Jesus answered, “It is not this man’s sin or his parents’ sin that made him blind. This man was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him. John 9:3 (NCV)
More than 25 years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The disease ravaged his body, destroying his lungs and eating his spine making walking and impossibility. The doctors eventually gave him only a few weeks to live. They told my mother-in-law to take him home so that he could die.
During the months before, while the disease was growing more and more out of control, friends and relatives rejected my husband’s family, leaving them alone to fend for themselves during this trying time. My father-in-law had been a hardworking teacher, starting a school in his village. He was also well known in the community as the presenter of the Hindu dramas during celebration festivals. As he got sicker, my mother-in-law, choosing not to abandon him, had to support her family of seven on her meager teacher’s salary all the while seeking the gods for answers and yearning for her husband to be healed.
In India, when a man (or woman or child) is afflicted by an infirmity, either from birth or as the result of an accident or illness, it is believed that the infirmity is the manifestation of sin in that person’s life. The sin may have been committed during his current life, in his childhood or young adult years; or that person may have committed a great sin in a past life.
Whatever the case, he is judged by others in and around his life and is no longer deemed unworthy to live in the community. The afflicted is often rejected from his home and turned out into the street, forced into exile in order to pay for his sin. He would most likely lose his job, forcing him to beg from people who would rather see him dead than help him regain his life. He is required to suffer the day to day torments of his infirmity in order to redeem and purify himself of the offensive sin.
It is believed that only through this process of suffering and eventual death sufficient atonement will take place and allow that person to be set free to enter into a more peaceful existence in the next life.
Fortunately, Christ has a different plan for redemption. He gives life. He gives hope. And, He gives healing…
One evening, a friend invited my mother-in-law to a prayer meeting at her church. The pastor gave a word of knowledge during the service about a woman who had a dying husband. The word encouraged her to come to the altar to lay her life down at the foot of the Cross and offered her the hope of Jesus the Healer. In time, she led her husband and children to the Lord.
Every day, the family began praying for healing in Jesus’ name, believing in the Living God who heals. And sure enough, my father-in-law became healthier and healthier.
In two months’ time, rather than succumbing to the death sentence given by the doctors, he grew stronger and stronger. By six months, he regained feeling in his legs. And a year later, he walked to visit the doctors who had doomed him to death.
As he regained his health, the people who had abandoned him were amazed. They couldn’t understand how he could come back from the grave. They knew it was miraculous and thought they might be able to benefit from what they thought was the favor of the gods.
My father-in-law spoke out: These many months that I lay dying I sought the help of your gods. Not one of your gods helped me. But then I met the True Living God. Not only did He help me, He healed me and brought me back to life. From now on, I will only worship Him; I will live only for Him.
My husband’s family began going into the surrounding villages, preaching the Gospel to the people, sharing God’s love, grace, and mercy to the men, women, and children who were willing to listen. Thousands of people, who had never heard the name of Jesus, have been introduced to Christ and nurtured by their Creator as a result of this healing miracle. His glory and power is still being shown through my father-in-law’s testimony and his life even today.
Jesus has paid the price for healing and He wants the health of heaven here on earth. He wants to demonstrate His glory and power to everyone. Healing may be immediate, like the blind man, healing may take place over time, like my father-in-law, or healing may be made perfect in eternity. Regardless of the way healing takes place, the witnessing of miracles brings hope and opens hearts to the Kingdom of God. All we have to do it put our trust in Him and He will walk with us, support us, provide for our needs, and love us to life.
Yesappa, I ask for healing miracles in lives as people read this testimony of Your goodness and of Your healing power in Jesus’ name. I ask for infirmities to be lifted off of hearts, minds, and bodies in Jesus’ names. I ask for You to remove aches and pains in Jesus’ name. I ask for You to cure incurable disease in Jesus’ name. I ask for You to repair damage from accidents in Jesus’ name. I ask for You to make well all those suffering from winter illness in Jesus’ name. Thank you in advance for Your healing touch today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.