OK so you've been warned that this article is not my usual ranting about the media or dissecting the political/ cultural landscape. Now another WARNING: some may find the subject matter objectionable because I am going to talk about my faith and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am going to tell you about some friends of mine and what I've learned in the last several weeks about God, miracles, faith (and my lack there of). Now you've really been warned so if you keep reading and want to complain- look in the mirror.
Friends of mine are going through the most horrific crisis parents can face: the serious, nearly fatal illness of their daughter. About six weeks ago the twelve year old came down with a fever and in less than a week had to be placed in a medically induced coma and on life-support as doctors attempted to figure out what was wrong and if they could fix it. Diagnosed with Influenza, Pneumonia, and MRSA doctors gave her little chance to survive. As her parents hunkered down in a hospital room, Christians, literally from around the world went to their collective knees and slowly, miraculously, the little girl stabilized, then began to improve.
This didn't happen overnight and therein lies one of the most incredible stories of faith I have been witness to in my lifetime. While the little girl endured setbacks, including several lung collapses, her parents endured. But they did more than endure- while believers everywhere prayed for them, they ministered to us and taught us about faith and God's will being sovereign as opposed to ours.
Day after day I was privileged to read postings from a mom and dad who feared their daughter may die and still were willing to submit themselves to God's will No Matter What the Outcome! Time and time again I read words like ".... is in God's hands and there is no better place." As I reread some of their posts, I am struck by a rock solid faith in God and His plan for their family and all of us if we will only pay attention.
As I go through life whining from time to time about minor aches, pains, disappointments and challenges I need to realize a few things. While we tend to shrink from adversity, God uses it to build our character. God is always, I repeat, always in control. While our vision may be limited by the valley we are in, God sees over the mountains. God is never surprised. If we are to grow in our faith, we must learn that God's will is what we should be praying for and working toward and not our will.
Early on in this journey, emergency surgery was needed to fix a collapsed lung and the doctors said the little girl might not make it. In the midst of their terror this was the father's reaction: "Circumstances of our lives are but a vapor, a mist, but our life in Christ, bringing Him glory, is eternal." We all could learn a thing or two about faith from these friends of mine and Christians could learn a thing or two about keeping our eyes on the Creator instead of things and circumstances created.
As this brave family endures and their daughter continues to show remarkable progress, I've been thinking about what people will say regarding this experience. Whenever the unexplainable happens people try to explain it. I guess that's human nature but it tends to minimize God. One example happened within the past week or so on Bill O'Reilly's show during a piece on the History Channel's movie, The Bible.
During the discussion O'Reilly stated his belief that the Bible was allegorical in many places. Letters came in disagreeing with him regarding this belief but Mr. O'Reilly stuck to his guns. His example was that it would be impossible for a fish to swallow Jonah. Now I admire Mr. Bill for his tenacity and commitment to traditional values but I have to disagree with him and so many others who deliberately or inadvertently minimize God.
My point is that if God could create the world and the entire universe, why couldn't He create a fish that could swallow a fully grown human? And if the counter to the argument is that God has limits, then what makes him God? God by definition is omnipotent therefore He could and can do anything and everything attributed to Him in the Bible. If God is NOT omnipotent he might as well be Batman (or the Joker for that matter).
For those who know God and have seen the miraculous, no explanations are necessary. For those who don't, no explanations will suffice.
And finally, back to my friends and their daughter: when her healing and restoration is complete I suppose some will want to credit medical expertise and discount the miraculous. I agree medical expertise, amazing technology and excellent medicines all were part of the process but I also want to quote this young lady's mom:
"The other night God allowed me to get a glimpse of how He has been healing ......... One of the people on medical staff caring for ....... told me that many of them, from nurses all the way up to the doctors, didn’t think she would live 3 days when she came in on ............. The nurse mentioned that many kids who come in with this kind of MRSA do not make it or lose limbs to the infection. In that moment, my eyes were opened to see God’s wonderful hand!"
To this I can only say, AMEN!