It was December 2003. I was only two-months old in the Lord and very sick. I saw a cardiologist at the Philippine Heart Center and upon his examination of me, he was thinking of possible diseases so rare I never heard of them before. He wanted me to be confined asap but the Sunday afternoon that we went to the ER, there were no private rooms available. We were told to go home and wait for their advice. Monday afternoon, we did not go back. I had collapsed during breakfast that morning after I took the 5 different pills the cardiologist gave me. Believe me, the appearance of those small white pills would scare anyone. At noon, I told my husband we were not going back to the hospital but we were going to our Church’s Pastoral House instead for pray over and laying on of hands. And so we did.
When we arrived home late in the afternoon, our maid informed us that the cardiologist had called twice. She said he sounded stern and really worried why I hadn’t returned to the hospital. I was resting on our sofa and was in a serious dilemma: I wanted to truly believe in the Lord Jesus and fully trust in Him to heal me just like the many testimonies I had heard in Church, but did I have enough spiritual strength and courage to do so? The testimonies, honestly, they had scared me. I didn’t want to live like that – what do you call it – radical faith? Yes, a kind of faith too radical for my fledgling one. I was entirely new to it and I was scared.
But I wanted to be victorious and healed just like those who shouted praises and healing in the pulpit. Oh, I was “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6)! I opened my Bible after an agonizing prayer. I was looking for courage in God’s Word. He gave me Is. 2:22:
Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?
I was amazed! God, indeed, wanted me to trust in Him and not in man! But it wasn’t enough. I prayed again and asked for more proof and encouragement (does this remind you of Gideon or what?). My Bible opened to James 1:6-8:
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
You know what? My fear and belief in God gained the upper hand. When the specialist doctor called up again, I was ready. He was shocked about my decision and warned me that my case was critical and if I wasn’t treated immediately, he couldn’t guarantee if I would live.
I had wrestled with the acceptable norm – medical intervention – and came out triumphant in my faith. Was it foolishness? I know that the world views it as foolishness. Does it mean that to trust in God who created the world and all that is in it is foolishness?
Or, is it the deepest kind of wisdom that one could ever have?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (1 Cor. 1:20-21 NIV)
The world through its wisdom did not know God.
To have great faith in God and be courageous enough to act on it without a shadow of doubt – that is higher wisdom!
I remember all these because my former classmate and old friend who now lives and works in Florida offered to help me find a specialist and a cure for my illness. After 20 years, we were reunited through Facebook and he’s coming home in summer and we’re going to meet. He used to work at the Philippine Heart Center as a medical technologist and now works in a hospital in Florida. He said that medical science is a gift from God and I should appreciate and make use of it.
Oh, my good old friend, he means so well and I do appreciate his sincere desire to help me. It sounds so good, looking at medical science as a gift from God and utilizing it to the fullest. But I had known its errors and shortcomings. When I insisted to take even one of the pills that was given me, my body became numb all over and extremely weak that had I not vomited it out, I would not have recovered. I believe that God allowed the discovery and practice of medical science for a world which has not enough faith in Him and His power to heal. But it wasn’t so in the beginning (Lord willing, we’ll try to delve deeper into this on next post).
For how can we explain the healing miracles that still happen in His Church that I hear week in and week out, and that I write about? This one thing is certain: they received complete healing because they fully believed in God and exercised that faith by trusting Him completely without a shadow of doubt, forsaking hospitalization and medicines.
Does medical science have a true cure for leprosy? But this preacher had received complete healing of his leprosy which he suffered for two long years and has been basking in this healing for 24 years.
Can they offer cure for psoriasis which made this brother suffer and unable to go out in public because the stench of his wounds was offensive? But he was healed by the Lord Jesus when he surrendered his life to Him.
Does science have a solution to terminal liver disease? Can it reverse the damage done to the failing liver or heart? But Brother Jerry Solano was healed from his incurable liver disease that even his doctor wept in awe of God’s miracle.
Has the world found a cure for all kinds of cancer without the utter difficulties chemotherapy brings? But even with surgery and chemotherapy, cancer can hardly be cured. How can we explain then how these brethren in Christ received complete healing? Sisters Marife Dol-dolea and Jody Mansera from terminal colon cancer, Sister Sarah Advincula from stage 4 breast cancer, Brother Ustin Lapitan from terminal brain cancer, and many, many others!
As for me and by the abundant grace of God, I will choose this higher wisdom.
More of the Faith series:
My gratitude list ~ the things I’m thankful to the Lord for. Counting the gifts:
45. gifts from my beloved sister-in-law in Florida
46. sharing “nirvana” milk tea (with winter melon) with my baby Hannah; it’s her favorite drink and it’s fast becoming mine, too!
47. bougainvilleas in bloom defiantly displaying their riotous colours and capturing their loveliness in my camera
48. bonding time with my sisters through Skype; the love and laughters are priceless!
49. the mellowing of the heart and attitudes, the renewing of the mind, and finally knowing and appreciating the things that really matter in life
50. going around our community trying out the food, buying merchandise, and giving out invitations to worship service
Linking up with these lovely blogs.
Journey with Jesus,