Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Believing God" Week 3: Believing God Can Do What He Says He Can Do

*EDIT: Yes, I did the wrong week. I told Diane something like this would happen, not to trust me, but what did she do? She went right on and trusted me. This will teach her.




Believing GOD



Honestly, this was a challenging week within this study for me. Good, but challenging.

Healing is something I think about on a daily basis.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm studying the issue of healing/miracles like I would a prismatic ball, holding it up to the light, slowly turning it, trying to understand all of the facets, the hows and whys, of healing. Because after all is said and done, even when people such as Lazarus are dramatically healed, they must pass away at some point.

And yet, love compels us to ask, "Please heal my loved one." And Love has permitted us to " ... come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" Heb. 4:16. We certainly have ample scriptural precedence for requesting healing.

Here are two "facets" of my prism that I think about often. I know that you don't know these people, but the reason I'm writing about them is to report to you what God is miraculously doing in their lives, proving the validity of 2 Corinthians 12:9: But 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.


Facet 1: I have posted a couple of times about my friend Diane who has cancer, unknown primary source (CUP) and has been given a discouraging prognosis. Curiously, Diane seems to have been transformed through her challenge. Because I don't want to discuss the specifics of anyone else's life on my blog, all I can say is, she actually seems happier now than she has in years. She just exudes joy, and I'm telling you, it's the real deal. I'm blown away by how strong she is in spirit and faith and how loving and tender she has remained. There is no bitterness in Diane. She has a great sense of humor. She blogs regularly on CarePages, and you can feel her joy leaping off of your monitor and wrapping itself around you, which is no surprise, since Diane is a hugger.

Will God eradicate her cancer? I don't know. I know that he can indeed do that. We just don't know if he will. Beth Moore said that it's better to err on the side of belief than unbelief. But if he doesn't heal her, he is still good and trustworthy. His fingerprints are all over Diane. When I am with her, I promise you I feel a distinct "otherness" about her. I know, I KNOW this is the Holy Spirit of our good God on his precious daughter. If he does not eradicate the cancer, I believe, like Beth said, he has something greater for Diane in that case. But I'll not stop asking for fear that he won't answer the way I'd like him to. That conviction was reinforced in this week's lessons.

Facet 2: My cousin's son, Nate who "is a 25-year old otherwise healthy young man who has been through a spell of viral encephalitis with residual epilepsy/seizures and Sjogrens Syndrome. He enjoys movies, video games, RPGs, and, of course, spending time with his girlfriend, Erin." - Carepages

One day Nate was a carefree, happy young man in his 20s who got sick. Since that day, his life and the lives of everyone connected with him have changed. It has been long road of recovery, but his recovery is a miracle.

Here are Nate's own words about his trials--prepare to well up with joy and inspiration:

I want to share a word that I got from church yesterday. The reverend was preaching from John 9, and MAN! Did it hit home! I have been asking "Why me?" for the longest time when it comes to these seizures. "Why me? What did I do?" Wrong questions to ask! What can I do with what has happened to me? In fact, when it comes down to it, if I could change something, I wouldn't now. He has it in His plans. The other night, Jesus came along and put mud on my face. I'm sure no one likes it to have mud put on their face. But He did put mud on my face, and then said, "Go. Speak with your dad." That was probably one of the hardest things I have had to do in the longest time that I can remember. I came back with my eyes opened, and I am the same person! Just like the blind man of John 9, Jesus put mud on my face and told me to go. I went and had my eyes opened. Now I wait to see what He has planned for me. I can't wait to go back to work so I can marry the most beautiful woman that is in my life. I do pray that God will take these seizures away, but I know He will use them somehow.-Nate-

I am praying for God to take away the seizures, too, Nate, but I'm blown away that you can also ask him to use them for his glory.

Touchpoints from the homework:

*"Believers are in desperate need of a fresh infusion of faith." This reminds me of my other friend who must receive iron infusions. Oh that we would see the need to regularly receive fresh infusions of faith!

*"God of Wonders" has been a popular song for a few years, and I'm reminded of what "wonders" truly connotes--inexplicable, marvelous, difficult to understand or fathom, miraculous.

*"Christ gave no time qualifier when he said, 'Everything is possible for him who believes' (Mark 9:23)."

*Believers in the Third World continue to report miracles, visions, dreams. I knew this already from our contact with missionaries, but it was good to read it here, as well. God will reach whom he wishes. He used dreams in the OT; he can use them today, as well. He can use any venue that he wants to touch people.

*I'm praying that if God does not grant the requested miracles I pray for, that he will grant greater ones.

How did this study touch your spirit this week? Please leave a comment or let us know you've written a longer response at your place.

Believing God with you!

19 comments:

Robin said...

what a great post ! My friend Becky left this earth last December from a 13 year battle with cancer. I truly believe God healed her along the road several times. In the end, his healing was for her to be with him. She has left a legacy of four daughters and a husband of 25 years who rejoice for every day we had with her. God is in control ..He knows what kind of healing she needs best. My friend used her illness to reach many people . She suffers no more.

Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you for sharing these lovely stories of precious people touched by God. When we see His fingerprints on others lives, we know He is alive and moving today - no matter what the outcome.

I posted about week 3 last week? I must be a week off. :)

Sonya

Merrie said...

Is it okay to post if I'm not doing the study at this time?
This is such a hard subject b/c we all know people who, seemingly, don't "deserve" to be healed and are and those who "deserve" it but are NOT... the questions and doubts want to rob us of our faith.

I have found that I can just pray in faith for complete healing. It will take place either suddenly, in process, or eternally. When I release it that way, then I can have faith and not be beaten down when I don't see it in "MY" time.

I struggle more with God changing people and attitudes and circumstances and moving in faith there. It is easy for me to keep people in bondage because of their past and not let them out for change - not even look for or expect it, even when I've prayed for it. Dumb me!

Thanks for the post!

On Purpose said...

Just when I think God is big...He goes and gets even bigger on me!

skoots1mom said...

Merrie had some rich words...God's timing is certainly not our timing...and we must pray about it and talk with Him honestly in our anger, confusion, fear. He wants to talk with us about it ALL.

(The Message)2 Samuel 22:21'God "makes our lives" complete when "we" place all the pieces before You. When "we" clean up "our" acts, You give us a fresh start. Indeed, "we will" stay alert to God's ways; "we" won'take God for granted.
Every day "we" review the ways You work, "we" try not to miss a trick. "We will" feel put back together, and "we'll" be watching "our" steps.
God rewrites the text of "our" lives when "we" open the book of "our" hearts to His eyes.'

samurai said...

One thing I have heard a lot is, "you can't get a 'yes' if you don't even ask". When it comes to praying to God, especially about healing, I know what you mean. We pray for ourselves and our loved ones to be healed - but in the end all we can do is trust.

A friend's mother passed away this past weekend from a terribly painful and debilitating disease. We all prayed for her, but in the end God allowed her to not be healed.

We do not know the mind of God, except for what He chooses to reveal to us, but we do know that we can always trust Him.

Thank you for sharing this today Linda. I hope your coffee was extra delicious this morning. ;)

Breanne Vasquez said...

I am not doing this study but I love reading your thoughts on it. Great post.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Well said, Linda. You summed up this lesson really well.

DidiLyn said...

Lid, you big goof. I enjoyed your commentary...no matter what week you are on.
Sheesh.

Lynn said...

Linda,

All I can say is wow... Wow!! I have tears in my eyes. Hug that Nate for me.

msdebbiea said...

Yes, so many of God's works are "mysterious" to us and not always comprehensible to our minds in the present, and healing, or not, is just one of them. I lost my father 2 years ago at the young age of 62 from a rare blood disorder that took his life QUICKLY. Looking back, I don't remember my prayer ever being for healing, even though I KNOW our God is capable of all things. I just remember the beauty of having the time to share with him about the meaningful things in life and the incredible conversations we shared as he was passing. As much as I wanted him to stay, I prayed diligently for God to take him home quickly, to spare him the suffering. . .and he answered that prayer, which I saw as a healing in itself. Our God is an awesome God, in all ways~~~

Queen of the Mayhem said...

It sounds like the Lord has blessed the two of them, even in their trying times!

I just started a Beth Moore bible study. I am really excited as the first week was extremely informative!

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Ok...I have goosebumps....and I'm not normally a goosebumpy kinda girl. He's trying to grab ahold of me, too for sure! Is it too late to join your online study?

Jerri Phillips said...

Lid,

I've been praying for Nate for...how many months now? I still pray for him. One day I was in Hobby Lobby, and the oddest thing came to mind. OH! You had just done the feathers in the nest with the eggs, and I passed some feathers and thought of you. Then my mind went to Nate, and not knowing how he is, I asked, "Dad, what do you want prayed over him?"

Walking down the aisles of Hobby Lobby, I prayed for the highways in his brain to reconnect and for all the signals to transfer and move as they should. I prayed for alignment of dendrites, synapses, and axims. I asked the Lord to handle all miscommunication in his brain makeup and align it to His perfection.

I had no idea about the seizures.

However, when I read things like this after feeling prompted to pray that way, it increases my faith to pray for someone else because I know I am hearing correctly. And who knows but someone else might have an illness or a wound or some issue that I pray over because it just "comes to mind" and because of Nate, I know I am hearing God and believe it is for a purpose and He is listening? Maybe because of my faith from praying for Nate, I will have the faith to see others healed. Maybe Nate is a vessel of healing in ways that rock the spiritual but seem silent in the earthly.

In any case, I'm still praying for total healing and restoration of all the enemy has stolen.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Linda:
What a terrific heart you have. Thanks for sharing it with so many, including your friend, Diane. Rather than bog this post down with own sorrow from having walked this disease with so many friends, I invite you to come over and read a post entitled "A Sacred Passing"...it's under "some of elaine's favorites", and is a tribute to my dear friend Maxine.

I hate cancer, Linda. Our community is rife with its hold, and I'm tired of burying my friends. That being said, I feel so privileged and honored to share the journey with them. They've taught me more about kingdom living then perhaps any other people I have known...and I know ALOT of people.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Your words touched my heart immeasurably.

I participated in "Believing God" a few years back and still have my bracelet. I wear it often as a reminder of God's faithfulness to me in this life.

peace~elaine

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

I have a confession to make. I didn't finish all my homework for this week's lesson. But, after hearing the lesson and doing the homework that I have done, I have to say that Beth (and God) have done it again - it me square between the eyes and caused me to look at things from a different and better perspective.

The one line from our homework that really gave me pause is when Beth points out that all Enoch did to please God was to walk with Him. I am constantly trying do enough, be enough, say enough, believe enough to please Him, when all He really wants from me is to walk with Him. That was encouraging to me because I can do that. At least most of the time.

My goal is to have a post on this lesson on my blog sometime tomorrow.

Thanks again Lidna and Diane for hosting this!!

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

I have a poem about my mom that helped my little 14 year old mind and heart heal. Healing is so necessary. My response on believing HIM is that I would completely get out of the way from even myself in order to make way for the Great Pysician to do what HE wills. :-) I had to share a prayer that was in my faith journal.
http://abidingbranch.blogspot.com/2008/08/share-prayer.html

In His Amazing Love,
Chel

Susanne said...

You're so funny! But I'll bet someone out there needed to hear exactly this right at this time.

The point that hit me the most? "Christ gave no time qualifier...". In my instant world I want everything right away. But God knows better than me what needs to be worked in my life. And that is rarely instant.

Amy Wyatt said...

Linda,
I'm not doing the study with you guys right now because I did that study a while back and I'm teaching another study right now at church. But, I wanted you to let Nate know that God can and will use the seizures for His glory! Just ask Spencer.
I have been meditating on 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Many believe the thorn in the flesh Paul was referring to earlier in this chapter was epilepsy. Please let Nate know he is not alone. If he is interested in resources, he should check out EpilepsyAdvocate.com There is link on my site. I 'll be praying for your friend Diane too.
Take care,
Amy