"No man is a failure who has friends."
- Clarence Oddbody, AS2, It's a Wonderful Life
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Read this from Jared, the hub of the Thinklings wheel who pastors a church in Vermont. And then pray. A short excerpt is below:
I confess that all last week, I felt God was being unfair and mean. You see, the Sunday before last the elders laid hands on Richard in our church service and anointed him with oil (per James 5:14). After a few months of encouraging reports in his battle, Richard suffered a seizure a couple of months ago that increased doctors’ concerns. A few more experimental treatments were suggested. Richard declined the only chemotherapy they said might work, as it ravaged his body once before in a way he determined worse than cancer. His most recent scan a couple of weeks ago shows the tumor in his brain is growing rapidly. He is out of medical options. They have given him a few months. But we’re not even to the part where I got mad at God for being mean yet.
So we laid hands on Richard and anointed him with oil, explaining to the congregation that this wasn’t magic or any kind of miraculous guarantee. We are trusting God — pleading with God — for Richard’s healing, but we totally understand that God doesn’t normally do that in the way we’re asking. So, like Daniel’s friends declared in Daniel 3:17-18, we know God is able to deliver Richard; “but if not,” we are committed to worshiping this God anyway. We know that in the end, Richard’s own prayer of faith will heal him and God will raise him up (per James 5:15).
Two days later, very early Tuesday morning, my phone rang. I know when my phone rings this early, it is not usually good news. I was not prepared for this news, however. On the other end was Elder Dale. He said he was up north in the hospital with two of our members, Jeff and Anne. Anne has been struggling with bizarre symptoms of nausea over the last month or two and local doctors have not been able to figure out what is wrong. After the last late-night ER visit, Jeff requested a CT scan. The words Dale said to me on the phone still sit in my ears like lodged rocks: “brain tumor.”