Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Healing Choice

When we have learned the process of faith for receiving healing, we have learned how to receive everything else God promises us in His Word. ~F. F. Bosworth

I am not so sure that our advances in medicine have been advantageous. I have no doubt both Western and Eastern medicine, although far apart in philosophy and techniques, have improved quality of life, cured diseases, and saved lives...but my question is to what end? Has it brought us closer to God or farther away, more dependent on God or more independent of Him?

This is the dilemma for me as a healer and the source of one of my own hypocrisies. I believe in divine healing. I have witnessed divine healing. I have been directly involved with divine healing. Yet, I also have been led and shown what would heal me personally, because I have found that I cannot facilitate healing for myself...perhaps God designed it that way for me so that I would not become too self-reliant? Perhaps that is how it is so for all healers so that we must rely on God? The answers elude me.

A friend recently mentioned that she if she had the gift of healing, she would not call herself a "healer," because all healing comes from God. I understand her thoughts very well for I felt the same way for many years, as I hid in my prayer closet. However, just lately I have begun to notice that I am less patience with this double standard I see before me. I should not call myself a healer, even though I tell how I was given this gift and that it most definitely comes from God, from Whom all healing comes as every Christian believes, yet it is acceptable for Christians to put their faith in modern medicine and a doctor, even if an atheist, and pray to God on the side to guide the doctor, rather than to wait on the Lord for His healing.

Think about that for a moment.... To do nothing but just wait on the Lord God for divine and direct healing...well, that is just crazy talk!

So, just how much faith do we REALLY have in God? We say we trust Him with our lives, believing we do until...we realize we never really have, that is, until the time we have had to do so.

Last year when my husband and I chose to refrain from eating any food for the forty days of fasting called by our church, a number of the members probably thought we were crazy. Most of them had never fasted food before and of those who did, it was one meal a day or perhaps a day. Most believe it is unhealthy, but actually it is quite healthy. Most of our church members chose to fast Starbucks, the Internet, TV, and electronic games. My husband and I both had fasted before, although never so long as forty days. While my husband dropped pounds he did not need, I dropped down to the point that I was showing too much in the ribs. Sometime after the fast ended, one of the members mentioned something about trusting God for your very life and he looked at my husband and me. He had been left with the impression that we had done just that. Perhaps we had.

However, because we had exercised fasting in the past, we were familiar with it. Not just how we would fair physically, but how it would affect us spiritually. It was something we welcomed and felt was worth the suffering and waiting. It is far easier, in a way, to practice fasting, because you know that you could end it just by beginning to eat. You are in control of it. The only thing that keeps you in the fast is your commitment and your purpose.

However, that moment when a doctor says surgery is necessary or cancer has been detected, you realize you have no control over what you are about to suffer. You did not choose it and you cannot see any purpose in it. Yes, there will be prayers to God at those times, but there also will not be much waiting for the prayers to be answered. Whatever the doctor suggests is probably what you will do immediately, asking God to bless it as you make appointments for the very thing you would prefer to be spared through healing, but you doubt that it can be any other way.

Where is that trust, that faith, in the Healer then? I have heard for years the rationalizing that Christians make that God can heal through doctors and perhaps He does, but maybe it is only because we are not patient to wait on His healing in His timing, we do not trust Him first and foremost. Perhaps we are unwilling to suffer and wait, so that His healing will be doubtlessly evident, even to the unbeliever--what an opportunity missed!

Divine healing does happen to people everywhere, but I do not think it is a coincidence that I have heard of far more miraculous healings happening in parts of the world where modern medicine is less available, where people do not have a choice, where waiting on the Lord is the only option. Where else would faith be any greater than in those who must rely on the Lord completely for their very lives?

I write this knowing I myself might not have that strength in my own faith, as I ponder this question: Have you trusted the Lord, your God, for your life...really?

~ My Lord, I have struggled with this so much. I have only questions awaiting Your answers. ~

10 comments:

  1. I've found in my own life that God really really comes through when we are absolutely dependent upon Him... when our backs are against the wall and we have nowhere else to turn. I've found that in my own life in terms of finances and provision for my family. There were times when we had no food and then suddenly a bag full of groceries appeared on the doorstep, times when i needed an ironing board and lo! there is one by the side of the road. Would those miracles have occurred if I had had the money in the bank for groceries? Or an ironing board? I don't think so... You know I had a friend express to me that she wished she could see miracles like that in her life... but she has a wonderful godly husband, a beautiful home and overflowing bank accounts. Maybe she doesn't need miracles... ;-)

    I think it's probably the same thign with healing... if we can go to the doctor and get medicine to "heal" us then we don't "need" God. A former pastor of mine went to India and he said that the believers there experience divine healing all the time. They have no where else to turn, so they turn to God and He comes through... He always does when we truly need Him:)

    By the way... I miss you.

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  2. Persuaded, I have missed you as well and always enjoy your perspective.

    It is true that when we have the choice, we do not choose the same one as when we have no choice, but why is the real question. Did Jesus ever say that he would not heal someone because she had the means to go to a doctor? Why do we think we should go to the doctor first and THEN we will trust God when the doctor states there is nothing else that can be done. We all do this and it is only in our arrogance that we think we don't TRULY need Him.

    About four years ago I began having chest pains that continued for nearly two years and I went to my Lord fearing the worse with my family on both sides having heart problems. I was healed of this problem completely. I still do not know why I had the pains, whether it was a heart condition or anxiety, although my life situation did not change. During this time, whenever I would ask the Lord, I was assured that I did not need to go to a doctor.

    I think we receive not because we ask not, but even when we ask, we wait not. We go to a doctor mostly out of fear that God will not act and because it is easier to believe in medicine than in healing, research than spiritual matters, science than God.

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  3. "I think we receive not because we ask not, but even when we ask, we wait not. We go to a doctor mostly out of fear that God will not act and because it is easier to believe in medicine than in healing, research than spiritual matters, science than God."
    I think you're absolutely right. I think that the reason why so often those that don't "need" miracles don't get them isn't because God deems them less worthy or anything.. I think it's because we don't get serious with prayer and our faith until we are in a position of need. We might pray for healing or an ironing board or whatever, but in the back of our mind we are reviewing all of our other options to fill that need.... "If God doesn't come through, then I'll call the doctor or make a Walmart run or whatever." And so when we start to get a bit uncomfortable, then we get impatient and take matters into our own hands. I know from painful personal experience that often the only thing that keeps me in a state of waiting before God is the fact that I have no other options;-) Here's one of my very favorite quotes: "I cannot number the many times I have been driven to my knees by the sure and certain knowledge that I have nowhere else to turn." Abraham Lincoln.

    It's not admirable or "right" that we should be that way... but hey, we're only dust after all, right? :D

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  4. I love that quote. I was planning to use it one day.

    I agree with you, Persuaded, and I am just as guilty as any other person. I am impatient, fear driven, and always trying to solve the problem...on my own. The older I get, the more I see how far I am from being worthy of the Lord's mercy and grace.

    Persuaded, you should know that your life is a very blessed one that is inspirational to so many people, that includes me!

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  5. Interesting conversation. Ties in nicely with my own trains of thought. [yes, plural ~ I have so many bunny trails going at present!!!] It's experience too & the belief miricales are for other people, we're not worthy of them.

    It's easier to believe for other people too. When Lid was waiting on her finances coming through I was convinced God was coming through for her ~ BUT, Lid wasn't.

    I remember asking a healer once what had gone one as he'd done some healing for people & in the process, I, who had asked for nothing, was healed of a particularly nasty migraine. Why hadn't I asked? I didn't think it was important enough. I assumed other's needs were bigger & more important than mine. Oh & I'm a dork. I want to know how it works first, think about the implication & only then...yes I know. God been on the You don't need to know everything bandstand for some time! ☺

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  6. Ganeida, confirmation: you should ask and you do not need to know everything. Feel better?

    How daring! You called a healer "a healer!" I really have to write more later as I am working through some thoughts on this.

    There is something to not feeling worthy enough to ask, but I would say that some feel that it is humbling to see others in greater need, by our judgement, of healing or prayer than we are. I know that I often do not voice my personal concerns or ask for prayer after I hear about the things others are enduring. In comparison, mine seems so insignificant most of the time that I find it embarrassing to mention them at all.

    However, here is something to think about: I have never found a place in the Bible that states you have to earn the privilege of being prayed for/healed by having the worst situation/condition.

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  7. Snorting into my coffee over here! ☺

    I can't be bothered dancing round this one: a healer is a healer. The power is from Christ through human hands ~ & you knew exactly what I meant!

    Yes, to your last paragraph but knowing does not ever seem to impact how one feels about things. Also ~ & this is one I know from Dearest who often has people offering to pray for healing for him ~ there are some people he just doesn't want laying hands on him!!! An element of trust between giver & reciever seems necessary.

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  8. Ganeida, do I need to post a warning sign on my blog: Sit far back from the computer when drinking coffee and reading this blog.

    I know what I mean when I say healer too, but apparently it is somewhat taboo among Christians...too New Age-y, too arrogant, not humble enough--I did state that I would write about this later.

    I will say that there are the elements of faith that healing can happen, trust that healing will happen, and being comfortable with the healer. It all works better if the person is met at his faith level by the healer.

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  9. I would offer another thought on this. Obviously God does not need help and he can heal all on his own, but does he not expect us to do what we can? I think that at times he expects us to do for ourselves what we are able and then he will do the rest. I mean if you are hungry, and do not get up and go to the kitchen to make food to eat, you will continue to be hungry. God will not fix the food and deliver it to you on the sofa. Yes that is a shallow example, but I think you get the idea. Sometimes God simply says no, and sometimes he says meet me in the middle.

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  10. Birbitt, I understand your perspective and I am struggling through this myself. After praying about how to reply, I was reminded of the feeding of the thousands. The disciples had a sensible idea, not one based on faith, but quite responsible in our own eyes. You will notice that I did not say that a person should not go to a doctor or not use other means to improve one's health, only that we tend not to wait on the Lord after we have ask for His healing but act on our own.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.