These things were swirling through our minds as we drove down there. Was the rejection of my liver just a forerunner into what will soon transpire? Anyone who has gone through questions like these will know that they are natural; there is no lack of faith to experience these emotions. Too many lies say otherwise around the churches in America these days. Our healing is not contingent on our faith. Break that chain. Break it now. Our healing is contingent on the person and work of Jesus Christ, and in that regard, we all who have confessed His name as Lord have been healed.
The above is an excerpt from the latest blog post by my college pastor, Dan Parkins. The entire post is worth reading (heck, his entire blog is worth reading), but I wanted to share this section because it really speaks to me. And I think it is something that a lot of believers need to realize or be reminded of -- that our level of faith in God's ability to heal someone does not determine whether or not they will be healed.
Dan has been through a LOT in his life. I mean, a seriously insane amount of Really Scary Stuff. He's had multiple liver transplants and has been on his "death bed" several times, doctors telling him he probably had hours to live. Two years ago, his wife gave birth to their third child, Samuel, who was born with serious medical issues, and at 19 days old, Samuel passed away.
I remember being at home with my parents (because it was the week of Christmas) and sitting in the dining room with my mom on a conference call with my aunt Terri and several other people who wanted to pray for Samuel (even though many of them had never met Dan's family). My aunt was crying out to God for Samuel's life, and she said something like, "Why won't you heal him, Lord? I believe You can and do heal people, so why can't You just reach down and make his little body whole?"
When Samuel passed away, I really struggled with that question: WHY? My aunt had such bold faith that God could heal Samuel, and what a testimony that would have been! But even in Samuel's death, there have been amazing things done for God's kingdom. Here is an excerpt from one of Dan's updates after Samuel's death (on a now-protected blog that I can't link to; I just have the quote from my old blog):
[K]now this: God did an amazing work through that little giant. He served in this life a mighty three weeks for the glory of God and serve well he did. Countless stories surged over the internet of lives changed, humbled, and addressed to the King of kings. Through God working in his life, I have heard of marriages getting strengthened, lives being reconciled, others coming to know Christ for the first time, suicidal thoughts changed to praises of adoration, and many other areas of healing.
It's always difficult (for me, anyway) to reconcile God's goodness with some of the terrible things that go on in the world, but when your focus is on that future hope of everlasting life with Jesus, then death in the world is not the end. I will probably struggle with these thoughts and questions for a long time, but I am so thankful for people like Dan (and pastor Britt) who understand God so much more deeply than I do, and who preach the truth and live out their faith in even the most painful of circumstances.
Anyway, just wanted to share some of Dan's encouraging words with you today, and also ask you to pray for him. If you click the link above to his latest post, you'll see he is waiting for results on a liver biopsy. I'm praying for everything to come back normal and strong, and for continued health and energy for Dan so that he can keep preaching with all his might!