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In March 1993, John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, discovered he had an inoperable tumor, treatable only by radiation. Here he tells what it looked like to be on the other side of the healing process.

-John Wimber

Trials and testings seem to be a normal part of the Christian life. Our job is to be ready and able to handle the testings with God's help, secure in the knowledge of his care and ultimate delivery. One night three years ago I awoke with a jolt. "What is it, Lord?" Something in my spirit wasn't right. As the father of four married children and a grandfather to ten, my immediate thoughts were, "Is it one of the kids? Grandkids?"

No, that wasn't it. It was something else.

My mouth felt dry. I had the distinct impression from the Lord that something frightening was headed my way.

Slipping out of bed, I retreated to my prayer corner in the living room and prayed my favorite crisis prayer: "O God, O God, O God."

I opened the Bible, expecting the Lord not only to comfort me, but to reveal the nature of this dire warning. He led me to Psalm 33. I read verse 18: "But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." The next verse perplexed me: " … to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine."

I'm certainly not starving, I thought-at the time I weighed 280 pounds. And I didn't think I was going to die.

I read the rest of the psalm: "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield."

I relaxed and let out a sigh, relieved to be reminded that he was in charge. God had gotten his message across, though I didn't know what the message was all about. Seven days later my doctor told me I had cancer.

When I began radiation treatment for my cancer, ...

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In the Magazine

October 7, 1996

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