Well recently, when Ann was in the hospital for an extended 38 day stay, I began to experience a new kind of phenomenon.. many people came to me extolling the Lakeland Revival telling me that Ann should watch it and maybe God would heal her over the TV or Internet.. no joke.. it is what some told me. For those of you who aren't familiar with this revival you may want to check out Lee Grady's article on it.. my friend Jason also wrote about his experiences in Lakeland. This post however is not about Lakeland but about how people have reacted to it.. and in specific how I am internally processing their reactions.
I want to say first and foremost that I unequivocally believe that God heals today and that my wife and I pray daily for her healing.. and for some reason (I am not always this way) I believe that Ann will rise up out of that chair and walk without assistance.
That said, I have to say that I have grown so tired of people giving me advice that costs them nothing.. it has become more than an annoyance. It is like someone coming up to an overweight person and telling them of a great Christian weight-loss program.. or speaking to someone who is really hurting and giving them a bunch of Christian cliches about overcoming trials.. it is insensitive and annoying.. it comes across to me like this passage in the book of James:
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.Yet, on the other hand, lately I have been thinking about this encouraging passage of scripture:
One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, He said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, "Why are you reasoning in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins have been forgiven you,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? "But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,"--He said to the paralytic--"I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home." Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen remarkable things today." (Luke 5:17-26)I love this passage.. it speaks of the love that these men had for their friend.. their faith moved them to act.. their love caused them to overcome obstacles.. they got their friend to Jesus in a very unique and personal way.. and it says that Jesus saw their faith.
We have a few friends such as these.. friends that will be there for Ann (and for me) with more than charismatic ramblings and advice.. and we feel blessed because we do.. even if we do have to contend with the ramblings of a few others. Growl :)