Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for me. (Ps 66: 16)
It was the Divine Mercy hour. Wednesday of the Holy Week of 2011, 20th April. I was with Shalom TVâ€™s â€œDivine Mercy Prayersâ€ and later with â€œVachana Deepthiâ€ from Divine Retreat Centre. I had spent the morning preparing for the Good Friday Service with some special devotions and hymns. At 3.35 pm and here comes a gripping pain in the centre of my chest. I thought the pain would decrease and vanish and so continued listening to Vachana Deepthi. But soon, the pain was increasing in intensity and the area of pain was slowly growing larger in the thoracic area. I was all alone at home, but with the Lord by my side.
My first response was to praise and thank the Lord for this predicament in keeping with Psalm 34:1 and Ephesians 5:20, which say, â€œI will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouthâ€â€¦ â€œgiving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christâ€. As I worshipped, I asked the Lord, as to how to handle thisâ€¦ and without any delay, the answer came in a counter question â€“ â€œWhat will you do or tell someone else who has this problem?â€ Immediately, it flashed upon that â€œinward eyeâ€ that I normally speak the Word of God to such people, to edify them and give them confidence to appropriate the promises of our covenant-keeping God. Isaiah 55: 11 and Psalm 89: 34 came to my mind and I vocalized them in prayer. I received my answer as promised in Psalm 50:15, â€œCall on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.â€ (Jeremiah 33:3).
Having received the Divine Counsel, I began speaking the Word of God to myself beginning with – â€œJohnson, do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in meâ€. (John 14:1)â€¦ Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)â€¦ I am the LORD who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)â€¦ You shall worship the LORD your God â€¦ and I will take sickness away from among you (Exodus 23: 25)â€¦ The LORD will turn away from you every illnessâ€¦ (Deuteronomy 7: 15) and I also began to pray (not say or recite) Psalm 91, with great focus on Verses 1-3; 9-10; and 14-16.Â Psalm 103:1-5 and Psalm 23:4 were also greatly consoling and comforting. I was confident of the Lordâ€™s mercy, protection and healing because my prayer was as our Saviour Jesus Christ taught us in Mark 11:24. â€œSo I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.â€
Meanwhile, I had called my elder brother residing nearby and had asked him to take me to a nearby hospital which he did, in less than five minutes. At the hospital, the doctors gave me certain first aid medicines and injections after assessing that I was going through a heart attack and rushed me to the Cardiac ICU. Even as the staff were connecting me to various cables and leads, I was experiencing the healing touch of our Lord Jesus Christ and His ever-abiding covenant promises, which are â€œliving and activeâ€ (Hebrews 4:12), because the author Himself is alive â€œwith us always, to the end of the ageâ€ (Mathew 28:20), for He is our â€œImmanuelâ€ (Mathew 1:23) and â€œJesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and foreverâ€ (Hebrews 13:8). And if He cured â€œallâ€ who were sick and cured â€œeveryâ€ disease and â€œeveryâ€ sickness (Mt 4:23-24; 8:16-17; 9:35) to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah 53:4 (1Pet 2:24), then He will heal me too, for He does not show partiality (Acts 10: 34; Rom 2: 11). The Chief Cardiologist evaluated me and gave his opinion that I look normal and apparently there was some â€œnatural canalizationâ€ of the blocked arteries, but nevertheless, there is a need for better evaluation. Praise the Lord ! Yes indeed ! He sent His Word and healed me and delivered me from destructionâ€¦ (Psalm 107:20).
Soon I was shifted to another hospital for better evaluation and treatment, but I kept saying that all is well with me because I felt so and was convinced that the Divine Doctor Jesus Christ was in control. However, I landed up in the new specialist hospital and many tests were done and after four days they gave their verdict : â€œThere are no risk factors for the patient â€“ no hypertension, no diabetes, non-smoker, non-alcoholic, no stress, not quick-tempered, but the few blocks in the arteries indicate â€˜triple vessel diseaseâ€™. However, the patient is active and is asymptomatic of a heart attack or even the blocks.â€ Why look at the storm, when you can focus on the Creator and Sovereign Lord? â€œTrust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.â€ (Proverbs 3:5-8). They even asked me as to how this heart attack could have taken place â€“ it is mysterious ! And I answered them that just as its occurrence is mysterious to you, you will see that the recovery will be miraculous, for my Lord Jesus Christ had said so.
Throughout my stay in both the hospitals, I was flooding myself with the Word of God and drenching myself in the power of God and the Lord took me to His promises in Exodus 14: 13-14, which I paraphrased â€” â€œJohnson, do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the sickness (Egyptians) that you see today you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.â€ On the day I received these promises, my prayerful wife, a woman of great faith, came upto me and said that while praying, she received the instructions as in 1Corinthians 16:13, which says, â€œKeep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.â€ That was confirmation enough from the Lord that the purposes of His finished work on the cross was manifested in me for the greater glory of Godâ€¦By His stripes, I am healed ! Praise the Lord ! â€œDid I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God ?â€ (John 11: 40)â€¦ he was sick (born blind) so that Godâ€™s works might be revealed in himâ€. (John 9: 3).
The Lord was using this incident to increase my faith, to improve my prayer life and to move me to greater levels of service in His Kingdom, which began even as I was in the ICUâ€¦ â€œHe removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit He prunes to make it bear more fruit.â€ (John 15:2). I used my time to share the Good News to the fellow-patients and all those who believed went home unscathed and healed by the Blood of Jesus, because â€“ â€œAll things can be done for the one who believes.â€ (Mark 9:23). He is the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for Him ? (Jeremiah 32: 27).
I am now back at home with greater zeal for the Lord and doing all my routine work better than before, in all humility and total submission to the Lord, bringing to fulfillment Romans 8:28 – â€œWe know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.â€
– – – written byÂ M.L. JOHNSON, CHENNAI