Why the Sad Countenance
The following is an actual account of Jesusí intervention and healing me (Arthur
Manning) of a dreaded and malicious disease that according to the doctors was
very possibly incurable, a life threatening situation.|
January 19th 1999. Time: About 7am
Pauline walked behind me while I was shaving, stopped, and asked, "what is this lump on your back?" I didnít know there was a lump there. She gently poked it a few times and asked if I felt any pain, which I did not. She suggested that I should have a doctor look at it.
January 22nd 1999. Time 6:30am
I was attending a Full Gospel Business Manís Friday morning Breakfast here in Orlando when Dr. Bob Howard, a Reconstruction Surgeon and a good friend of some twenty years, came in and sat exactly across the table from me. Coincidence? I donít think so, Bob is not a regular attendee at these meetings and for him to attend this one and sit directly across the table from me is far more than just coincidence. We talked for a bit and I told him jokingly that I might like to drop by his office sometime and leave him a little something. He asked what I was talking about and I told him about the lump Pauline discovered on my back. He said, "You call my office and tell Betty to make an appointment for you, I want to see that thing."
January 24th 1999.
Dr. Bob Howard examined me and scheduled me for surgery to remove the lump
January 26th 1999
Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) Dr. Howard removed the lump and we waited in the operating room while he sent it down to the hospital lab for a quick analysis. In about fifteen or twenty minutes a call came from the lab saying that they thought it to be a benign tumor but they werenít sure, and were submitting it to the Pathological Lab for complete analysis. We all went home to await the results. I felt no pain before, during or after the operation.
January 29th 1999
Dr. Howard called Pauline and I into his office and as gently as possible informed us that it was cancer, a metastatic melanoma, the kind that does not respond very well (if at all) to treatment and can very quickly spread throughout the entire body. He went on to say that he was pretty sure that he did not get the primary. He explained that this kind of cancer usually has a primary source somewhere else in the body and that he did not know where it might be. He felt pretty sure that it would show up somewhere else sometime in the near future. Bobís wife, Betty, (who is also his office manager) came into the examination room and they all prayed for me. How many doctors treat a patient like that?
January 31st 1999
Sunday Church service in our little home church.
Jimmy, our Pastor, brought us a message from II Kings chapter 19 and 20. It seems that King Hezekiah needed two immediate answers to prayer. One involved an external problem and the other an internal problem. Both were extremely serious. As I listened to this message it was as though the Lord was speaking directly to me. The external problem: Sennacherib, King of Assyria, was coming against Jerusalem with an 185,000Ėman army. "Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand" shouted Sennacheribís spokesman to Hezekiahís people. After receiving the threats in a written message, Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord , and spread it out before the Lord asking God to hear and see. The answer came through the prophet Isaiah: "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard". God moved rapidly. That night the angel of the Lord smote the 185,000Ėman Assyrian army. Hezekiahís external problem, God immediately took care of.
The internal problem: Hezekiah was sick unto death. Even Isaiah, predicted his coming death. "Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and live not". Immediately, Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord and wept. At that point God intervened on his behalf sending Isaiah back to him with a message saying, "I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee...And I will add unto thy days fifteen years"
Jimmyís message ended with a reference to 1 John chapter 5, verses 14 & 15. What then should the believer do? He should remember that God both hears and sees. "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."
At that time I thought that God was speaking directly to me right out of His word through that message. But as is typical with our gracious and marvelous God, and because of His great love for us he always carries it one step beyond. Every day I like to read one page out of a little daily devotional publication, "Days of Praise" from the Institute of Creation Research in California. I had not read the page for that Sunday, January 31st 1999, so before going to bed I decided to read it. Would you believe, it was the exact same message as the one Jimmy brought to us that morning, word for word, it even ended with the same verses from the fifth chapter of First John. Coincidence? I donít think so. I was and still am convinced that God was speaking to me and that he was saying to me you are not going to die and I have added 15 years to your days. I donít know when my days will be over, but when ever that was supposed to happen, God has extended it for 15 years, taking me well into my nineties, awesome! Yes our God is an awesome God!
My external problem: Where did God want Pauline and I since we moved and resigned from the church where we had been members for over twenty years? We felt that God was directing us when we sold our house and moved to our current location. We were even more sure when our house sold and a town house we owned sold and we bought the house we are now in, settled on all three houses and moved in within three weeks, unheard of! The external problem: We had a need to belong to the physical body of Christ, born again believers, a church. We began attending the local Methodist Church, and we liked the pastor and the people we met, but something was still missing. We were invited to visit a little home church and we asked Godís direction for us, the Methodist Church or the Home Church? We couldnít figure it out, so we left it in Godís hands. In the meantime we wound up on Sunday attending the Methodist Church at 8am and then attending the Home Church at 11am. To make a long story short, God solved that problem by moving us into the little Home Church we now attend. Sometimes I wish He wouldnít go to so much trouble to get us where he wants us, but I guess He wants to make things quite plain so there will be no misunderstanding. We have learned that when God decides He is going to do something, absolutely nothing can stop it.
In the meantime Dr. Howard sent me to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center here in Orlando where I met with a doctor and nurse who described this kind of cancer in more detail and explained to me the options for treatment, which are not very many. I could start Chemo treatment now or wait and see what happensósee if it comes back again. I decided to wait and they went along with that decision.
April 20th 1999
It seems the doctors were correct and Dr. Howard removed another tumor about the size of a golf ball from my back. The doctors at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center recommended beginning Chemo treatment. Each treatment would run about three hours by IV using Chemo agents DtlC and DCNU (whatever they are). Treatment would also involve pre medication to prevent nausea. Fun and games. Treatments would be given every three weeks. After three treatments they would do a scan to see if the cancer cells had been reduced.
April 29th 1999
Dr. Howard removed another tumor from my back just inches from where the first one was. So all physical evidence indicated that the cancer was still active. Another CAT Scan indicated that the cancer had now spread to my lungs and was starting down my spinal column.
July 20th 1999
Dr Howard removed tumor number three a few inches from where the others cropped up. I suggested that he put a zipper across my back in case anymore showed up. He said that they donít use zippers anymore, they now use valcro. I was still able to joke about this because I firmly believed the messages I received and that they were from our great and loving God.
August 24th 1999
Dr. Howard was at it again. This time he removed two from my left arm pit. Still the same lab reports, malignant!
We had made plans to fly to Moscow, Idaho for Christmas to be with our daughter, Chris and her family. Bob and Bonnie (our number two daughter) and their family were going to Maryland for Christmas. Rick and Linda (our number three daughter) could not get the time off to come here, so we would be alone, hence the trip to Idaho. Our son, Arthur planned to fly from Pennsylvania to Idaho to be with us there. It was beginning to look like the cancer might keep us from going, but we were still holding to our plans.
November 2nd 1999
Dr. Howard was at it again, another golf ball sized tumor out of my back. Our Christmas plans were not looking good, but I told Pauline, "we are going".
By now I had lost all my normal, natural body heat, I was cold all the time. I had no energy, no strength, I got tired walking from one chair to the other and I looked white as a sheet. I was still eating well although I lost 15 pounds. I was sleeping well and I was in no pain.
December 17th 1999
We left for Moscow, Idaho. I was scheduled for a Chemo treatment a couple of days before we left, but my hemoglobin was low so we went without the treatment. We were in Idaho from the 17th to the 26th of December 1999. We had a wonderful Christmas with our children, grand children and our two great grandchildren whom we had never seen. Idaho is not a warm place in the winter. We had snow and freezing temperatures. Loss of body heat was bad enough in Florida, but Idaho was something else. I told our daughter that I think all the germs in my body must have froze to death. I slept under an electric blanket and wore an exercise suit to bed. I did my best to put on a happy face for the occasion and I got by very well, although I didnít feel all that well.
While all this was going on I found that people all over the world were praying for me to be healed. I received many E-mail messages asking how I was doing and letting me know that they were praying for my recovery. In some cases entire churches and prayer groups were praying. It was a humbling experience to know I was being prayed for by so many people, many of whom I didnít even know. I just wish there was some way I could hug the neck of every one that was lifting my name and my need before the Lord in prayer.
While in Idaho one evening I gathered the family in the living room and talked to them about my condition telling them that I didnít think that I was going to die and told them about how I had heard the Bible story about Hezekiah and the fifteen years being added to his days, and how I felt that applied to my situation. And that God had confirmed it to me that very day in reading the exact account in a daily devotional. I also told them that I was not afraid of dying, because I know exactly where I will be. And not to be concerned about grandmother if the Lord does take me home He will take better care of her than I ever could. I also took that time as elder of the family to go around the room lay my hands on the heads of each family represented and bless them. I was very strongly impressed to do that, it was not a planned thing.
We had an exciting time there and without the Lordís intervention all the family would not have been there. Without going into all the details, our grandson is in the Air Force and he and his wife and one year old son were in Okinawa and had approved leave to fly into Seattle to join us when he was sent on some sort of mission assignment to Thailand. He was scheduled back in time to make the flight to Seattle, and when he arrived back in Okinawa he found his wife and the baby all packed and ready to go, but because he wasnít there the day before to get their names on the flight manifest, the plane was full and they had no seats.
Because no one knew for sure the outcome of my condition, the Red Cross was contacted and asked if they could help since this might be the only time he would get to see his grandfather (me). The Red Cross called Dr. Howard to confirm my condition and through their intervention they were given seats on the airplane just moments before departure time. Without Godís exact timing none of this would have ever taken place. Unfortunately, three other people were (bumped) taken off the flight. The Air Force had one flight and one flight only leaving at that time. We prayed for the people "bumped" that somehow the Lord would take care of them too. I had the feeling that the Lord would bless them somehow.
We had a marvelous Christmas with the family in Idaho and returned to Florida on the 26th of December.
I continued feeling cold because of the lack of body heat and I still looked pretty much the same, had no energy and felt tired all the time. I called and made an appointment with the doctor at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to get back into the routine, (whatever that was going to be). They, of course scheduled me in for an examination and blood work before starting treatment. They have to be sure that my hemoglobin is not down because the Chemo lowers your hemoglobin and if it is already too low it could be lowered more and that would be dangerous.
All through this year long ordeal I always had an unusual desire to pray for other people, and the needs of many others continued to come to my attention. I heard news of others having cancer problems, like our good friend Jolene Burridge and our grandsonís father-in-law, Frank Wilkerson to mention a couple. It did not dawn on me at the time but James 5:16 says ..." pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much". And I for some reason felt the need and desire to pray for others as I had never prayed before. As you might expect I prayed for myself too, and my prayer was always the same, I asked Jesus to curse the cancer germs in my body that they would die and wither away as the Fig Tree did when He cursed it. And as I said earlier, people all over the world were praying for me to be healed. I always thought that prayer was a marvelous commodity, but now I am absolutely convinced that apart from God Himself, prayer is the most powerful force in the entire cosmos. And this is why I make that statement. I was awakened (and I mean awakened, I did not just wake up) on a Thursday morning and saw a figure standing at the foot of the bed dressed in what appeared to be some sort of cassock with a hood that shaded his face so that I could not tell what he looked like. He spoke audibly, aloud, and there is no mistake about that. He spoke only three words, "Nehemiah two two". I thought he was saying two two meaning chapter twenty two and answered him by saying, "I donít know Nehemiah two two, Nehemiah is a little book in the Bible that does not have twenty two chapters. Again, audibly, he very emphatically said, Nehemiah two two, and I immediately fell back asleep. I slept soundly through the rest of the night. When I got up I do not remember feeling any different than I did when I went to bed the night before. But when I went into the bathroom where we, like all good Christians, always keep a copy of the Bible. I opened the Bible to Nehemiah chapter two, verse two and was amazed at what I read. I donít even remember ever reading that verse and if I had I certainly would never have associated it with healing. As I found the verse my eyes fell on these words, "Why is thy countenance sad seeing that thou art not sick?" I remember saying, "If Jesus says Iím not sick then Iím not sick". Immediately, my complexion changed from pasty white to normal, my body heat returned, my strength returned and my energy was restored. I told Pauline what happened, I told her, "I feel great, letís get dressed and go out for breakfast." We had a great time then and there rejoicing, giving thanks and praising the Lord. The Lord is so personal, as my son-in-law, out in Idaho, said when we told him of this over the phone, "Dad, that is absolutely amazing, I have never heard of anything like that. Imagine God giving you a verse of scripture audibly that indicated He healed you and that the scripture has your name in it." I had to think for a minuteó what is he talking about? then it registered, my name is Arthur and many people call me Art and the last part of the verse says, "seeing thou, ART not sick." Yes indeed, how very personal is the lover of our souls.
I went for pre-examination and blood work before the next Chemo treatment and told the doctor and nurse what the Lord had done and about the vision and the verse of scripture given to me audibly, and that my strength, energy, and complexion all returned to normal in a moment of time, and that I felt great. The doctor said, "Weíll see", and scheduled me for a CAT scan. In a few days I received a call from the cancer center and was given an appointment to see the doctor and we would discuss the results of the scan. Pauline and I waited in the examination room for the doctor to arrive and tell us the results of the scan. When he arrived in the room, he had not yet read the results of the scan. This was the first time that any of us, including the doctor, had seen or heard the results of the scan. After our usual greeting he turned to my chart and said, "Now letís see what the scan has to say". He began silently reading, and after a few seconds shook his head and said listen to this, and he began reading aloud all the medical jargon pertaining to all the cancer affected areas of my body and after each he announced "all clear, no sign of cancer". He looked up after a few moments with a broad smile on his face and moist eyes and said, "this is unbelievable, I am awed! You have really made my day". I replied, "what about my day" His words to me were, "tell me what you are using, I want to use it for my other patients". I again told him of the vision and the words spoken to me and told him that it was Jesus and that he was free to use anything he just heard for anybody else he chose to. He went on to say, "I donít know what to do, should we stop the Chemo treatments, or continue, or what, Iíll tell you, letís stop the treatments and see what happens, but I want to see you in three months to check you out." As to what extent this incident may have affected the doctor, I cannot say, but this I do know, that although he is from Jordan and I do not know his beliefs, it did definitely have quite an impact. A couple of the nurses at the center went "bananas" along with Pauline and I. And when Doctor Howard, the surgeon and his wife heard the news they were ecstatic.
Both doctors have repeatedly examined me and I have had four CAT scans since the Lord healed me and I have now been given a clean bill of health by the doctors. Canít you imagine how surprised the Lord was to hear that? God, many times does things, not because we are deserving, but because He wants to and because He loves us. To God be the glory, forevermore. Thank you Jesus and thank all you wonderful people for your prayers. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The joy of the Lord is our strength and there, "is now no sad countenance". GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!!!
The date is now July 1, 2002, (about 43 months from the start.) No Cancer anywhere! Glory to the Living God!!!