Monday, August 24, 2009

Sometimes, But Not Always

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3

Charlie sat on the end of my examining table and asked me, “Doc, do you remember five years ago when you told me that there was nothing more you could do?”

Five years before we had been treating Charlie for primary CNS lymphoma. He responded well to best standard therapy with a complete response, but six months later it returned in the spinal canal. We again treated him, this time with radiation, intrathecal therapy and bone marrow transplant---again with a complete response. When he recurred for the second time in his brain, I remember telling Charlie that there was nothing more that I could do and that he would probably die within six months. Now on the end of my examining table, he was telling me, “When you told me that there was nothing more you could do for me, I changed the way I prayed. Before, I had prayed that God would help me through the difficult treatments and help the doctors make the right decisions so that I could become well again. When you told me that there was nothing else you could do, I changed my prayer and began to pray, ‘God, Creator of the Universe, and Maker of the body I inhabit, you know my body far better than these doctors; please make these spots go away.’ And he did.”

When we trust in God, sometimes He comes in power and takes away the cause of our pain. Sometimes when we trust Him, God uses His power to heal a sickness where doctors have failed, or deliver us from a sin that we cannot escape, or mend a relationship we have no hope of mending. Sometimes God comes in power and fixes our problems. Praise God!

But God doesn’t always do that, does He?

Sometimes we trust in God and the sickness goes on, the patient dies, the marriage ends or the child fails again.

As an oncologist I watch patients who trust God and are healed walk beside those who trust Him and suffer the natural result of their disease. In observing them, I have not been able to tell the difference in the level of faith or devotion between those who were healed miraculously and those who died trusting. I assume the difference in the outcomes between Christians who trust and live and Christians who trust and die lies within the will of God.

Even so, I am satisfied that I can beg for healing and beg for God to fix my problem--- knowing that He can fix and heal, but may not. I can accept the outcome though good or terrible it may be, for I know my Father’s will is grounded in a love as deep as Calvary’s Cross and that His power is as great as the empty tomb. God loves and God can.

Sometimes God comes in power and fixes our problems, but not always.

Dear Father,
Please help and heal those I love. Let me trust them in Your hands and trust in You, that Your will is better than my desires. Amen

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