12 February 2008

Sometimes The Answer Is "No"

"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." -- Romans 8:28 NIV


This is such a difficult post to write...
It seems like the subject of God's sovereignty and what we believe about healing have been a frequent topic around here, lately.

Last night, Amy Stockstill -- the young bride of
Pastor Joel Stockstill (Bethany World Prayer Center) -- went on to be with the Lord after a difficult battle with cancer and subsequent pneumonia.
Thousands of people have been praying for her daily -- even more so over the past week. Last Monday, this was the scene in front of Baton Rouge General Hospital:
The picture doesn't show it, but there are over 1500 young people standing in front of the hospital praying for this young woman's healing...
And last night she died.

Is my faith shaken?
NO.
And I pray to God that not one of theirs is, either.

Do I believe that God still heals today?
Absolutely.
Do I believe He always will?
No.
We may never know the reason(s) for the way God answers our prayers, but God is sovereign.
His will and His judgment go beyond the limits of our human logic and "rational" reasoning.

I could speculate here WHY Amy wasn't healed... what went wrong, what this could signify, how this is the "ultimate healing,"...
but it really makes no difference what I think.
I know that God in His infinite wisdom can see beyond the here and now -- beyond the selfish desires of our hearts -- and act in the greater interest of His will.

God is not a puppet.
Prayer DOES work -- but only within the confines of HIS greater purpose.
We cannot use our faith to dictate how God should act. Ultimately, He has the final say and while it might never make sense to US, we should respect our God -- as GOD -- and His decisions as wisdom beyond our grasp.
That's why the answer is sometimes "No."

God's still here.
He still loves you and He still cares.

"And I keep wanting You to be fair...
But that's not what You said.
I want certain answers to these prayers;
But that's not what You said."
-- Sara Groves What I Thought I Wanted

ARRANGEMENTS FOR AMY STOCKSTILL

4 comments:

MommyLane said...

Summer,
I have always grappled with this question. I agree with you; even though we don't know the big picture, God does. Even though so many things in life don't seem "fair," I trust God's wisdom. It's sometimes difficult to understand, but God is in control.

FeatherIron said...

Very good post.

Alecia said...

I struggle with this, too. The Bible says, "By His stripes, we are healed." This is probably the most quoted verse in the Bible. It took me a long time to realize that "heal" in Heaven doesn't mean the same thing as "heal" on earth. Not fair to those who lose loved ones, especially at such a young age (the same age as I am). But, you are absolutely right. It is not our decision. God knew when He formed her that He would take her in just this manner at just this time. This is not a surprise to Him. He knows the pain it causes. However, He also has the ability to comfort that pain and ease the sorrow. This is a time for sorrow, but joy comes in the morning.

Lesley said...

Awesome post Summer!

My faith has not been shaken by Amy's earthly death either. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. WE are never in control... no matter what we think. God is ALWAYS in control and we are called to believe that with every fiber of our being.

Maybe the testimony God intended from her battle with cancer was not the miraculous healing of her human body... but to STRENGTHEN THE FAITH of His people, and to bring His people together regardless of their church or religion. And, maybe most importantly, to bring to Him people that otherwise would never have come to know Him.

What better testimony could there be?

Lesley