I have a hunch

Posted on May 15th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

My ongoing struggle with understanding how faith and belief plays out in healing is, as said, ongoing. I am very thankful that I feel my life is being spared daily, each day is more apparently a gift than the day before, although sometimes it hurts to get up to enjoy the gift.

Being aware of a God who I believe has the power to heal cannot be pondered for too long before having to deal with the aspect of volition. What determines the yea or nay of God’s decision to heal or not to heal? Sometimes I find it hard to be excited about my ‘getting through’ difficult phases of treatment, when I know for every time I have a winning outcome, there is someone out there with the same beliefs as I who loses the fight. I tend to only be quoted the success stories. People don’t want to go down the line of remembering and verbalising the situations where people with faith ended up deteriorating or dying.

At the time of writing, we are getting news streamed from China where thousands have perished in a horrific earthquake. The nature of the earthquake is understood by those rescuers who weep when they pull the thousands of lifeless bodies from the rubble and rejoice when the miraculous sounds of life are heard under the same rubble. As someone who feels like one of the breathing rescued, I am still mindful of those who didn’t make it and I wonder who dealt me the good hand, and why, and when is the next earthquake coming?

Last week I was talking to a lady who was told she had a maximum of two years to live. That was eighteen years ago. She has put her faith into juicing an assortment of vegetables and riding her bicycle. Now that seems to have worked for her. So I put my faith in an omnipotent Creator and she puts her faith in silverbeet smoothies. It seems we may end up with a very similar outcome. I would be stoked to get another eighteen years!

So, without doubting any aspect of a Creator’s power to heal, can you see where my confusion lies? I am beyond accepting only the accounts of miraculous healings, as encouraging as they are and as real as they are. Where I walk, there is the reality of sad outcomes that are too often forgotten.

I have a hunch that there is much to learn about the volitional aspect of God’s nature. A God who makes decisions. A God who acknowledges the grief as well as the glory. A God who demonstrates mercy through the act saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A God who allows a life to be long as much as He allows a life to be short.

An illustration. I was on a professional development one day a few years ago at a hotel conference centre. A distressed mum burst into the conference room and cried for help as her baby wasn’t breathing in her hotel room. Myself and two other teachers ran over to the room and we all sprung into action in our own way. One started mouth to mouth, one started praying over the baby to be raised from the dead and I did all I could to check signs of life, of which there were non. No breath, no sign of circulation and a body that was mostly cold. We knew God could make that baby come back, and as the mother stood by and watched, we all just worked to get that baby crying again. The ambulance arrived and declared the baby dead at the scene, leaving a mum in hysterics and us in shock.

I don’t know what went wrong. We had faith, and we had knowledge, and we had skills. What more was necessary to get that baby to breathe again? Someone had made a decision, but I don’t know why the verdict was handed down as it was. This is an example of where the outcome was devastating. I will never forget it, neither should I.

Now of course this questioning and train of thought is based on a particular set of beliefs that form a foundational perspective. It would be easy enough to disregard such beliefs to find an easier answer involving ‘luck-of-the-draw’ that doesn’t involve an all-powerful Creator. But I have had a lifetime of having God making his presence known. For me, that is an unchangeable constant. Everything else needs to be considered in light of this. Thank God! in one way, and Dammit! in another.


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