Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Pastor's Ponderings, February 19, 2019

Once again, we are blessed to have a guest author for this weeks Pastor’s Ponderings, Dr. Malika Fair.

Giving God A Side-Eye?

I’m too familiar with sickness and disease. I’m trained to be able to look at someone and almost immediately place him or her in a “sick” vs. “not sick” category in terms of their imminent demise. I’m also blessed that friends and family members will call on me to ask for medical advice and I can be an advocate for them as they navigate the complicated medical system. Yet, something unusual has happened over the past two weeks. The family and friends who I’ve encountered with medical issues rival the number I see on a busy ER shift. New friends and old, mentors and mentees, and even my own Father have been in the hospital. Seeing and hearing their pain has impacted me to my core and I’ll be honest, I’ve questioned God.

Intellectually, I know that physicians are quite limited and rely on our training, scientific discoveries and pattern recognition to treat medical conditions. Spiritually, I believe in miraculous healing, the power of prayer, and I’ve seen people recover against all odds.  But practically, I sometimes pause and look at God with a side-eye. “This doesn’t seem like the God I serve. Why would you allow this to happen? Haven’t they suffered enough? Can’t you just take the pain away? Can’t you just heal them right now?”

The Bible tells us that He knew our bodies when we were first formed in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Despite what we think about ourselves or what blood work and X-rays tell us, we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Times of sickness and disease bring a lot of fear, but God promises that He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). He reminds us that He knows our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Even when we have horrific challenges, He tells us to take heart, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

As I wait for my family and friends to be completely healed, I realize that God is already working. He is healing by allowing her speech to come back slowly, his pain to go away, her tumor to shrink, and his doctor to know what procedure is needed. God is showing up by sending friends and family to the bedside, meals to their kitchen, and allowing calls to reach their phone. He’s making sure children are cared for, bills are paid and responsibilities are lifted. He’s bringing laughter during pain. He’s reminding us that our lives are like a vapor (James 4:14). We can’t hold on to anything but Him.

It might be you that is experiencing a health challenge or maybe it is a friend or family member. Although we anxiously anticipate the healing to occur, the gift is in the process. The healing is what is happening inside all of us when we learn what it means to really trust Him. Even in looking to the side, if you look close enough God is still present and doing amazing works.

Click here to learn about my friend’s miraculous and steady recovery and consider donating: https://www.gofundme.com/support-kassandra-new-mom-brain-surgery

Jeremiah 1:5
New International Version (NIV)
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,before you were born I set you apart;I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Hebrews 13:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Isaiah 46:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

John 16:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

James 4:14 
New King James Version (NKJV)
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

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