I read in the paper recently of a woman had killed herself because she could no longer bear the agonizing pain of chronic backache. How tragic, I thought. Shortly afterwards we drove to Herefordshire to celebrate a friend’s Golden Wedding and have a bit of holiday. Sometime just before we set off, or perhaps actually during our visit, I began to feel twinges in my back, and they became gradually worse. Perhaps the result of sitting in front of a word-processor for so long and not taking breaks, I thought. Our church has severe objections to sickness of any sort, rightly regarding it as an intruder which (in my case) had taken up residence in a body which had been purchased by Jesus at the cross and therefore had no legal right to be there. I therefore began speaking to the pain (‘the mountain’) in accordance with Mk 11:22 as recommended by our pastors.

But the pain got worse, especially at night, so much so that I was forced into taking pain killers. They wouldn’t’t heal me, I knew, and there were side-effects, but at least I could sleep. The journey home from Herefordshire was a nightmare. (A warning here: do not visit the city itself unless you were born there. It has no road-signs to tell you where you are and—more importantly—how to escape from it. Once emmeshed, you could die there when you ran out of petrol. We finally had to stop to ask someone how to escape, with me groaning and prostrate on the passenger’s seat and Wendy having to do both driving and navigating.) I therefore began a study of the Bible promises relating to sicknesses and infirmities, based on those on our web-site with my own additions and rehearsing them to myself and meditating on them through the day to increase my faith level, and not forgetting to speak to the enemy which thought it had a lease-hold over me.

We got back home in time to be present at the Sunday service, at which I requested the James 5 oil-anointing procedure. Over the next two days or so, as I continued to recite the Bible promises to myself and meditate on them, the pains died away so that I could twist and turn in any direction without any muscular protest. I also learned something else, that if Jesus heals you, then you don’t suffer any side-effects at all. Not a lot of people know that.