How it started On Saturday, February 10, we were guests at VEG De Morgenster in Urk with a team from Royal Mission. At the invitation of this congregation, we organized a Wonderful Sunday with and for them. That evening I prayed for Albert Bos, who was brought forward on crutches. It turned out that his left leg was so damaged that shattered bones no longer grew together and he had been in constant pain for about four years. I encouraged the audience to join me in prayer. We sang and spoke healing in Jesus’ name. Then I took a few steps back and Albert walked behind me in surprise. After several meters he lifted his crutches, put full weight on his damaged leg and felt no pain. In my enthusiasm I took the crutches from him, raised them in the air and showed the people in the room that something special was happening. Several times I asked him if he was still in pain and each time he confirmed to me that he felt nothing. I shouted with joy at this miracle and at giving glory to God. Almost the entire room went along with it. What is described above was filmed by one of our team members on his phone. On the way home we received another video in which Albert himself dances through his own house without pain. His leg is still in a cast, but without crutches and without pain. Full of what had happened, I posted Albert’s ‘healing video’ on my Facebook that Sunday. A flood of reactions An explosion of reactions and readers who share the message immediately follows. What people write ranges from awe for God and gratitude for what has happened to justified questions about reliability and reproaches against me and God. I completely understand that people experience this in very different ways and react from there. Two days after that particular evening in Urk, we left for Suriname with a team for two weeks. Just before our return trip I had contact with Carla, Albert’s wife, again. She let me know that the disappointment was great after being checked by the doctor. The bone appeared not to have grown together and the pain had partially returned. Yet she was not cynical or angry, because she also mentioned some nice consequences of that evening. ‘The pain is significantly less, Albert is walking around the house again after years and the spiritual life in our family has deepened enormously.’ Yet we must conclude that what the video shows, my reaction to it and how I posted it on Facebook do not correspond to today’s reality. Growing, learning and apologizing I have been praying for healing in meetings like this for 25 years. I believe that God still works miracles and the command to pray for the sick continues today. At the same time, I realize that a miracle certainly does not always occur. Praying for healing is not easy, it is an adventure. In this I am a disciple in the Kingdom of God. What happened here is a lesson for me. When I run a healing service I always encourage people to have their ‘healing’ or ‘recovery’ checked with a doctor. I have not applied this myself: without checking from a doctor or specialist, I posted this video online and claimed that this man has been completely cured. I really made a mistake there and I fully apologize to supporters and critics for that. In my regular contacts with Albert and Carla, I have also asked forgiveness for my ‘published too quickly’. After the first medical update that came via Carla, we as a team in Suriname, which included a highly trained doctor, immediately had consultations. As a Royal Mission, we immediately decided not to post videos of ‘healings’ immediately after a service. If it turns out that the miracle is real, complete and lasting, then we might as well post the video six months later. The testimony of God’s power remains just as clear and its reliability becomes much greater. Actually, that evening in Urk there was the opportunity to do just that. Before my sermon, Edi, a young woman from Urk, testified of what God had done eight months earlier. During the healing service of the Revival Conference on the Pentecost weekend of 2017, God healed her from scoliosis and a hunchback in ten minutes. In the meantime, she had been to the physiotherapist, who declared her cured. After almost three quarters of a year, her healing is still complete and her back is completely straight. I could have posted that video, but I chose the sensation of Albert’s story. Once again my sincere apologies. Struggling with miracles I don’t know why Albert’s pain has partially returned. I don’t understand how the bone has not yet grown together. The more I pray for healing, the more questions I have. Yet Jesus’ command to lay hands on the sick remains. On Saturday, January 13, we had our training day ‘Wonders of the Kingdom’ based on: my book. On that day we showed, among other things, a video of a woman who had had nerve pain for 28 years and could only move with difficulty with a walker. In the video you can see that I pray for her, she goes for a walk without any aids and eventually skips around the room. The participants of the training day started clapping. But then I told them the rest of the video. After two days, all the pain returned to this woman. I shared the email I received from her about this and my response to it with our team. We discussed the entire process openly, to learn and realize that we do not have all the answers. The end result is that she is still in pain. Much less than before. She also sleeps better, has changed her attitude to life and, despite everything, has come to love Jesus more. I shared that entire story with the participants of that training day to show that we do not understand everything. Yet the questions remain and the struggle is no less. When I heard from Carla that Albert was only partially healed, I cried a lot at first. My grief was about the damage this would do to the Kingdom of God. I could already see the criticism coming and felt powerless, even though I always try to be honest and transparent. In every healing service I clearly state that not everyone is healed and that I sincerely sympathize with those who go home sick. People who know me, know how I experience this as ‘my cross’ in following Jesus. But I also immediately saw my mistake. My tears were also for Albert, Carla and their family. “Lord, hold them!” I immediately prayed for them that the disappointment would not lead them further from God. Fortunately that didn’t happen. Thank you Jesus! The mystery remains I don’t know why the pain returned. Jesus never places the responsibility for the lack of a miracle on a sick person, but calls his disciples to account. At the same time, we should not long for an ‘answer theology’, in which we have a ready-made solution for every question. Don’t know. God is greater than our minds and fortunately He remains a mystery in many ways. That is why I always choose to opt for a ‘relationship theology’, in which Jesus himself is the answer. It is He who gives us the strength to get up, start praying again and expect a breakthrough from His Kingdom. Kill me, Lord! You can criticize me. If it concerns ‘exaggerating a miracle’, then your comment is completely justified and I also apologize to you. As I prayed about this situation last week, I was especially concerned about the impact on God’s work. Basically I said to God, “I’ll be fine, but will Your Kingdom be okay?” Immediately it seemed as if God answered me: ‘Don’t worry about Me. I’ll be fine. You have to go through this and change!’ Recently I have prayed a number of times that God would change my heart. I literally prayed “Kill me, Lord” a few times. Not because I want to die, but I long for less and less of me and more and more of Him to become visible. God seems to remind me of my own prayer at this stage. I have to get through this! This morning I was reminded of the old song ‘Full insurance, Jesus in my’. We sang it last Sunday ‘coincidentally’ in the church where I spoke. The second verse contains the sentence ‘To kill Self, his will alone, rich in my Savior, living for God.’ God will save it. He has everything in His hand. I have to put aside what is self-honor, over-enthusiasm and thoughtlessness. His will alone! Healing is and remains a complicated theme. Theologically and pastorally. Yet Jesus’ command is clear: ‘Heal the sick’. I hope this incident has not produced an aversion or lukewarmness toward the restorative power of God. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! Let us also (continue to) pray for Albert and Carla.