An Up-to-date Interview With Jack and Susie Johnson
Several months ago I posted a blog that consisted of an article I’d written about 16 years ago concerning a friend of mine named Jack Johnson. (See blog dated May 9, 2013, titled God and Jack Johnson). Jack was diagnosed with AIDS at a time when no one recovered from AIDS. However, Jack and his wife Susie, who lived through every moment of the illness and recovery with him, are doing well these days way out here in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle. The couple knows that God healed Jack and they take every opportunity to share their miracle of healing with others.
Because that article/blog was so popular I decided to check in on Jack and Susie. I specifically wanted to know if and how their experience with God affects and influences their lives today. They were both eager to visit, yet both were quick to say that although they learned a lot then and since then, they by no means know all there is to know about our unfathomable God.
Me: What did you learn about God and His promises then that affects your life today?
Jack: Well, in terms of fear and worry, there’s not any. I just give it all to God.
Susie: (Chuckles) Speak for yourself Jack.
Jack: Well, it’s true. Back then I’d worry about farming and finances and health and all the typical things that people worry about. Back then I didn’t think I could do anything but worry. Now I know I can give it all to God.
Susie: We are still learning so much about God and His Word. I think that process of learning is something you go through all of your life. I still fall into the trap of worrying, but the difference with me today is, that I know how to get out of that trap quicker. I know what to do about it. I give it to God.
Me: Walk me through that process of giving your worries over to God.
Jack: Well, it’s your attitude. You just trust God and the Holy Spirit.
See, the world told me back then that I was going to die. No doubt about it. But the Word and the revelation that God gave to me told me that I was going to live. My heart wanted to believe the Word, but my head believed the world. So, basically my attitude had to change.
Me: How did your attitude change?
Jack: The illness stripped me of my self-esteem and pride. God made me very humble so that, just like a child, I believed the Word and His revelation to me.
Susie: Lots of people pray “Thy will be done Lord.” But, you can go into the Word and find out what God’s will is. We learned what the Word actually said about trust and healing and faith.
Jack: When you’re brought to a point of child-like humility, as we were, you let go and dare to believe what is in your heart. Our hope was confirmed by what we read in the Word, so we hopefully expected God to heal me.
That experience taught me to come before the Lord and receive what He has for me.
Me: I talk a lot in my blogs about coming before the Lord, or being in His presence. What does that mean to you guys, and how do you all go about that?
Jack: Well, you can come into His presence by reading the Word. As you’re reading it the Holy Spirit will begin to reveal it to you. Or, you can pray and then somewhere in that prayer and praising God you sort of shut up, and the Holy Spirit starts talking to you in your spirit. And, in prayer you’ll get still and that’s when the Holy Spirit begins to move. But, you’ve got to be quiet…your mouth and your mind and your emotions have to be quiet or still, so that the Holy Spirit can talk.
Susie: I don’t know that coming into the presence of the Lord is any easier for me now than it was then, but I can tell much more quickly when I need to come before God. Before I would just panic. I’d be confused and I’d run around saying, “What do I need to do God? What do I need to do?” I would get all worried and I’d fret.
Now, when I feel that coming on me I immediately go to God and realize, “Whoa. I’m not the one in control here. What do You want here God?”
I don’t think there is a formula for coming into the presence of God. Everyone is different, but I do think that at some point you must become still.
Me: How else have you two grown in the Lord since Jack was ill?
Jack: Today instead of coming to God for what is in His hands I think we come to Him for Who He is. Our relationship with God is way more important than the religious aspect of Christianity. The focus is on God and Who He is, not on what we think we need or want from Him.
Susie: I had a woman tell me once that the Bible is the gift that keeps on giving. I laughed and thought, “Oh. That is a cute little thing to say.” But, I think that’s one of the biggest revelations to me: God’s Word isn’t just a great, wise book. It is my life. I have to have it to live!
See more excerpts from this interview in later blogs.