Healing Old People
Is It Normal For Seniors To Have Arthritis?
Not long after I got started healing the sick, I realized that I often felt hesitant to pray for old people. After all, they are old and it seems normal to have arthritis at that age, right? Well, what I felt clearly wasn’t logical. It was just the remnants of an old way of thinking.
Mark 6:56 (NRSV) And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Can you imagine Jesus saying to a senior citizen, “Oh, sore knees are quite normal at your age?” I can’t. I’m sure that some of the people who approached Jesus were seniors. And he healed them along with everyone else.
I decided that if sore knees were never normal to Jesus, they shouldn’t be normal to me. I resolved to minister to seniors just like I did with everyone else.
But Don’t People Have To Eventually Die?
You might ask, “But if people keep getting healed, how will they eventually die?” That’s a good question. F.F. Bosworth answered it for me.
Bosworth was an evangelist in the early twentieth century. He wrote a classic book called Christ The Healer. I don’t know of any other book that gives as thorough and strong of an argument for healing in Christ’s atonement and as a covenant promise for all Christians, as Christ The Healer does. Few books have made as great of an impact on my life as this one did.
Bosworth emphasized God’s promises in scripture relating to long life and wholeness. He taught that you don’t have to die of sickness. The Lord can take your “breath,” or spirit, when it’s time for you to go. Bosworth’s family testified that this was exactly how he died. He knew when the time was coming for him to leave, and gathered his family to say goodbye. He was already talking to people in heaven before he had completely left his earthly body. He wasn’t sick. He just left.
The story of Smith Wigglesworth’s death is similar. He left, strong and healthy to the end. A dentist said he had never seen such a perfect set of teeth as Wigglesworth had.
Scripture says that Moses’ eyes were not weak or his vigor abated when he died at the age of 120 years old. This was the result of beholding God’s glory! Yet the New Testament teaches that we have access to a glory that far surpasses what Moses saw! Moses didn’t die of a disease. God took him!
“I Know I’m Old, But I Want To Keep Living!”
Not long after I read Bosworth’s book, a family friend invited me to pray for an elderly relative in her mid-80’s. She was dismayed because the doctors had given her six weeks to live. She told us that her kidneys were only functioning 40%. I didn’t realize how many other serious health problems she had. But she wanted to live longer! She wasn’t ready to go yet.
I told her, even if your time to leave this earth is soon, it’s God’s will to heal you. You don’t have to die of a disease! God is rich in mercy and he sees your desire for a longer life.
And then we ministered to her just as we would minister to a young person. I spoke “Kidneys be whole, and all disease leave her body. Body, be young again!”
Several weeks later we heard the news. She went back to the doctor and her kidneys were functioning 100%! Not only that, the doctors were no longer finding several other serious problems that she had before. When we prayed for her kidneys, I didn’t realize she also had a life-threatening heart problem and certain things in her blood tests were at dangerous levels. Her blood tests now came back normal!
Our dear old lady went on to live for several more years! This story inspired me, and I later shared it with the seniors in Russia. We saw Jesus do beautiful things there! I will never forget those old ladies in Russia. They ended up ministering to me as much as I ministered to them.
There’s something really touching and special about seeing the Lord heal seniors. God has healed my grandmother several times, and it’s been marvelous to see the Lord’s work of preserving and renewing her health. I wrote about one of the times God healed her in Grammy’s First Trip To Heaven. God healed her of another issue last year, and I just realized I haven’t written about it yet! Maybe that will be next week’s blog post.