God’ s Incredible Healing
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January 1, 2019
God’ s Incredible Healing
ー Elastic Bands of Underwear ー
In the year of 1992, I met a Jewish young man named Lawrence. When I prayed for him, I saw a blond boy held tightly by Jesus. It was strange because his hair was brown almost close to black when I met him. So I asked him. He told me that he used to have blond hair as a boy and cry at night seized with fear. His deep-seated fear was completely healed by the Lord in the prayer.
Two or three months after we met, Lawrence asked me to pray for a woman.
He told me that in those days when he prayed, a verse that was needed appeared in his eyes such as “Romans 5:1.” When he was praying for the woman, he saw “Psalm 23” in his eyes, and opened his Bible to the page. Then he found a small piece of paper with my address and phone number on it which I had given him.
He thought, “Oh, this must mean she should call Mitsuko!” And one day the woman called me, and said: “I heard about you from Lawrence. I’ve been suffering from insomnia already for three years. Please pray for me so I can sleep.”
She was in her fifties, and was a Christian for over thirty years. While hearing her story, I intuitively felt that what she needed was the fullness of the Holy Spirit. She said: “My church doesn’t teach us to lay hands and pray for healing. My pastor doesn’t do it, either. I don’t hear much about the Holy Spirit. We are rather forbidden to talk about it.”
So I did not pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit, but prayed for her healing. I asked her to call me again when she made up her mind to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Soon she called me back, saying, “Although you prayed for me, I couldn’t sleep even for a minute.”
Again I thought that the answer was for her to be filled with the Holy Spirit, because it meant to entrust everything to the reign of the Lord.
I heard that she had been prayed for by many pastors for the past three years. That was enough. She told me that she used to sleep for full eight hours and actively engage in her job, but now she was enfeebled by the lack of sleep. When she called me for the second time, she was ill in bed. She wanted to come and see me in Nishinomiya, but she had no strength. She was also suffering from diarrhea.
I said to her, “You believe in the Lord, don’t you?”
“Of course, I do. For thirty years I’ve been serving the church.”
“The Lord is certainly with you. Since you believe in Him, isn’t it alright even if you cannot sleep for a minute for the rest of your life? Why don’t you pray like that?”
“Many pastors have prayed for me so far. Some famous ones, too. But no one has ever said such a thing. They’ve prayed for me that I can sleep at least a little. Doesn’t the Bible say that night is for sleep? It could not be the Lord’s will not to sleep even for a minute for the rest of my life.”
I agreed that we were created to sleep at night. However, it was not a matter of what was right or how it was written in the Bible. It was the matter of how far she could trust in the Lord.
She had been praying for three years, and there was no change.
I thought that a new decision was required of her. The Lord never forsakes the one who confesses, “I will entrust everything to You. Even if I cannot sleep, I don’t mind it.” I felt that the Lord was asking her to trust Him that far. I said to her: “If you prefer to pray as you have, it is fine. But I think it is time for you to decide to entrust everything to the Lord.” “I see,” said the woman.
So I prayed, “Lord, she will now come before You by herself. Please help her so that she can make up her mind to entrust everything to You. And when she makes that decision, please prepare the best for her.” I no longer prayed for her healing, because I wanted her to be still before the Lord and pray alone to Him. And we hung up the phone.
About two hours later, I received a call from her again. After saying “Hello,” she choked up in tears. She was wailing and could not utter a word. It continued for a while. Finally she said:
“This is death. It’s hell. I’m scared. I am really scared . . . I can’t . . .”
“You mean you couldn’t pray?”
I was surprised, and flustered by having said that the decision was required of her to entrust everything even if she could not sleep.
I explained adding words, “It is not that the Lord will heal you because you can make the decision, or that He will not heal you because you cannot. I believe the Lord is asking you for that decision, but He will never forsake you even if you cannot make up your mind.”
I prayed together with her. It was a prayer to entrust herself though she could not make the decision. As soon as I prayed, I realized that she had already prayed to leave everything to the Lord.
“You have already prayed that it is alright even if you cannot sleep for the rest of your life, haven’t you?”
“Yes, I have . . . Then my body started shaking. I was so scared that I didn’t know what to do.”
For three years she had prayed that she could sleep a little longer, and now she prayed, “Lord, You are with me, so it is alright if I cannot sleep even for a minute for the rest of my life.”
She let go of what she had prayed for every day for a long time, and stopped clinging to her prayer. It was a great transformation.
It was right after she made the prayer that suddenly her body started shaking, overwhelmed by fear. She thought, “This is death. I have fallen into the pit of hell.” In the midst of such fear, she called me.
I was happy to hear it, because I realized that this death did not mean to fall into hell but to die to her flesh, being filled with the Holy Spirit. When she prayed with a serious decision to entrust everything, the Lord poured out His Spirit upon her as if He had been waiting for that moment. Surely her body as well as her soul was shaken.
Since her old self was buried, it accompanied fear. Moreover, she had never seen anyone being filled with the Holy Spirit in her long Christian life. No wonder she was scared, and thought it was hell. It was such a great diastrophism.
New life, I believe, will not be born without a painful experience of dying to the old self. We may go through pain and suffering or live inside a long tunnel, but they are all for us to meet the true light. They are all there to give us new life.
For her, the answer must have been to pray such an extraordinary prayer, which was actually her decision of faith to believe in the Lord and entrust everything to Him. I believe the Lord poured out the Holy Spirit upon her, responding to her decision. She said, “Oh, is that right? Somehow I feel happy now.”
Her voice was bright and cheerful. She further said: “I feel like singing!”
The Holy Spirit indeed gives us the power to praise the Lord. It must be the Holy Spirit poured into us that praises the Lord.
We prayed and gave thanks to the Lord. She was praying in tongues and praising the Lord.
“Oh my! I feel sleepy now.” And we hung up the phone.
The next day in the afternoon, I thought about her and phoned her. Since I had already prayed for her and entrusted her to the Lord, I believed that He would never fail to prepare the best for her. Yet I could not forget her painful crying voice, “This is death.” I usually refrain from making follow-up calls, but I could not help myself.
It was her husband who first picked up the phone, which jolted my heart. I wondered if he did not go to work because she became ill. I prayed while waiting on the line. Then she took the phone and said: “I was going to call you! After that, I got plenty of sleep till the morning. For the first time in three years, I slept for full eight hours! But do you know what happened last night? Because I prayed sincerely to the Lord that it was alright if I couldn’t sleep even for a minute, I figured I would not be able to sleep. And I decided to change the elastic bands of underwear which I had laid aside for three years. (Until quite recently it was very common to change loosened elastic bands of underwear and wear them again.) I piled them up like a mountain at my bedside, but I fell asleep without changing a single band!”
“That’s wonderful!” I exclaimed in excitement. She made up her mind not because she could believe that the Lord would let her sleep. She decided to believe in the Lord Himself even if she could not sleep.
When we say, “If You heal me, I will believe in You,” it is to believe for our own sake. However, when we give up our own desires and simply trust in the Lord whether we are healed or not, it is the faith to entrust everything to Him. Although both are called faith, I think that they are different because the former serves man’s desire while the latter serves the Lord.
The Lord cannot fail to work in our unconditional faith.
Through the Black Hole incident*, I became convinced that it would bring much greater joy to entrust everything to the Lord than to make many wishes of my own. While it surely takes “faith” to keep on praying until we get what we ask for, it also takes “faith” to leave everything to Him.
It seems easy but is actually very difficult to stand and keep standing on the faith to trust in the Lord alone without praying all night or fasting. When in pain, it is easier for us to do something. By doing something visible to our eyes, we can be assured of our faith.
Of course, I have desires and wishes. Yet I entrust my desires to the One who knows them for sure.
Before the Black Hole, I had prayed that I would entrust everything to Him, and after going through the Black Hole, I started confidently encouraging others to do it.
That was why I could say such an outrageous thing to the woman who was desperately desiring to sleep and exhausted both mentally and physically: “Isn’t it alright if you cannot sleep even for a minute for the rest of your life?”
Soon after this woman’s phone call, I received a sad call from a person in the United States. Her painful call was about her husband who had run away with another woman. I asked her if she could make a decision to trust in the Lord even if her husband never returned to her.
Thinking for a while, she said honestly, “I can’t.” I prayed together with her for her husband’s return. I do not mean that we need to make a serious decision all the time, but I believe there is a time when a big decision is required of us.
There is an additional “elastic band” story. A young man who went to the United States heard this story from Pastor Peter. And a while later this young man told his own story to Pastor Peter:
When he went to the bathroom, the elastic band of his underwear broke. At that very moment, he heard a voice:
There is nothing to bind you.
I can picture Pastor Peter laughing his head off.
from the “White Dove III” Chapter 2
* Black Hole incident
It is the darkness without God Mitsuko experienced in 1992. (For the full story, see “The White Dove III.”) It became the turning point of her faith. We will introduce a part of it below. (Editor)
The Faith to Believe in the Lord is the Only Answer
― About the Black Hole (3) ―
from the “White Dove III ”
I decided to believe in Jesus Christ even if there was such a world (as the Black Hole). I said again and again with my mouth, “I believe,” and confirmed myself with my whole body and soul that I believed. By so doing I came out of the pain as if scaling a rope ladder.
The faith to believe in the Lord was the only answer that I could find. Until then, the passive faith given by the Lord was sufficient, but now I learned the importance of having the faith on my own initiative. I decided to believe in Him no matter what might happen.
It was the decision to believe, staking my own existence. Until I made that decision, it was a tough road as if climbing up a rope ladder. However, once climbing to the top, I felt the fresh wind blowing, though still remembering the pain.
It was just like the mountain climbing at Mt. Sinai in our recent trip to Israel. At the start I rode a camel and was carried comfortably (which is the time of passive faith). Finally coming to the point where the camel could no longer walk, I climbed a crag step by step, wheezing. In the darkness with no moonlight I was scared being alone, separated from other people. Still I desperately climbed up (which is the time of decision of faith). I reached the top, and shortly the sun shining in silver appeared out of the clouds. It was a moving sight beyond description. Realizing that it was God’s mountain, I was overwhelmed by God’s presence and filled with joy.
There is no more death of the old death, because the Lord was crucified on the cross. However, I am glad to know through the Black Hole incident that faith, only faith, had the power to save me. Knowing Jesus Christ is the power, the life itself. Or should I say it is more than the life?
And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
To know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent is indeed the wellspring of my life.
There is Life that makes all things exist. It is the everlasting life that has won the victory over death by the cross, even though death tries to destroy all things without allowing anything to exist.
This Life is Jesus Christ.
（from the “White Dove III ”）