In you follow my blogs or posts or newsletters, you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, that I’ve battled with the horrendous affliction known as osteoarthritis, in my knees, for 15 years. To be perfectly honest, it was my fault I ended up with it: to avoid being flattened by a speeding taxi (way above the speed limit!) on a red traffic light in Cali, Colombia, 15 years ago, I started to run, I felt my right knee ‘pop’, managed to avoid the taxi, but collapsed at the kerb, lips ‘zipped’ as I didn’t want to scream in public(!), then in true Brit male ‘style’ thought I could ‘walk it off’…which, of course, I didn’t. For 7 years, I put extra stress on my left knee to compensate for the pain, and, on a very spiritual night (lol!!), taking friends who love music (but had never or could never afford to go and see live music) to see Elton John live – it was a unique location, in the huge square outside Ceausescu’s palace in Bucharest, Romania – and in walking to the gig, turned a corner, and my left knee didn’t…. people with me, 20 feet away, heard everything tear in my knee (it WAS unbelievably loud!). Zipped lips again… I can walk it off attitude…. lo and behold, I didn’t!
BUT – while not ostensibly an ‘enemy attack’, I don’t believe that any injury or sickness is GIVEN to us by God, as it comes from the enemy – even in influencing my stupid decisions not to get my cartilage and cruciate ligaments prayed for, treated/operated on. And another BUT – ‘God works all things together or good for those who love him, who are called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28) – and having extreme/acute pain has changed the way I pray for people with pain, especially the arthritis ‘family’ of diseases, and more – and I have seen a massive acceleration in the number of people healed, especially osteoarthritic knees. In the last 5 years, or so, I started counting ‘knees’ instantly healed: I stopped counting at 500 pairs, plus countless individual knees: it’s well into 4 figures now, as well as the thousands of other healings and miracles that have happened during the same time.
So, why am I still in pain, having been prayed for many, many times? I DO think that the enemy HAS had a hand in that, though I would say I’m actually grateful to God for allowing me to experience the pain levels that I have. previously, I’d thought of arthritis as a pain, yes, but one you expect as you age. ‘Oh come on, it’s what you expect when you get old, your joints hurt a bit’. I doubtless put rheumatism in the same pigeon hole, too (WRONG!!!) – and I’ve realised that, until you experience extreme pain, it’s totally impossible to understand what people with pain, go through. So until I’ve learned the full feelings of pain sufferers, I’m ‘happy’ (not really the right word!) to carry pain, if it means others are getting set free from it….
I was told by an orthopaedic surgeon, at the Mater Hospital, in Belfast, 5 or 6 years ago, that I shouldn’t even be able to stand on these knees….. so God has been incredibly gracious in not on allowing me to stand, but walk (often with difficulty, and excruciatingly!), and TRAVEL…. I’ve chosen not to let it become ‘my disability’ – I am NOT disabled, though doctors would tell you I am – I don’t ‘own’ this osteoarthritis, it’s not mine, and it’s not staying….and it’s a reason I won’t claim anything for it, because, for me, psychologically, if I DO claim, in my mind, I’m then disabled… I’m not: this has been for a purpose, and it WILL end….
Whatever we go through doesn’t take God by surprise. And it’s just POSSIBLE it’s for a PURPOSE. And the enemy will regret what he’s ‘dumped’ on many of us if we hold the right attitude through our pain, illness, or circumstances…. I believe that with the ‘volume’ of arthritis and rheumatism healed so far, he’s already regretting it, and it’s going to be so much more….