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How God Heals

July 25, 2019

Wally Latham, a real life friend and colleague from both my Asbury and Emory Universities days, is also known more formally as The Rev. Dr. Warren Latham. His faith, his writing, and his willingness to live with unanswered questions are all reasons I continually commend him to you. So with his gracious permission, here’s something he recently wrote —

A mission team from the Due West UMC was working primarily with the Valle Dorado UMC de Venezuela doing hot, backbreaking construction work. But they also planned and conducted children’s and youth activities in the afternoon and evening. It was one of the few times we had a team in Venezuela and I was not there for at least part of the time.

Late in the day a teenage Venezuelan girl we had known since a child was up on a ladder hanging decorations for the evening’s celebration. She fell off the ladder and severely injured her foot. She was taken to the hospital and an X-ray revealed a heel that had been crushed. The bones looked like a jigsaw puzzle. They sent her home and instructed her to come back in the morning for further examination and probably surgery.

Instead of going home, she went back to the church. The pastors, congregation and mission team laid hands on her and prayed for her healing. She testified that “something happened” during the prayer.

The next morning she went back to the orthopedist, more X-rays were taken. There was no longer any single bone out of place and no jigsaw puzzle pieces. Instead the bone had miraculously knit back together. I saw both X-rays. I even posted them on FaceBook at the time. God used this miracle to bring others to the faith and grow many in their faith.

If God can do this, why didn’t God heal my father of kidney failure? Why didn’t he heal my child…my mother…my wife…my husband…me…? I confess, I have no definitive answer.

But some wisdom of Dr. J.C. McPheeters (Former President of Asbury Theological Seminary) have been helpful to me. Dr. McPheeters taught that God heals in five ways:

Instantaneously. The miracle above fits into this type of healing.

Gradually. This can be seen in the gradual recovery from pneumonia.

Medically. The medical intervention replacing a defective heart valve is one example.

Sufficient Grace. Paul’s prayer for the removal of the thorn in his flesh and the Lord’s response, “My Grace is sufficient for you” is an example. Folks who live with diseases like Lupus or Diabetes are examples.

Final Healing. Death is the final and complete healing.

Knowing these truths about Divine Healing empowers me to pray with confidence no matter how serious is the injury or disease. I pray in faith believing. Sometimes the healing is instantaneous. And sometimes it is only through death that we are healed. But however the healing comes, we know it is “By his stripes we are healed.”

Postscript: Thanks Hicks Malonson for adding the photo of the X-rays. Note the lower X-ray is the one taken just after the fall. The upper photo was the X-ray after the healing prayer.

Still have some questions? Do does Wally. So do I. See you back here tomorrow, and let’s pick up right there.

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