I found myself thinking about one of Pastor Benny Hinn's crusades that took place years ago. It was one in which it was revealed that he suffered from an illness which had plagued him for years. A few months ago, I heard Pastor Paula White talk about how her husband lay seriously ill in bed but she would go out and minister to the sick and they would recover! I wish I could say that these stories blew my mind but they didn't. What they did was send me into a state of utter confusion. I mean, how do I reconcile myself to the fact that God is a healing God yet, his ministers are plagued by sickness?
I did not ask God simply because I did not think there could be an answer to justify this. In the midst of all these, God had delivered me from some situations. So, was God being partial? If anyone needed him to act on their behalf, surely it would be his ministers and not me! As I drew nearer to God, other situations then took a turn for the worse. Waking up in pain, going through the day in pain and sleepless nights as a result of pain had become the norm. I know that my bible states that by the stripes that wounded Jesus I WAS healed. However, it seemed that the nearer I drew to God, the more ailments plagued me.
My life turned into a research laboratory: maybe I just did not have enough faith or I had unconfessed sin. Maybe I was not walking in love, maybe I did not... or maybe I did... After confessing and professing, clearing out and cleaning out my christian closet, the situation, dare I say did not get better. What on earth was happening here?
At last, the right question! What was happening was that I had made a decision to serve God faithfully and the devil was having none of it! It was time to distract me from my pursuit of God. Let's be real: in the book of Job, all the afflictions did not get to him until the devil got to attack his flesh literally. Yes, he had lost children and property and his business became a stock-broker's nightmare but the greatest pain was when his body was inflicted with sores. My point: when my situation took it's toll on my flesh, it became a different ball game. I remembered what I had been delivered from and realised that it was just the next weapon on the devil's program of unfulfilled purpose. I concluded: "You either play ball or you'll be played"! If Pastors Benny and Paula could endure what they did and still serve God, there is certainly much more to the story than meets the eye.
So, I made a decision to concentrate my efforts on my relationship with God and ignore the devil. I prayed and asked for just one thing: "Father, I ask for grace to endure whatever I need to go through." Operation 'In-all-things-give-thanks' went into action! Everytime an ailment got worse or a new one emerged, I would simply say, "Even in this situation, I thank you Lord. This too will pass." Whenever it took a turn for the worse, it was a signal for more praise! It's been a long haul and recently, one day I woke up from some terrible nightmares and without really thinking about it, I shouted, "Satan, get lost! This lady's not for turning! I am under the blood! I am covered by the blood!"
If you're wondering how I am, I can confidently say - "All is well because my God is still on the throne!". This is my share of Christ's suffering and yes, I still believe that by his stripes, I WAS healed and this word will not return to him void because the Word says so! My confessions will never cease. I have a race to run and a course to finish and no devil is going to derail me. God's plans for me are much bigger than whatever the devil will throw at me. The Lord is a shield for me, my glory and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3). I have come too far to give up now; this lady's not for turning! Till next week, keep on walking in Christ.
P.S. Home computer down with a virus! Had to write this on my mobile phone and could not check to see the final layout! My apologies for any errors or if this turned out to be the length of a book!
Funmi Akinmade (Lahyorz)