This is the second part of a three part blog series, where I share how my father’s sickness impacted my childhood, and how God used my experiences to call me into a healing ministry…
In my previous blog post I told the story of the day my father died.
No Wheelchairs in Heaven!
Fast forward a few years to a time when I had accepted Jesus Christ into my life. I was attending a christian healing school, because I wanted to learn everything that I could about healing. All of us who were taking part in the training school were encouraged to check our hearts for old wounds caused by our parents – and then to forgive, to let go of any hurts, judgements or bitterness that we had held onto, and symbolically visualise bringing our parents to the cross of Jesus Christ. Making a conscious decision to leave our parents there at the cross, in God’s hands, we were choosing not to hold anything against them in future.
Forgiveness was straightforward for me, as I had already forgiven both my parents for things they had done that had caused me pain in my life. However, when I visualised bringing my Dad before the cross of Jesus, I felt this conflict going on in my spirit. In my visualisation, my Dad was approaching the cross in his wheelchair, just as I remembered him in the final years of his life on earth. It was easy to have peace about leaving my Dad in God’s merciful care. I believed that he was already with God in heaven, and I was relieved that his suffering was over. But standing there before the cross with my Dad, I had this momentous question clamouring inside my head. What would happen with the wheelchair?
The only way this made any sense in my visualisation, was for my Dad to get out of his wheelchair and walk into the presence of God in full health and strength, completely healed and made whole. At the cross of Jesus Christ, in His presence, I knew there was no room for the wheelchair; wheelchairs don’t exist in heaven! The wheelchair must disappear! The strength of feeling I had about this took me by surprise.
The Story of John G. Lake
At this time in my life, I was training to work in the Healing Rooms, and I started to doubt myself, to doubt my motives for wanting to help others to receive healing. Could my desire to see the sick healed by Jesus be a sign of my own unresolved grief over the loss of my father?
One of the healing school leaders was able to not only reassure me, but to speak some words of life to me that day that have remained with me; it was a pivotal moment in my journey of faith. She told me something of John G. Lake’s story; she told me how this man of great faith was compelled to learn all he could about the healing power of Jesus, as a result of the trail of sickness that he experienced in his own family.
“Before my knowledge and experience of the Lord as our Healer, we buried eight members of the family. A strange train of sicknesses, resulting in death, had followed the family. For 32 years some member of our family was an invalid. During this long period, our home was never without the shadow of sickness.
As I think back over my boyhood and young manhood, there comes to mind remembrances like a nightmare: sickness, doctors, nurses, hospitals, hearses, funerals, graveyards, and tombstones; a sorrowing household; a brokenhearted mother and grief stricken father, struggling to forget the sorrows of the past, in order to assist the living members of the family who needed their love and care.”
– John G Lake
Given all that happened in his family, I think John G Lake could be excused for abandoning hope that God heals, but instead he pursued Jesus the Healer with everything he possessed, going to Africa as a missionary and opening up the Healing Rooms in Spokane, Washington, USA, where more than 100,000 confirmed healings occurred in the space of only five or six years. The Healing Rooms became so successful that Spokane became known as the “healthiest city in America.”
Hearing John G Lake’s story was an inspiration to me to always pursue the healing power of Jesus, no matter how difficult the circumstances, even when faced with seemingly impossible odds.
And when I come face to face with the cross of Jesus Christ, when I contemplate how He died and rose again, my doubts are washed away in waves of His love. I believe that His will is to bring hope and healing, and that all things are possible through Him.
Part three to follow…