Healing and Revival
For the next six years she struggled against the call in her life. She took a teaching job, but in the winter of 1895 became ill and was forced to give it up. She saw doctors, took medicine, went to other climates where family lived but still did not get better. She had stomach, liver, and kidney trouble, her joints would swell, she had severe headaches and at times she would have attacks where her entire body would grow stiff and she could not move. She was in a state of physical and mental exhaustion. The entire time she struggled with her Uncle's word to live and work for God alone. When she was 23 she was hospitalized for three months. There she drifted from God almost totally.
In 1898 she saw a celestial sign in the heavens. She knew at that point that there must be a God and set out to pursue him. She prayed 18 hours a day for a month. One night at midnight she was awoken and it seemed that the heavens opened above her and the Holy Spirit revealed the existence of God in a way that she would never question again. From that point on she committed "to serve Him even if she awoke in hell." She was close to death but committed to pray every waking hour. She struggled with her illness trying to glorify God. One night however, in frustration she cried out "Father heal me, heal me and let me live for Thy service. I know that it cannot be Thy will that I should drag out my life a useless burden to myself and everyone else. It is all nonsense for me to try to make myself believe I can glorify Thee in my miserable sickness. Give me health and let me work in Thy Vineyard - and atone for my years of idleness." She was healed for a time, but within weeks the symptoms began to return.
A friend of the family was healed through John Alexander Dowie in Chicago. Martha began to study the Word and found out that God did heal. She had Dowie pray for her, in abstentia, twice but did not improve. Still she pressed into God. In February and again in March 1899 she and her sister were praying and the presence of God rolled over her. She was partially healed. She kept on pressing into God and went to Zion House in Chicago. She stayed two months and came to the understanding that she needed to know the Healer more than the healing. She was completely healed before she left Chicago to return home to Davenport.
She went home and gave her testimony. She began getting requests for prayer. God led her to work for a company where she led her employer to Christ. He allowed her to leave work at any time to pray for the sick. One call was for a woman who died before she arrived. Upon entering the room Martha laid hands on the woman and she sat up. Her healing ministry was so successful that Dr. Dowie had her ordained as a minister on May 24, 1901. One day she prayed for a woman who had a stroke and was paralyzed. The woman got up and walked fourteen blocks and home again. The woman was also healed of rheumatism and heart disease. Dowie, seeing her success asked her to come to Chicago to help with the move to Zion.
In November 1901 Martha moved to Zion and worked for the Lace factory manager. There she met, and eventually married in 1905, Henry Walker Robinson. This was a season when God pulled her back from ministry and began to deal with her character. Henry and Martha moved to Detroit to work as ministers. Martha returned for a visit in 1906 just in time to attend meetings led by Charles Parham on the infilling of the Holy Spirit. She and her husband sought God on this and both had experiences of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. God eventually called the couple to Toronto, Canada and then back to Zion, Illinois.
Many of the people in Zion had been crushed when the town collapsed financially and spiritually. Martha held meetings which touched people to return to the work of the service of God. The Robinsons opened a "Faith Home" where people would come for teaching and prayer. Like George Muller they depended on God to provide what was needed for expenses. Thousands came through her home and healings were a regular occurrence. Her husband died in April of 1916, but Martha continued in her ministry. She had a very sharp gift of discernment and regularly told people the secrets of their hearts. She often had directive prophetic words for those under her care. Many young people came to the home for training and went into the mission fields and evangelistic endeavors.
Martha Wing Robinson died June 26, 1936. Shortly before she died she stated her life's message "Nothing matters but Christ Jesus." Her whole life was spent in the service of God and for the Glory of His Son Jesus. She had seen many healed, saved, delivered, empowered and sent out. She was truly a mother in Israel. In 1962 Gordon P. Gardiner wrote a book about her life called "Radiant Glory" because that is how she lived her life. (The picture above is taken from "Radiant Glory.")
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