An Opportunity to Believe in God
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A more appealing name for this chapter might have been, "Miracles by God." However, earthly miracles that God performed back in biblical times and those of today may be a secondary to God's intervention.
Ever wonder why Jesus performed miracles during his ministry?
Was the healing primarily to upgrade the quality of life of those individuals? Or was the primary reason spiritual so that all generations thereafter would come to believe in Christ's message?
Gratitude for miracles varies.
Once there was a man who received an abdominal injury. As time went by, his wife recalls him feeling bad, throwing up, loosing weight, and his skin turning yellow. Yellowish skin is a symptom common to liver failure. The liver is an organ that is prone to secondary cancer when cancer-infected blood cells flow from other parts of the body. The man had surgery with eight inches of his colon removed. This era was prior to radiation and chemotherapy. After surgery the surgeons simply told the man to come back in a year and they would attempt to get some of the cancer that re-spread. The church congregation where the man's sister attended, prayed for him. When the surgeon operated a year later, no signs of cancer were found.
The man died from old age a half century later. The man's wife and some of his children considered it a miracle to have the man in their lives. One child who had prayed for his father's recovery in childhood, later as an adult, attributed the event to early medical technology not knowing the difference between cancerous and non-cancerous polyps.
Details of a more recent "healing" are an extreme condensation from a mother's journal. Parts of the journal were written within the regional hospital while not knowing if her son would live or die.
The young man entered the coronary ICU, with a severe shortness of breath and was placed in an eleven-day drug-induced coma. The doctor told the parents he could not guarantee to bring the man through the infection.
Over the next two weeks, temperature spikes were treated with either the use of ice, a baffled cold water blanket, or turning the room as low as 50 degrees. Treatment of dropping blood pressure and a racing heart rate were also a life and death balancing act.
In the first days, the volume of IV fluids competed with the degree of fluid buildup around the man's heart.
On day four the man's body deteriorated to the point that weekend surgery was performed to obtain a sample from a pocket of infection. Meanwhile, family and pastoral prayers expanded to various prayer chains. The man temporarily stabilized enough for surgery.
On day six a biopsy was performed along with installing the first of what would be eleven chest tubes to drain the infected odorous fluid. Findings came back that pneumonia had been the initial source of infection and gotten into the man's blood stream, causing his body to become septic. That evening his body continued to deteriorate as his mother increased her prayerful praises and pleas to God.
On day eleven the Infectious Disease Doctor informed the family that their son was on some of the strongest antibiotics; however, the family was in need of "turning this over to something larger than doctors."
The pastor inquired about the family anointing the man, turning him over to the Lord and praying to accept the Lord’s decision on healing or taking him “home."
The pastor anointed the man as he and the family prayed at the man's bedside. As the family started to leave and nurse walked to the man's side, alarms began ringing. The man's eyes opened wide, then closed. The nurse said, “I’ve never seen anything like this before." The mother thought, "the Lord is taking my son home." Yet the next day, their son was on his road to recovery; however, dealing with scar tissue remained a challenge.
The mother described her son's spiritual health in this way, "he is in awe of the plan God has for him." For those who prayed within the room that day, a life-changing event took place that has affected their openness in sharing their faith with others.
That mother later expressed survivor's guilt in respect to her son. She spoke of the same degree of prayer for a pastor at their church; however, he died.
Is there a commonality among blessings?
- Praying in the mindset of not desiring a given outcome, while completely placing the situation in God's hands.
- Does God create miracles primarily for the earthly effect or for the spiritual effect?
- When prayers for extended life are not answered, is the individual's earthly life as close to God as it is going to be?
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A video of a young boy who asks God "Why" after a tragedy.
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