Monday, September 5, 2011

Believing Outside the Box

Ever wonder how anyone can really have a “relationship” with an invisible God? Or when people say, “God told me…” or "God was there with me...," do you ever silently disregard their statement because that doesn't "really" happen? Or perhaps you try to rationalize it away with some "reasonable" explanation. Or an even more unimaginable thought – what if someone said that God miraculously healed them – yes, healed – like they had cancer and now they don't or were paralyzed and now they aren't. How hard it can be to accept that God heals, and yet, isn't that what we all hope our God does – have the power and generosity to heal our pain, our sickness?

I too have struggled and do struggle with this very issue. I have a younger cousin who at one time in his life was near death stricken with the severest case of acid reflux disease. For many years he was in great pain and malnourished because his body refused to digest his food. Though he’d taken all the medications available and had several surgeries, still his own body was fighting against him, rejecting every morsel he tried to eat. He was so weak that sometimes he’d pass out from the exertion of rolling over in bed. They eventually inserted a feeding tube to try to keep him alive.

He went to a healing service about halfway through his health battle, but to no avail. His health ever declining, he endured the severe pain inflicted by this disease, and yet, he never lost faith. One day he told his mother it was time to go to another healing service. This time, my cousin went in near death and came out completely healed which was confirmed by his physician the next day. For the first time in years, my cousin ate food and his body did not reject it. Today, he is healthy and happily pursuing a life in service to God. I saw him a few weeks ago – he is a tall, healthy, handsome young man. To look at him, you’d never know how emaciated and near death he had been for so much of his young life. As I hugged him and talked with him, I couldn’t deny that only by God’s grace and healing this young man is alive and well today. But then there is that small voice in me that says that it just doesn’t make sense.

Why would it have been so much easier, and not a struggle at all, for me to accept wholeheartedly his healing if it had occurred through the hand of a human doctor? And yet I struggle with the idea that the Creator, who knows us best and made each of us uniquely in His image, could and would heal us. It’s far outside my sophisticated, worldly American way of life and yet my cousin is proof my eyes cannot ignore. I have friends who for years had been in healing ministry and they’ve witnessed with their own eyes God’s miraculous intervention time without number and have shared these stories with me. Also, I’ve read enough miracle accounts to know that everyday God’s miraculous love and power is being seen in great and impossible ways in places all over the world. Even with all this proof, I find it difficult to break out of my little box of human understanding.

Does that stop me from believing that God is alive and personally interacting in a supernatural way in my life? Absolutely not! I decided long ago that even if God’s presence in my life and his benevolent intervention in the world doesn’t make any sense – doesn’t fit into my little box of human understanding – I still will believe. Because really, my ability or inability to understand doesn’t have any bearing on what God is able to do and does. If God could fit into my limited human ability to see and hear and feel and understand, then he wouldn’t be God and I wouldn’t have any cause for hope. Thank the Lord, he is greater than our ability to understand, explain, and prove. That doesn’t mean that I don’t question. It just means that I don’t need to find or understand the answer to believe and to know and be in relationship with Jesus.

About the pictures:
Parkwood Presbyterian Prayer Garden (July 2011)

1 comment:

Audrey said...

A wonderful post Maureen. I too have finally come to accept that I don't need to understand "it all" to be able to believe in "it all"!
Accepting this has made my faith much stronger! After all, if I believe (and I do) that He is able to do it all why do I need to know how He does it all? Needing proof only holds me back from growing closer in my personal relationship with Him. As always, thanks for sharing!