Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Philosophy on Healing

Whew, I guess I'm taking up a big topic today. Actually it's rather simple. I've come to form this view over many years, and am open to God revising it whenever and however He wishes.

My view basically boils down to this: God is the creator, and He is the healer of broken bodies. This healing can take place in many ways. We may put some in the "miracle" category, but all healing is by God alone through whatever means and timing He chooses. His children can expect total healing in some form and can confidently pray and trust that He will answer. As we approach Easter, we must acknowledge that the resurrection is the ultimate form of healing, but we can expect significant healing in this world as well.

Now I'd like to share some of my experiences and what God has taught me through them. When Dave was first diagnosed with Crohn's, we prayed for God's supernatural intervention before he went through with the surgery. I was scheduled to sing at church during this time and chose a song titled "He is Able." Before I sang, I dedicated the song to Dave. We were trusting God for healing, and because the surgery ended up being necessary, we embraced God's sovereign will that although He was able, He did not remove the Crohn's without the help of the surgeons. We believe He guided the surgeon's hands and spared Dave's life; Dave went into total remission for six years following. Dave grew spiritually as the surgery loomed over him, being confronted with his mortality and gaining a greater appreciation for the blessings in His life, first and foremost our family.

When Crohn's reared its ugly head again six years later, Dave was able to consider other treatments; the first time he had no other options because his urinary tract was compromised. Aside from Prednisone, which is a steroid that is problematic long-term, none of the treatments worked. He even had an allergic reaction to one. Dave had a second surgery, but it did not bring about the desired and expected result. During this time I adopted the "manna" principle for healing. Dave's been prayed over and anointed with oil by the elders, and I believe his health is a daily step of faith. We trust God to SUSTAIN him and give him what he needs for each day. God has faithfully enabled Dave to have an amazing influence in our family, at our church, on campus, and in our state, all while dealing with the ups and downs of his health. We're still praying for even more and constantly seeking out new treatments, some of them "non-medical." It's been a long interesting journey and the manna keeps coming.

Something just came to mind which I'll share. My mother lost her oldest sibling to illness - there were several siblings at the time and my mother was not yet conceived. My grandparents believed that taking their child to the doctor negated allowing God to directly heal her (I'm pretty sure money was partly involved as well). Unfortunately they lost her. They did end up taking her to the doctor, but it was too late. I could be tempted to allow this to shape my thinking and not trust God enough for supernatural healing. I've tried to be careful about that. I greatly respect my grandparents and know they tried to exercise their faith as God led them. The main thing is that their eyes were on the Lord and that's what really counts.

So to wrap up, as things stand now, I am trusting God to bring about a surgery-free healing and/or sustaining of Dave and also a restoring of Ethan to good health. I view Dave's careful maintenance of his weight and responding to flare-ups w/ dietary restrictions and rest as his "manna", along with continually seeking out other medical options. I view Ethan's chemo as his "manna". For myself, I'm seeking God's help in making the right decisions and taking it one step at a time (both figuratively and literally). It's a process, and God will heal all of us as we walk in faith with Him. Ethan seems "healed" to me now, but we must keep going with the chemo. We must follow the protocol because God has ordained it for him. We know the people who are working with him and how much they've invested to keep him alive. They really care for every child they save. This is God's way of telling us that His hand is directly on Ethan through them, just as His hand was upon him through the elders in February '09 in Peoria.

Similarly, my physical therapist is a Christian, has SI joint dysfunction herself, and is probably one of the few if not the only specialist in women's pelvic health in our town. I too have received anointing prayer, not for this most recent illness, but for a former one at which time I "just happened" to be teaching on a healing-related passage in Mark for our women's ministry at church. My beliefs stem first and foremost from God's Word and then seeing how He works in the lives of those who trust Him.

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