Chicago Sun-Times
...with Jesus, doctors and common sense

Love, marriage and healing--launching into the deep

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This healing journey, on which I have prayed the Lord, in Jesus' name, to take me to the destination of safe recovery from brain cancer, prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure, was never meant or expected to be easy.
Neither was it expected to be quick and painless.
Finding a balance between common sense and bold faith has its challenges when the believer has more than himself to think about. I'm also a devout family man. So I don't want to do anything that will hurt my wife and kids.
Last week, however, I frightened my wife Joyce into tears, frustration and anger when I ran a check on my healing status by giving my medicines three days off. Starting with my regular day of fasting and praying, during which I neither eat nor drink anything for at least 12 hours, normally from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., I went for three days without taking the daily nine different pills (17 in total) to see how I'd feel.
To my delight, I not only felt no worse, but my blood pressure remained steady in the area of 110 over 75.
But since I felt I shouldn't keep this a secret from Joyce, I told her. She was not happy. She did what a good, faithful, loving wife would do. She chewed me out, told me to get back on my medicines, got our three daughters Nicole, Noelle and Natasha, and our three-year-old grand-daughter Nina to help her
and I did.
When her mother, Nicole, dialed me and I answered to hear Nina's soft, small, sweet voice say, "Grandpa, take your medicine," I had to give in. Really, I had not decided to stop taking my medicines altogether. But that experience reminded me of the importance of striking a balance between common sense and bold faith in terms of me being a family man.

Joyce and I love each other most dearly. Ours has been a 99 percent happy marriage that will

reach 40 years on June 30. She and my children don't not want to lose me and I don't want to leave

them. Joyce and I have never been close to any kind of contentious separation. Our marriage vow is 'til

death parts us and we intend to keep that vow.

At the same time, I really can't say what I will continue to do in terms of medicine and treatment.

My faith in God and common sense will dictate that. But faith can grow to such an extent that it will propel

one to do things that defy common sense.

No, it is not my intention to commit suicide to dare God to heal me. But if I really have faith that

He will, and I do, I have to at least check every now and then to know when I am healed. And I certainly

can't leave all that to my earthly doctors. I'm going to have to launch out farther into the deeper depths

of trusting God as His Holy Ghost leads me.

I am continuing to seek the help of doctors because I believe they are instruments of God,

regardless of whether they believe in Him or not. I am scheduled to undergo a radiation treatment

at the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center on Wednesday and I still plan to go through with it

partly because Dr. Glenn Gerber and Dr. Brain Moran have determined the cancer is early-stage and

localized and can thus can be treated effectively.

But after that, since the brain cancer has been ruled benign, I will turn my attention to my

heart issue, continue in prayer and decide what to do from there, depending upon how the Spirit

leads me. In praying and seeking the assistance of doctors and medical technology, I am doing my

best. That's my common sense responsibility. Beyond that, I'm trusting God for the rest.

There is a miracle of faith recorded in the first 11 verses of the fifth chapter of the gospel

according to St. Luke. It was through this miracle that three fishermen--Simon Peter, James and

John--were converted and answered Jesus' invitation to become His disciples.

One day, while Jesus was preaching to a crowd of people by the lake of Gennesaret, He saw that

Simon Peter, James and John had rowed their boats to shore after a frustrating day of having caught no


Jesus then stepped aboard Peter's boat and gave him a jackpot fishing tip because our

omniscient Saviour always knows where "they're biting"--as fishermen say.

"Launch out into the deep," King Jesus said, "and let down your nets for a draught."

When Peter dared to have faith and obey Jesus, he rowed out farther at sea , dropped his

nets into the deeper waters and caught so many fish that they broke his net as he was trying to draw

them into his boat. When he asked James and John to help harvest the fish, the catch was so heavy it

also filled their boat to where it started sinking.

Thereafter, these men were so impressed by what Jesus did that they answered His call to

become fishers of men as His disciples.

To just go by my symptoms and by what the doctors say and prescribe is shallow

fishing for the feeble of mind and the feint of faith and the catch is limited. But my decision to pray and

trust first and foremost in God for my healing is my way of launching out into the deep. The greater my

faith, the farther I will launch and the bigger my catch will be.

I love my wife and family. But I love God more. And I also want to inspire others who are

struggling with issues of bad health and various adversities that having faith in God is the first step

toward launching out into the deep where treasure beyond measure awaits the believer.

At present, my faith is still growing. I obviously already had faith enough for the Lord

to save my soul and heal my body in the past. But never have I been smacked with the traumatic trio

of serious health problems now facing me. And what this calls for is more faith on my part to launch

farther out into the deepest depths of the waters of a wonder-working God.

Out yonder in those divine deep depths of God's amazing grace, there are countless miracles to

be reeled in, including some with your name on them. I don't mind the wait and I don't mind the weight

because no problem is too heavy or too hard for the Lord. Moreover, Isaiah 40:31 reads, "But they that

wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run

and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not feint."

I will watch, wait and pray. And when my healing comes, I won't retreat into any sanctuary of

secrecy and solitude. No, you will be right there with me to see for yourself that God is still in the healing

business. Then we'll shout thanksgiving for the healing.

Praise the Lord!

God bless you.

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I continue to pray for increased faith, trusting in HIS Holy Word. We know HIM as a divine healer but more importantly we know HE never fails. Now, you be careful when you go stepping out of HIS plan for you. Love to and prayers for you and your family.

Good to hear from you Rev. I continue to lift you up in prayer. Thanks for the encouraging words about faith. I am facing adversity now but I am going to do as you suggested and "wander out into the deep where treasure beyond measure awaits the believer". Have you ever heard Rev. Tyrone Crider's story about his healing? You are going to have a similar story to tell when this is over. May the Lord be with you today and always.

Blessings and encouragement to you and the family.

BANKS RESPONSE: Yes, I am familiar with the miraculous recoveries of Rev. Crider as well as those of Rev. Clay Evans, Rev. Samuel Hinkle, Rev. Arthur Brazier and Rev. Willie Campbell. They all among the many testimonies that God's healing is available for
everybody. That's why we can preach about it so passionately.

Wow! What a remarkable story! It deffinately pays to read. My ex-husband is currently diagnosed with Congestive heart failure,and diabetes (type 1). He, like you, is a very strong faith based man. His only support is from our oldest daughter(from our marriage) whom is helping him out tremendously. I heard that his wife left him because she couldn't take care of him due to his strong beliefs in faith over "common sense". I really didn't understand in it's entirety, but after reading your story and seeing the support your wife and children aided you with is proof enough for me that when you are faced with a life altering illness; it is not just about you and what you want, but also your families opinions in this medical matter. Because this story has sooooo moved me, I am printing it out right now and sharing it with my ex-husband, and our three children. This story explains everything my daughter, his future wife, and extended family members have all been so puzzled and angry about with him over. It really sums up everything in a nutshell. Thank-you soooo very much for sharing your story and I am praying for you and your family to come through this. Congratulations on your upcoming 40th wedding aniversay!



BANKS RESPONSE: God bless you, your ex-husband and your entire family because, as we agree, his sickness is a family affair. I touch and agree with him on the desires of his heart that his caregiving daughter receive an increase of her faith in God for his full recovery.

GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!Make GOD continue to show you his healing power. Keep on trusting and believing in GOD'S HOLY WORD. Know that it is HIM that we live,move and have our being. Nothing and I mean nothing is impossible for GOD. Beleive that and grab hold to GOD and don't let go. GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER IN CHRIST JESUS!!!! The name above every other name.

BANKS RESPONSE: Thanks for your divine encouragement. God bless you sister.

First off I want to tell you how much I admire your desire to glorify God and trust Him to heal you. It is inspiring to read your story of faith and were I in the same dire situation I would probably not be faring nearly as well spiritually as you are.

However, my heart sank when you related how your wife and children scared you back into the boat after stepping out in faith and getting off the med's. While I appreciate common sense, nowhere in the Bible did great men and women of God get anywhere by timidly testing the water and then retreating. I have a healing testimony of my own that maybe will encourage you to step out again in faith the next time you feel God leading you to do so and get off the pills.

When I was a new Christian with great childlike faith (oh how I long for those days) I had a previously diagnosed condition called Hypothroidism. I wanted to trust God and get off the pills I was supposed to be on for life as there is no cure for Hypothyroidism. One day I decided to take God at His word and just stopped taking the pills. In a matter of two or three days I felt so bad I could barely function. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me "to get back on the pills, that God would heal me but He would tell me when to discontinue them." You see I had the right faith but the wrong timing.

Shortly after that the Holy Spirit did speak to me to get off the pills and I did and I felt fine. I went to the Internist and told him of my decision to stop the medication. He was aghast and told me to get back on the pills because as a young wife if I got pregnant I could possibly have a deformed baby. In the meantime he said he would run a test to determine the status of my thyroid.

I continued to stay off the pills convinced God had spoken to me. When I went back to the doctor's office to hear the test results my doctor and another doctor in his office told me I no longer showed signs of Hypothyroidism. He said he couldn't explain it; but I could and did and gave God all the glory.

So,while I agree with your approach of working with the doctors I hope the next time you hear the Holy Spirit whisper to you to try getting off the medication that you do and don't let the nay sayers -even well-intentioned ones -get to you.

I hope my tesitmony inspires your further in your journey just as you are inspiring me with your strong faith, endurance and testimony to God's faithfulness.


Sheri Luzzi

BANKS' RESPONSE: Very well stated Sheri and I totally agree with you. My faith in this particular matter is still increasing and God's Holy Ghost in monitoring the process. Where He leads me, I will follow. I'm sure that Jesus also thought about the troubles he's caused leaving His mother Mary by submitting to the crucifixion after refusing to defend Himself. That had to be one of the reasons Jesus tried to cop a plea in the Garden of Gethsemene, "Father, if it me Thy will, let this bitter cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thy wil be done." I'm prayerfully requisitioning the Kingdom of Heaven daily for my healing. Many prayer partners are also petitioning with me. In the end, the Kingdom's will shall prevai. In the intrim, I'm still asking, seeking and knocking for God's healing will to be performed on me for all the world to see.

Mr. Lacy J. Banks, I just read the last message that you posted, and am glad to know that you are in no pain, and that you are following your doctors advice. I continue to pray for your full recovery. And Mr. Banks you being a reverand, you know that God is still in the healing business. Continued blessings!!!!!!!!!

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on May 18, 2008 2:08 AM.

The Increasing High Cost of Decreasing Health Care was the previous entry in this blog.

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