Had an amazing day yesterday. We’ve been reeling a little here from our family crisis. Yesterday I had had it with the disarray of my home caused by a preoccupation with the larger issues we were facing. We took a day “off” to just work and clean up around the house. By the end of the day everyone was tired, but content. It was the first time in about two weeks that we had gone to bed without tears and emotional meltdowns from at least one of the children or parents. Work itself was the distraction we needed to get past our own disappointments and fears. I knew it worked for me personally, but I didn’t realize how well it even would work for a 5 year old and teenagers.
Background: The last few years, when my husband was very sick, the thing he lacked the most was stamina. I remember one family trip he drove for about 30 minutes, then collapsed into a useless heap, asking me to finish the trip myself, and care for all of the children and all of the activities as well. The doctors ran test after test, and saw no reason for the extreme fatigue, constant pain, and lack of stamina. He had trouble finishing anything he started. He became unemployed and unemployable. Their conclusion was that it was mental. They ran mental health tests, and concluded he was inventing fictitious health reasons to not want to work, or do anything. Marriage counselors all concluded that the situation was hopeless, and that it was time to give up. They tried to convince me that it was not chronic pain that made him mean and unemployed, but that I needed to accept the reality of the person I had married and get on with my life without him. Not that I thought he was perfect, but this was not the person I knew, and I chose to turn to the Lord for help instead. The road to health and functioning was painfully slow, but eventually he did recover.
Yesterday: We had a day off of school/work, and decided to repaint and re-carpet an additional bedroom. After working on the bedroom all day, he went in to work for a few hours, then at 9:30pm, when he got done and had helped put the kids to bed, he got ready to go back and work in the bedroom again. I had to beg him not to. He has nasty allergies, and a severe cough. He had already pushed himself beyond what was considered reasonable or necessary. The room should be done today anyway.
Conclusion: According to the “experts” there is no miracle here. He simply changed his attitude. Not true. The pain has subsided, the fatigue is at “normal” levels for someone with seven kids, and the stamina is not only more normal, but his positive attitude frequently pushes him even further. I guess it is a choice to believe in that miracle or not. I am especially grateful for the stamina.
Miracle number two is that we still have our family. You could argue that was ultimately my choice. True, but I believe most miracles are the result of our choices. I simply remember being told over and over that the situation was hopeless. It obviously was not hopeless. With God, nothing is hopeless.
We are doctor shopping again, so I’ve been noticing more recently the people who work with our bodies. If there were a gift that I often wish I had, it would probably be the gift of healing. I think I can do rather well with the making a person comfortable part, but not with the healing itself.
I’ve met just a few people in my life who I feel really have the gift of healing. One was actually a physician (retired, or I wouldn’t be looking!), and others were not. I’ve been to many doctors who I think do a great job with the knowledge they have, and they have a great ability to use the tools at their disposal, but they are not overly intuitive about how bring an entire body to health. From what I’ve seen, an actual healing miracle often is accompanied by a spiritual healing of the person as well.
In our family, we have had much sickness, and much healing. Healing usually has come after much trial and error, and after much suffering and learning from that suffering. Someday I hope to better understand how faith and suffering both play a role in the healing process. In the mean time, does anyone have any great examples of healings?
Yesterday we visited the restored home of pioneer/explorer/Indian negotiator Jacob Hamblin. We learned some of his history, and he had several miracles that happened in his life. One story made me think a little, so here is the editorialized version.
When Jacob was a teen, he and his father went “out West,” to what would become Wisconsin, to clear some land and claim a homestead. After the land was cleared, his father went back to gather the rest of the family while Jacob stayed with the land. First off, today’s teens probably don’t have the work ethic to clear the land in the first place, but secondly, the parents would be declared unfit parents if they left the teen for months unattended without a proper home, running water, food, school, or adult supervision. To make things worse, Jacob did have an accident while he was alone. He almost chopped his leg off with an axe. He had no 911, no emergency rooms, no health insurance, no other person in the area. He was able to stop the bleeding, but as it started to heal it developed a severe infection. He became worried enough that he was able to ride to the next closest neighbor and ask for advice. The neighbors warned him that the infection was bad, and that to prevent it spreading and to save his life, he would need to have the leg amputated at the knee.
Now here is a teenaged boy, all alone, needing to make a decision about amputating his leg to save his life. He had no cell phone to call his parents, no medical plan, no disability insurance, no hospital. I see some definite advantages to modern society. On the flip side, how would modern society deal with that situation? Today we would throw the parents in jail for gross negligence and put the boy in foster care on disability and welfare for the remainder of his life. Back then they didn’t pay high enough taxes or have large enough government to pay for the court fees, lawyers, foster care system, or prison space, so they did nothing.
Instead Jacob turned to his only real source of aid. He prayed. He prayed fervently that he would know what to do. He felt a great peace, but still was not sure what to do. An hour later a woman wandered up to where he was staying. She told him that she was not sure why she was there, but she felt that he may need some help. Jacob showed her his leg and the woman immediately went out and found some plants and herbs to draw out the infection. The leg went on to heal completely and Jacob became one of the greatest trailblazers and explorers of Utah and Arizona. Additionally Jacob learned about prayer, and grew in faith in God.
I think God is plenty capable of helping us even in our modern society of conveniences, but it does make me wonder how many times we rob ourselves of the opportunities to learn to really rely on God. How much harder must it be to learn to trust in Him when we have practically instant access to every convenience and a large government with seemingly bottomless pockets to bail us out, and to mitigate disasters. How many of our youth don’t know to turn to prayer for answers, simply because they have never needed to? How many of us fit in that category? I think we are all still given the opportunities to call on our Father in prayer for help, but I think those opportunities are harder and harder to recognize. I think they are being more and more often rationalized away, and more often dismissed as proof that there is no God, rather than as the opportunity for a miracle.
- The Purpose of Prayer (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)