“God delights in His children stepping out over the void with nothing under their feet except the Word of God.”
Dr. Lilian B. Yeomans (1861-1942) was a medical doctor, evangelist, college educator, and author. Her father was a physician and they moved to the United States in 1862, when he became doctor for the Northern Army during the Civil War. He died in 1878. Lilian decided to follow in her father’s footsteps, and so she attended the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor to become a physician. Lilian and her mother Amelia were physicians in Manitoba. They learned medicine in Michigan, as Canada did not admit women into med school at the time. They provided health care for women and children, the poor in their community. Lilian became addicted to morphine after using it on the job. After nearly dying, she was healed from the addiction. She gave up her medical practice, and became an evangelist and a missionary to the Cree Indians. She wrote about diving healing and how God had healed her addition. She was a popular speaker on the topic of healing.
“Just believe what God says that Jesus has done for you…
spirit, soul, and body —
think about it, talk about it,
sing about it, shout about it,
and the praise cure has begun.”
In a sense the whole Bible is a revelation, not only of His willingness to heal our spiritual ailments, but our physical ones also. One of His covenant names is “The Lord that healeth”(Jehovah Rapha), and He is also the Lord that changed not, the changeless, healing, health bestowing, life-giving Lord, undisputed Sovereign over all the powers of the universe.
Lilian knew firsthand about trusting in God’s promises in His Word. Born in Canada and briefly living in the United States, Lilian return to Canada to become a medical doctor. She and her mother, who became a doctor at the same time she did, specialized in women’s and children’s health issues. Lilian was surrounded with the problems of the poor and the unemployed. She served prostitutes, visited prisons, worked with alcoholics, and dealt with the social breakdown of people in the rapidly growing city of Winnepeg. Along the say, she also became addicted to drugs, which she had easy access to as a physician.
She said that under the heavy stress of practicing medicine and doing surgery, she would take morphine, or other drugs, so that she could sleep. She was extremely aware of the dangers of this habit, having treated addicts in her own practice. She believed that she had it under control, until the terrible day she discovered that the drug was the master and she was the slave. She was taking drugs at levels 50 times those prescribed for an adult male.
Lilian tried to quit numerous times. She said that if she managed to go 24 hours without them that she would go into withdrawal where she had heart palpitations, hot and cold sweats, nausea, racking pain, mental delusions, intense cravings, and an inability to even stand. She made at least 57 attempts do break free of her addiction. She would throw away the drugs, swearing to never use them again, only to be driven back into them. She sought medical help and attempted medical cures. None of these attempts to heal herself made any difference. Her health was disintegrating and one nurse described her as “a skeleton with a demon inside.” She prayed day and night to be delivered, but she did not believe that God really healed people.
Lilian came to the point where she was bedridden. Her doctors would not take away the drugs, for fear that she would just die. She turned to the Bible for solace. God began to speak to her, not just in a single verse, but throughout the entire Bible. It became clear to her that the Word of God had healing as a part of every section, not just some, but every section. She read in Job about healing, saw God’s heart in Genesis that God called us to walk in His image, saw in Exodus that there were “no feeble among them” in the wilderness, that Deuteronomy called for ritual cleansing of lepers, Numbers showed sickness being dealt with through prayer, sacrifice and atonement, and many others.
In 1913, Lilian wrote:
“I went down into the deepest depths. An addict is the most abject slave on God’s earth. There is one thing that is dearer to the human heart than anything else, and rightly so, and that is freedom. God wants us free. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free, forever and ever; to preach deliverance to them that are bound, and He has called us to do the same thing. That longing for freedom that we find in the human heart is God given, yet the addicts are the most abject slaves in existence. It is a dreadful thing to be a slave to a man or woman; it is an awful thing to be a slave to your own passions, your whims, your caprices, but the morphine or heroin addict is a slave to a drug and to the demon power that lies back of the drug. I tell you I never met a morphine addict yet who didn’t know there was a personal devil. You will get acquainted with him as he pulls the fetters that bind you until they tear into your flesh.”
Lilian came to the realization that she was healed. Her craving for drugs was gone and her health returned. She never again took drugs. The truth of God’s healing power became a reality, which she shared from that time on. Lilian gave up her medical practice and decided to become a missionary among the Cree Indians in Northern Canada for a time. She held evangelistic meetings throughout the U.S. and Canada and taught and spoke on the healing power of God. She led thousands of people to believe God for salvation and for their healing. Her goal was to infuse people with the knowledge that God still heals today. She reportedly saw some very remarkable healings.
In the last 20 years of her life, Lilian taught classes in a Bible College and published several books. She died when she was 85, on December 9, 1942.