A Response: Gods Will…

I received the following question in my email this morning… I would like the opportunity to respond.

If this is from God per your quotation of the verse 2 Cor 12:8-10, then why are you going to the Mayo Clinic?

Are you trying to get them to thwart the Will of God for your life?

Doesn’t make sense, does it?

“MacMan”, First of all thank you for your comment and for taking the time to push me to a closer understanding of where I am in this journey.

I want to start with my daughters journey, because it is so tightly wrapped into my outlook on my own Journey. I am not sure if you have read her story- but long and short, she has a donated heart beating in her little chest at the age of 5. As much as I believe God’s hands were all over the medical aspects of HER situation- I firmly believe He is all over mine.

I think the first mistake you make (and I say that with the utmost respect) is that you assume that God isnt telling me to go to Mayo Clinic. You are assuming that my faith in God and my faith in the medical provisions he has given cannot be intertwined. You are assuming that you understand more abundantly the will of God’s life for me than I do or my family does- the people who are walking this road with our ears FIRMLY pressed against the word of God, listening… and waiting.

Do I believe in miracles- without a shadow of a doubt. I would stand on the highest mountain top and declare that. Do I believe it has to be a great and mighty miracle to qualify as such- ABSOLUTELY NOT. Many times in our lives (mine included) we miss God because we are waiting for that “Mighty and all compassing Miracle”. Look at my daughters story again (I am learning more and more daily from that sweet child’s testimony). There are so many small miracles in her journey that you will miss if you only focus on the ‘perfect healing of her body’. Gods not in the business of desiring only physical health- His desires are far more reaching than that.

Here is the scripture you are referring to:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My questions to you (again said with the utmost respect) Why do you desire to put God in a box? Why are you putting limits on God’s ability to work. Why do you feel that God’s will can only work if it is a mighty and profound miracle? How did you come to the conclusion that the medical advantages we have been blessed aren’t a provision from a loving God?

*Christ speaks mightily regarding this:

Jesus Speaks Regarding the Use of Medicine

The Good Samaritan

Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’

Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands? And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.

Luke 10:30-37

Consider the following briefest of summaries of this world-renowned story:

The Samaritan poured oil and wine into the wounds of the injured Jew and then bound up the wounds with bandages. Then Jesus tells all who have been listening to His story, “Go and do the same.” –source

*Timothy Uses Medicine for His “Frequent Ailments”

Paul was Timothy’s spiritual father and mentor in the Lord. Paul, who had the Spirit-given ability to heal other men’s maladies freely and to validate the gospel with miracles, signs, and wonders says something utterly astonishing to Timothy.

“No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (1 Timothy 5:23) –source

*Luke Was Known as “the Beloved Physician”

Luke is given the title “the Beloved Physician” in Colossians 4:14. This was no reference to his work in the past. Titles in the New Testament were given as a matter of recognition to current activities, professions, and gifts. Consider Philip the Evangelist, Paul the Apostle, Agabus the Prophet. That Luke continued to practice medicine, in obedience to the command that Christ gave to his disciples to “go and do the same” (imitating the righteous deeds done by the Good Samaritan) is all but certain. It is also all but certain that Luke was a man of faith.-source

*Jesus is the Great Physician.

He has called us all to be good Samaritans and care for the physical wounds (and the spiritual wounds) of our neighbors with the compassionate use of medicine and medical knowledge. We will not heal others perfectly, God alone does that. We will not counsel others perfectly. God alone does that. We will not shepherd other perfectly, God alone does that. But we are compelled by His Word to try. To not try is to deny Him, to be unfaithful, and to be uncompassionate.-source

*What Jesus Did Not Say

Please take note of what Jesus never said. It is nowhere recorded that Jesus said, “do not seek medical assistance for yourself, nor provide medical assistance to the helpless”. Why is this important to note? Because where there is no biblical command against something, such as medicine, there is also no penalty or accountability to God for doing that thing. Consider this principle of “no law means no sin” with regard to the following verses about the Old Testament Law:

“for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.” (Romans 4:15).

“for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” (Romans 5:13)

Where there is no law, there is no violation, and therefore, no sin is imputed. If it is not pushing the principle too far, we can understand this to mean that where there is no explicit commandment condemning an action (in this case the action is seeking medical attention) then there is no violation of the law.

Had Jesus, or any of the apostles or prophets, created a law by commanding us to not seek medical treatments, then we would have such a command written into the Scriptures and it would be a law indeed. However, since the canon is complete and because there is no command to avoid medicine and medical treatments, we are free to seek such therapy without danger to our faith and without danger of being trapped in sin. –source

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4,5)

Im choosing not to put my God in a box.

* Denotes text was taken from this source: Faith Healing — God’s Compassion, God’s Power, and God’s Sovereignty I encourage each of you to read this article, It addresses this issue (and others) head on.

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Comments

  1. God has worked miracles in my life through the hands of physicians. My two babies are living proof that God heals, and God performs miracles.

    Thanks for writing this. It was good to read it.

  2. I have been thinking and praying for you all week, although I have yet to comment. I have been left speechless and not quite sure what to say. I know words can be so trite at moments like these.

    My own heart has done some deep soul searching and questioning on your behalf. Your testimony, honesty, vulnerability and openness in the midst of this is truly an example of the God we serve! I can hear in your words that you want to be sure God receives the glory… in all things. May I assure you, He is!

    May you sense God and His presence in ways never before experienced!

    What a beautiful response to such thoughts and questions!!! Praying you sense God’s hand upon you and His Spirit with you each moment!

    Continuing to pray and lift you and your family…

  3. Oh Heather, Well done! Well said!

    People forget that Our God can and will use many different avenues to bring about His Perfect will. That will may not be ours, but it will be perfect. And going to the doctor will not thwart God’s will. It was going to the doctor in the first place that gave you insight into the beginning of this journey, why would God change tactics now, although He can at any moment. He is Lord!

    Another avenue that unbelievers do not understand is to die for the believer is to be healed completely. To die for the believer in Jesus is as Paul said, Gain. I remember finally getting to that place in my hospital bed and releasing myself to the Lord Jesus and His will. He knew better than me what my husband and my children needed to have in their lives to be the men and women of God HE calls them to be. If accomplishing that meant to do it without me,so be it. Getting to that place of surrender gave me Peace I had never known and hope I had never imagined. I did die on the table for about five minutes. That was 26 years ago. God had a mighty plan! SO much bigger than I even imagined. God wanted me to homeschool my children ( I hadn’t even finished High School nor did I know about Homeschooling at the time) and I taught them through High School. My husband was not a believer at the time. He became a Pastor. I have seven grandchildren! And I live those “26 years” as a gift I never expected to possess.

    My mom had two types of renal and colon cancers very advanced. They told her if they got everything (which they did not think they would)the absolute best prognosis she could dream of was seven more years at best, probably only two or three. It has been 16 years now, she is still going strong. When she had her surgery my neice was pregnant with my mom’s first Great Grandchild, she now has 14 great grandchildren.

    You responded so very well. We may never know the reason, but we will see God glorified.

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  4. Great response and obviously BIBLICALLY based!
    Praying for you and spreading the word to other believers to pray as well! Much love and prayers!
    Tracy

  5. Heather that was an awesome and gracious response. Just a short note to let you know that you are in my prayers.

    “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

  6. Great job explaining that miracles and medicine are NOT mututally exclusive! Continuing to pray for you in Ohio.

  7. Wonderful answer. I hope he “gets it”. I brought Amy Wilhoite’s situation to my SS class a few weeks ago and the evangelist who was with us that week anointed me and prayed for Amy. It was an amazing experience. I was just sure Amy was going to post that week that she was completely healed. She had been “given” two months to live. She was not instantly healed, but her progress has been steady every day since. I believe that is part of God’s miracle!

    My son’s deliverance from heroin addiction, almost dying 5 times, is a series of miracles that we didn’t even see at the time. He and I are writing about it and are on Part 6 right now.

    As you’ve said, and I say so often GOD IS OOD! ALL THE TIME!

  8. Wow, what a gracious and spiritual response to someone so unkind! I know a few (only 2-3, thankfully) people who seem to have learned the scriptures in the Bible only to allow the devil to use them to stir up dissension with other Christians. “MacMan” seems to relish attempting to be a “stumbling block” to others. To succeed, he would have had to have found someone with far less faith than you. I’m so sorry, Heather, about all of this. But, this I know, God created the brilliant doctors in this world just like He has you and I. He hears his children when they pray and intervenes on their behalf. Maybe you are going through this trial because some of the rest of us need to walk closer with God and step up here to meet this challenge for you. So many care about you and are praying fervently for your healing. Know that you are loved and we care. God bless.
    Terri
    Sinking Spring, OH

  9. God is using you to touch lives.

  10. A Good Friend says:

    Wow…even in the midst of all you are experiencing you take the patience, time and caring to teach others about the Bible and the word of God. I wonder who this person reeally is and what they are trying to say. I agree with one of the other commenters, doctors and surgeons are gifts from God..and they are not to be ignored when we need them. Take care my friend and stay strong!

  11. I agree with my niece, Sarah. My answer wouldn’t have been nearly as gracious. Thank you for sharing your very well thought out response with us.

  12. Heather —

    I was thinking of you in Sunday School this morning when this verse was what I read. Matthew 9:12 “When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.’ ”

    You have the need for a physician. God gave them to us for a purpose. Use that gift from God and be blessed!!

  13. Heather, you have an excellent understanding of Scripture. :) I too, believe that God can and does crazy, unexplainable physical miracles. But you are so right…all we can do is ask humbly, knowing that God will give us exactly what we need, regardless of what we think that is. :)

    I am praying for you still.

    –Tiff

  14. Heather, Last night I sat and read your blog for about two hours. I nearly wept. I talked with my sister about you for quite some time this morning. I firmly believe, whther you are healed of your tumor or not, God has ALREADY used it in you for a purpose. You gave me goosebumps while I was reading through your blog. Your trust in God is amazing, and I am in awe of it. I can only hope more people learn about God through this situation. I am sorry you are going through this, and for all you have been through, but I am not sorry for the wonderful things that have come, and are still coming out of this! To God be the Glory!! Prayers for you and your family!

  15. I’m sorry that you received that email, incredibly insensitive.

    You said, “How did you come to the conclusion that the medical advantages we have been blessed aren’t a provision from a loving God?”

    They are. I attended a birth this week where a friend labored for nearly 48 hours. In the end, after pushing for 3 hours, her baby was delivered by c-section. He was stuck, plain and simple. Without modern medical intervention, I don’t know what would have happened, but I can imagine that mother and baby could have died. These sorts of advances in medicine are truly gifts from God.

  16. I believe in every single word you said.

    I too have a child with a heart defect, and that has taught me how to beieve in miracles.

    Please don’t let other people discourage you, as I see you have not, live for yourself!

    Much love

  17. I am in such amazement of you and your family. I thank you for your strength and your undeniable faith in Christ. I am reaching for your faith and reading about you has helped me. I do not wish your situation on anyone…and I do not claim to understand…I do know this: You are a bright light for Christ. You shine even when others would get angry and retaliate. For this, I thank you. You share the Word of God in such a manner it makes me want to soak up more. For this, I thank you. So, my friend, I am praying for you and hugging you all the way in TN! :)

  18. You’re truly an amazing powerful woman!

  19. emily_hope says:

    Thank you! You said all of that so well. I am sorry that there are such insensitive people in this world. But, alas, none of us are perfect. I believe doctors were given a special gift and I believe that special gift came from God.

  20. There is no box big enough for our GOD!!! You keep the faith Heather. I have been praying for you since Boomama linked you on her site. Sometimes the thorns are blessings – we just have to figure out how God intends them for good.

  21. Good job Heather! I’m so glad you didn’t respond in a negative way to that question :)Our God is truly an AWESOME God and I’m praying that His provision for you at the Mayo Clinic will blow you away.

  22. Great response Heather. I’m sure it stung to read that comment but I’m so glad you wrote a response and shared it with all of us.
    We are all here cheering you on because the God we all believe in, the one that cannot be put in a box, is here bringing us all together to love on you.

  23. I think part of Macman’s misunderstanding may stem from a belief that the “this” that comes from God is the cancer. Macman says, if cancer is from God, why should we seek to heal it?

    But we don’t believe the cancer is from God. Sickness (death) came into the world with sin – which is why Adam and Eve were banished from the tree of life. We all suffer the effects of sin – it is handed down through the generations. It is inescapable. It doesn’t mean that Heather did something really bad and so she got cancer. It means Heather lives in a fallen world and Heather got cancer.

    But, God works in the midst of the suffering. He does not forsake us, but uses all things for the good of those who love Him. God’s will for Heather will be attained, cancer or not. God will be with Heather, cancer or not. God will use Heather, cancer or not.

    But, because of the combination of Heather’s love for God and her scary situation, she will likely draw even closer to God. She shares this with us and that glorifies God. It points us to God, and that is God’s will.

  24. Thanks for printing a public response to the email! You just blessed my socks off! I am living proof in both the power of God and the power of God through medicine! I cried out to Him to save me right before they put me under for an emergency C-Section with my first baby girl due to placental abruption. I made it through amazingly well and Had God wanted to take me then, I think He would have. But, He wasn’t finished with me yet and has since allowed me to use that circumstance to minister to others. He is using you in a mighty way, Heather! Thank you for being so open with all of us and sharing you heart! You are reaching more people for Christ than you know! Praying for you!

  25. Good!! Heather!

  26. Even in trial you are beyond gracious. My continued prayers.

  27. There’s nothing I can add that hasn’t been said. You are inspiring. Thank you for allowing God to shine through you!

  28. MacMan,
    If you are just seeking or genuinely asking, I hope Heather’s answer helped you to see her perspective and her sincere faith in the God who loves us all. I hope you don’t feel atacked by her fan club here. We just love her so much, we are committed to pray for her, and we so do not want to see her discouraged. She’s got plenty on her plate. Thanks for trying to understand. – Dee Dee

  29. Amen. Praying for you and your dear family!

  30. Heather, I am learning so much from you and drawing such strength in your time of struggle.

    God created us all, physicians included. He gave physicians their abilities and access to knowledge. Physicians and the grace of God have saved my children as He did your Emma Grace. What sin could be found therein?

    My prayers and hugs continue. Your faith is a gift to us all.

  31. Heather ~

    I am new to your blog. Just from reading a few entries I can tell you are a very strong woman. You are beautiful, as is your family. I am sorry to hear of all the pain that is going on in your life. I to have walked the bumpy roads you are walking. My situation is no where near yours, but I believe pain is pain. No matter how big or small. I can contest to the pain you felt standing with your daughter in the ICU. I have 2 sets of twins and my youngest who are 17 months were born 9 weeks premature. We spend 26/40 days in the NICU. By the time my son was 4 months old he needed hernia surgery. By the time My daughter was 9 months and my son was 10 months they both under went total reconstrunction of their skulls because they had craniosynostosis – premature closure of the soft spots. There is no worse feeling then to hand you child over to a surgical team. I am sure you daughters surgery took awhile. Ours last 7 hours.

    I do believe everything you go through makes you a stronger person. You’ve been through a lot. God acts in weird ways. I questioned him A LOT when we were hit with all of my youngest medical issues. Everyone told me he only gives you as much as you can handle, but boy, he sure stretches you to the limit.

    God has plans for you. I believe he will help you, and your beautiful family through this. I have faith.

    Mayo is a great place.You will do just fine.
    We will keep you in our prayers.

    Hugs to you.

  32. I just have to say that God does still perform miracles. I have a brother to prove it. He was paralyzed, told he wouldn’t walk again and he does now! It was medically impossible!

  33. Again Heather your grace astounds me!!! My friend starts chemo this morning for breast cancer. I shall show her your posts to lift her up! Thank you for the gift that you are to all of us!!!

  34. I must say you handled that with more grace than I would have! In a format for you to pour out your inmost feelings, (this is in a small sense, a form of therapy) you handled that incredibly well. I believe that God created medicine and doctors, so it is for Him to use as He desires. Can God perform an instaneous, dramatic miracle? Absolutely! Does He always? Absolutely not! The older and hopefully wiser I get, I realize that all of life is an opportunity to reflect the heart of Christ. It’s amazing the things that God allows and what He uses to accomplish that goal. We never know the range of influence we have until God puts us in a particuliar situation. We may never know how our trials and struggles here on earth encouraged someone or even helped lead them to salvation in Christ! We can only stand tall because we are propped up with the grace that comes from God alone!
    Connie in Texas

  35. God is glorifying himself so much through you. I feel you needed to know that from an outside source.

    LOVE in Christ,
    Jenn

  36. Wonderful answers. You reminded me somewhat of Sharach. Meshach, and Abednago said in Daniel 3 to Nebuchadnezzar, “Our God is able to deliver us, but if not….” God is more than able to deliver through whatever means He chooses, but if not, He has promised to be with us, to give grace to help in time of need, to uphold us.

    Macman seems to be suffering from the fatalistic view that if God is in control of everything then we shouldn’t do anything, but that (the latter half of that) is completely contrary to Scripture. Time and time again Scripture shows God’s working through man’s actions and man acting in harmony with God’s will. God is sovereign and in control — nothing happens to us without His permission. But it is not thwarting His control to then seek His wisdom and means in handling this — all along you have acknowledged His control and His will and are seeking His wisdom in all of this.

    This is my first time commenting since learning of the tumor but I have prayed and will continue to do so, and though in one sense I hate like everything that your family has to experience the tumor and everything that goes with it, I am rejoicing at the manifestation of His grace poured out in your lives.

  37. Oops, that should be Shadrach, not Sharach.

  38. Thank you for sharing some of the most wonderful worhip songs and music (you posted in your sidebar).

    Just want you to know, I ma now wearing a LIVE STRONG yellow armband with a written note “Praying for Heather”. I believe that just as Lance Armstrong survived his trial when had the rain tumor, you too will come out victorious on this.

    Our God is a BIG God!

  39. I’m adding this post to my favorites, as it is the first meaningful perspctive on, as a person of faith, using medical resourses to acheive healing. I’ve struggled with this balance for many years as we decide to what extent we will seek medical help for a health issue in my life. I’m in tears as I feel like so many of my prayers have been answered through your gracious response to macman. We’ve prayed for direction from the Lord, clear direction, and as I read through the scripture you posted, I’m finally sensing some direction. Thank you for sharing your journey with so many you don’t even know. You are a blessing.

  40. Excellent post. You are already growing in your faith. There is a purpose in all things. I pray that your healing is near.

  41. Amen and again I say AMEN! Preach it girl and may God hold you in the palm of his hand, caress and bless you and heal you body, mind and spirit.

    Hugs and prayers!

  42. THis is way too long (especially for a first time commenter!), but this kinda stuff just sticks in my craw.

    Excellent response. Gracious, kind, and thoughtful. I am praying for you and your family, posting your story on my blog, and asking my church’s prayer ministry to pray as well.

    Something that strikes me is that in this experience you (and He that is in you) will have touched the lives of doctors, technicians, nurses, PAs, etc. Every touch allows the Holy Spirit to move in them and through them to you. Medical professionals who follow Christ have the opportunity to know him more, to serve him with the work of their hands, to pray for you, etc. Their faith is encouraged b/c of working with you.

    And in sharing your story here, you have connected with hundreds of people, giving us the chance to spend time in prayer, and to give of our time and money to the work of God in your life. We are blessed to see Jesus in you and have the opportunity to try to be a little Jesus *to* you.

    That is what the Body of Christ is all about. We live out our faith in front of those who don’t know our God. They see how we can “praise Him in the storm” and how we rally around our brothers and sisters in love.

    And we also just plain live out our faith. It is one thing to say we believe in a good God, but here’s where the rubber meets the road for us. We must love you practically with words and money (yay Boomama!) and time. We must remember to praise our good God and to plead with him on your behalf.

    Just think how much goodness would have been missed if you had just sat in your room and said, “Well, I guess this tumor is the will of God for me.”

  43. Dear Sister in Christ, He knows your needs.
    Sit on His lap, hold His hand tight and rest in the peace of HIS comfort and Love.
    I am praying for you and your loved ones.
    And all those you will touch through this that will bring Him glory.

  44. Heather,
    first of all I don’t expect you to have or make the time to respond to this unless you absolutely want to. It’s not going to hurt my feelings because I know your life is crazy insane right now. I am now an 11 year survivor of breast cancer who was completely healed. I tell everyone who will listen about my healing experience, bu part of my healing was two surgeries, 12 rounds of chemo and 42 rounds of radiation. Medecine does not negate healing, and it is no reflection of your amount of faith if God chooses to heal you through the use of modern medecine. It also doesn’t make it any less miraculous then instantaneous healing. It will mean that you will have a special ministry that will touch so many people who have walked your path. I can minister to many people, but those I touch most deeply or those who “know” about chemo and radiation and all the things we share because that is exactly who God ordained me to minister before the dawn of time. Someone earlier in the comments referenced Daniel and his three friends in the furnace. Some people will be delivered from ever entering that furnace, and some of us have to walk through the fire, and only God fully understands why, but I have no doubt that He will make clear the path that is yours.
    You and your family are in our prayers.

  45. BOO YAH! The Word doesn’t need our boo-yahs- but we do! Alright, Heather!

  46. Thank you!

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