Rob and his wife are good friends.

It’s the kind of friendship that, when they married a few years ago, I was honoured to preach at their wedding.

Just recently, I received an unexpected text from Rob, asking me to pray.

The issue, his text explains, is asthma. It seems to have come back to haunt him again, over three decades after he thought it had disappeared for good.

I am sharing his story here, with his permission. It is full of “light through the cracks“.


During his childhood, Rob finds himself wheezing and coughing more frequently than his peers. His chest regularly tightens and he struggles to breathe. He is still a young boy when the family doctor diagnoses that he has asthma and prescribes him an inhaler. He soon finds he needs to use it regularly, but he learns to live with his illness.  

As a teenager, not long after becoming a Christian, Rob starts attending a local church. It has a vibrant youth group and an openness to the Holy Spirit that he has never encountered before.

One day, the congregation is addressed by a man who has never visited the church before. The guest speaker is a man in his forties, originally from Scandinavia, who is known to have the spiritual gift of healing*.

“If any of you want a touch from God, including for healing, then please come to the front now,” he says at the end of his talk.

Rob doesn’t hesitate. He wants to be healed from his asthma. 

A diverse group of people congregate in front of the stage, and the Scandinavian man makes his way to each one in turn, laying a hand on their shoulder and praying for Jesus’ blessing and healing upon them.

Rob’s turn comes and goes. “Is that it?” he wonders, as he stands there, waiting.

Following in the wake of the Scandinavian man, also working his way along the line of young people, is the pastor of the church. Stopping in front of Rob, he gently but firmly makes a pronouncement.

“You have been healed,” he says, “Go and sit down.”

Taking him at his word, Rob returns to his seat.

From that moment onward, his asthma vanishes without trace.

“Jesus has healed me,” he says, if anyone asks.  


More than three decades later, and now in his forties, Rob has gone out for drinks after work with a couple of colleagues.

During the evening, the conversation turns to the topic of health and healing. Unprompted, Rob finds himself revealing his story.

“I used to have asthma when I was a child,” he tells them, “but God healed me as a teenager, and I’ve never had even as much as a symptom of asthma since.”

There is a stunned silence in the bar where they are drinking. One of the colleagues looks incredulous; the other is more cynical.

Questions follow. Rob sends up multiple arrow prayers. And he explains, as best he can, how and why it happened.


Within days, Rob finds himself wheezing inexplicably – during the night, and whenever he is exercising. It comes and goes, but he recognises it to be one of the symptoms of asthma, which he used to experience as a child.

His sleep is being regularly disrupted. He lies in bed, and his chest constricts, tightening, making it difficult to breathe.

He resorts to seeking medical help, and the family doctor prescribes him an inhaler again. For the first time in more than thirty years, he is having to use it, simply to ease the symptoms.

The asthma seems to have made an unwelcome return and it is blighting his life.

By the time he texts me, it has been going on for some months …


Standing with Rob and his wife, in their kitchen, we discuss what has been happening and how to pray together for his healing.

As we do so, a verse in the Bible comes to mind: “They [meaning Christians] triumphed over him [meaning the accuser, or the Enemy of God] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus’ death on the cross] and by the word of their testimony.” (Revelation 12:11)

I share this with Rob and his wife, suggesting that, when he shared his testimony with his work colleagues, the words he proclaimed had power to triumph over the Enemy – but the Enemy might have unleashed a spiritual backlash in response.

I also suggest that they might want to break bread and wine together, to declare triumph over the Enemy “by the blood of the Lamb“.

And then I lay hands on Rob’s chest, where it keeps constricting, and I pray a simple prayer for healing. I command the asthma, and all its symptoms, to leave in the name of Jesus.

I also feel called to pray John 10:10 into being, out loud, asking God to restore life and life in abundance to Rob, and to stop the Enemy from stealing, killing and destroying Rob’s health.

Nothing dramatic happens. None of us are expecting that.

However, the next day Rob texts me, saying: “I immediately felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest, and I slept without an inhaler, or any wheeze, for the first time in I don’t know how long. Praise God! He is good.”

I couldn’t agree more.

God is good. Always.


I’ve got two strands of thought for you, in response to this “light through the cracks” story.

If you have ever had an encounter with God, whether supernatural or seemingly mundane, then God has given you a testimony.

However, have you ever considered the power that lies in the proclamation of “the word of your testimony” to “triumph over the Enemy“? Rather than being shy about it, why don’t you ask God who you can share your testimony with, who needs to hear it, and then stay open to any opportunities he brings your way?

Perhaps your testimony is that, like Rob, you experienced a touch of God, such as a healing, which has stood firm for decades, only to seemingly be snatched away in recent times. If so, how have you handled it? Could it be a case in which you need to declare John 10:10? What are you doing to reclaim what God did for you?

As ever, I would love to hear your constructive comments below.


*For those who are unfamiliar with the gift of healing, it is one of the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12, that can be given to Christians. When God gives it to someone, it supernaturally enables that person to minister healing and restoration to individuals, in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Photo credit to Brett Jordan via Unsplash 



  1. Hilary Rous Reply

    Amazing story about Rob. I would love some healing breakthroughs but struggle to fully grasp how to live in the reality of it…

    • Joanna Watson Reply

      Thanks for commenting, Hilary. I hope God gives you the healing breakthroughs that you are seeking.

  2. Thank you Joanna, once again, for an inspiring story. It is always wonderful to hear of healings through God’s goodness!

    • Joanna Watson Reply

      Thanks Janet! I’m always happy to share stories of God’s goodness and, if they inspire others, that’s even better!

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