.T. The NASB and NIV do not use the word hell, in the O.T., but Sheol, or the grave, as in Psalm 86:13, “Thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol” (NASB). Sheol is mentioned nine times in the book of Job alone.

Very simply, Sheol is a Hebrew word meaning the “place of the dead.”[1] “The Hebrew Scriptures do not focus too much emphasis on the condition or destiny of the souls of men until the resurrection. The development of that theme is left for the N.T. and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”[2]

In fifteen of the twenty-three times in the N.T. hell is mentioned, Jesus himself forewarns of this reality. He says things, such as: “I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:5). Satan is taking as many as he can deceive with him, for truly he comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17 KJV).

All satan’s tactics accuse the saints before God both day and night (see Rev. 12:10) and cause eventual suffering, even though he presents himself as an angel of light (see 2 Cor. 11:14). Many books are written about the dilemma of being caught in the middle—each trying to explain the purpose of suffering, and why bad things happen to good people, when the bottom line is that satan is just doing his thing. We are going directly to God’s Word for insight to this dilemma, in a book of the O.T. to find what God told Job, who suffered probably more than any man of all time. He asked the same question we do:


[1] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 1990) p. 1778.

[2] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1779

M8A Born with Half a Liver: Jehovah Rapha Heals

“If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” —Exodus 15:26

prayer heals

Janice was seventeen years old when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. There was just one major problem. “Young Lady, I’m afraid you will never be able to take your baby home. She has only half a liver and will live only a couple days,” the doctor told her.

That evening, Janice went into the hallway to search for a telephone. Suddenly, a very large black woman appeared at her side. “Are you the mother of that precious little baby girl in the nursery?”

“Yes, I am.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m calling my sister to pray with me about my baby.”

With her sister listening on the other end, the woman began to pray as Janice held the phone. As the lady prayed, a warm feeling came over Janice and she knew in her heart her baby was healed. When the prayer ended, Janice said good-bye to her sister and hung up the phone. When she turned around, the lady was gone.

The next morning, Janice picked up the little clothes she had brought to the hospital, and walked into the nursery to dress her baby to take her home. The doctor was very ugly with her and refused to let her touch her own baby. Janice marvels today that, as a teenager, she had the foresight to insist on having another X-ray taken. The doctor consented to do so only after much persuasion, but called in another doctor to order it.

The second, a female doctor, returned shortly, and with tears in her eyes said, “Your little girl is totally healed! You may take your baby home.”

“There was a big, black lady in the hallway last night who prayed for my baby. I want to thank her. Do you know who she was? She looked like a nurse,” Janice replied.

“No, we have no one working here by that description.”

Today, that little baby girl, Geanene, is married and has two children of her own.

Jehovah Rapha, God who heals

Three days after the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea they had no water. They came to a stream where the water was bitter. The Lord showed Moses a tree. He threw it into the water, which healed it and made it sweet. They called this place “Marah,” meaning bitter, for here Scripture says they were “tested,” the same root Hebrew word used when Abraham was tested with Isaac.

It was at Marah the Lord gave Moses and the people a statute: “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exod. 15:26 NASB).

This is where we get the Hebrew word for God as healer—Jehovah-Rapha. He lays down this very basic regulation, or formal decree, that obedience goes hand in hand with health and healing, and that He is the healer. This verse says the same thing as Deuteronomy 28:1-14, that if we will obey God, we will be blessed; and verses15-68 say if we do not honor God with our lives, calamities of all types will come upon us. In other words, sin opens the door for the enemy to bring real problems.

His Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways

Jehovah Rapha Heals Ways are higherHowever, not very far into the Christian life, we find things are not always this simple. Sin is not always the reason for troubles or lack of health. We discover early that there are no simple answers to complex situations, and that we cannot put God in a box and find out why He does certain things —why He deals with us and other people as He does. He is God and He alone. There is no faith-method to make Him do what we want Him to do when we want Him to do it. He can heal whomever, whenever and however He desires, and at times, no matter the faith involved, healing seems to evade. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautiful top-side pattern and design of the quilt, whereas we see only the knotted, frayed underneath side.

The story of the healing of Janice’s daughter had nothing to do with Janice’s obedience, for she was not even a Christian. She had been raised in a very strict rule-oriented “religious” environment, but she never saw any love in it. She learned her mother was a Christian only after her mother died; her mother’s life consisted in surviving with an alcoholic husband. Unfortunately and understandably, Janice allowed immature Christians, who were unable to love, to keep her from being readily able to accept the love of God.

Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, gives a basic statute to give heed to his voice and obey Him. Janice's baby girl was given a death sentence at birth.

After the birth of her baby, and with God’s guidance, Janice was able to free herself from her husband who had tried to drown her shortly before. One child was already at home. A number of years later, she met David who conveyed love to her and adopted her children. They bought a mobile home together in which they both became Christians. Would Janice have given her heart to the Lord if He had not stepped in to perform this miracle? Only God knows.

Years later, a co-worker gave Janice a black angel holding a baby up high in her arms. Janice put it on her desk and told her story to every one who asked about the angel, and many did, because Janice was not black. Did God heal baby Geanene so He could get the glory from it when Janice told the story? God knows.

Maybe He wanted to show that He is the Healer. Did He heal Geanene because He had a special plan for her life, as He does for each one He created? Geanene knows. At every opportunity she says, “I am a miracle!”

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A seventeen year old young lady's incredible angel story of healing.