Faith, foolishness, and presumption 2

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Years ago, we had a patient brought in in a very bad condition. I can’t remember the diagnosis but, she slipped in and out of coma. Her family was very large, rich, and influential. They asked for the best room, and she had 2 or more of them by her side daily. I assumed she was a very senior member of the family, as she was middle aged, and they referred to her respectfully. They kept extolling her virtues and invited different pastors to pray over her. She was on the most expensive medication and had round the clock care. Every night, her family launched into loud singing and prayers for her healing. She actually got better for about 2 days, and was able to sit up. Now I remember, whatever her primary condition was, it led to kidney failure. She was producing dark urine and very infrequently.

I don’t remember which church they belonged to but, the family had a lot of faith in the founder. They kept declaring “God of Pastor So and so!”, while praying. Stickers, wrist bands, and other insignia of the church with either his name, or picture were littered all over her room. She was admitted for over a week.

A patient being monitored with a vital signs detector

One night, she took a turn for worse. Unfortunately, I was on call. She was foaming at the mouth and so on. I knew her chances were very slim. Desperately, I tried to revive her but she passed on quietly. I knew her people would get aggressive, so I slipped out without telling them anything. Calling the oldest and most mature of them outside, I told him she was dead. He was very sad. Of course the others had deduced what had happened. They began to yell loudly and pray that she rise from the dead. I left.

Few minutes later, the nurses came to report that her people would not let them perform the “last office”. This is the final preparation the nurses do before a body is sent to the morgue. If rigor mortis sets in, the body stiffens in the wrong position, and will be difficult to move or get into a coffin. I thought carefully. After my near death experience (Read my post The day I was nearly assaulted), I usually steered clear of angry patients. The nurses are better at handling them, than tiny me. I prayed for wisdom and approached the room carefully.

All her family was gathered praying loudly, some rolling on the floor and crying. I saw one of them put several plastic wrist bands with the church insignia on her wrists. Another pasted the church stickers on her chest. Yet another emmptied several bottles of olive oil on her. Everyone was chanting, “God of Pastor So and so, raise her up! “. An inspiration came to me. I called aside the oldest family member.

“Sir, I want you to know how sorry I am for your loss”, I began. “Personally, I am a woman of faith. There is nothing I would love better than for her to rise. It would bring glory to God and to the hospital. The only favor I ask, is that we put a time limit on the prayers. If in 30 minutes there is no change, promise to let the nurses do their job. Else, she will stiffen and you will regret it later”.

He accepted. The nurses and I stood by respectfully and watched them go at it. Meeen! Those people prayed up a storm! If God hears us by the volume of our prayers, she would have risen. In a short while, they began to flag. The man ordered them out, speaking sharply to the few who refused. The nurses did what they had to do, and they left.

I will leave this post without my usual conclusion. Let your opinions roll. What do you think about faith and ill health? Can God raise the dead? Why didn’t she rise? What do you think of church insignia and pastors whose names carry ‘power’? I await your comments. Cheers

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7 thoughts on “Faith, foolishness, and presumption 2

    Femmetotale said:
    February 20, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Hmmm.
    Well, this is a sad story but it happens everyday.
    I think the issue is mainly about ‘faith at work’
    The whole idea of using items to cause miracles
    is just downright foolishness.
    The power we need is not in those items but in
    The faith behind our voices as we call upon His name
    Pastors shld desist from encouraging members to rely on handkerchiefs, oil and stuff
    The power is in ur faith and not those items.
    I’m not saying that it is impossible to use items to bring about miracles
    I’m saying that ppl shld recognize that the power doesn’t lie in those items
    but in their faith in God.
    Also, faith is not determined by how high or loud u raise ur voice!
    I believe in God’s power to raise the dead thru us and I believe in miracles
    I can only imagine what doctors go thru, looking like aetheists
    when they try to convince these fanatics to be practical
    They could even become violent.
    May God help our ppl to become more enlightened

    niki said:
    February 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Well, i believe God can raise the dead and he can heal illnesses. This is from what i have seen and heard. But i figure that he chooses to do what he wants when he wants. Some people use the name of their pastor to pray, use olive oil, pray loudly and it works… some does and it doesnt work. When i watch conferences like holy ghost service, you hear these testimonies and you wonder this is the same God that didn’t save so and so. I have come to the resolve that God is God and i dont know why he allows some things to happen but I have no other choice but to believe in him.

    Mz Poise said:
    February 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I agre with Niki and femmetotale. I believe God heals sickness,all sorts, be it terminal or a common cold. He wants us to be whole in our minds and bodies to do his work.
    Now,when a Christian has a terminal illness, I feel he/she should visit d doctor, take drugs while having faith in God for healing. The wristbands,hanky,and d others don’t hv d power to heal, its ur faith DAT gets u healed. God can raise the dead but that he didn’t raise her up (I feel some of those who prayed for her did have real faith in God)doesn’t mean dey didn’t hv enough faith or dat they did something wrong. God just works in mysterious Ways. He probably wanted his daughter home at dat time. As for the olive oil, wristbands etc. Some pple are religious about it,dey believe it has d power to heal them and not God. Dats y pple would pay money to a pastor who sells d blood of Jesus on his website…lolz.
    I go for d holy ghost conference where daddy G.o prays over our hanky saying even our cloth is filled with d anointing . I believe d anointing can flow so its all about u activating ur faith to work for u.
    N as for pple who use pastors names to pray…….. I don’t know ooo, personally I don’t pray saying, let the God of PST sooo…. Heal me oor wateva, but u know some men of God carry grace so ,say I am praying about holiness, I might just say, God u have done dis for PST adeboye, give me d grace to stay pure. I think of Elijah, Daniel and Joseph too, pple use their names in prayer especially when praying for grace to stay pure in high positions. But I don’t subscribe to using there names like u r praying to them.

    Ezinne Ajoku said:
    February 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I believe in healing. I believe God can and does raise pple from the dead. I believe that ultimately it is His prerogative. You cannot break it down to a science to say, it is because they did not have faith or they were praying too loudly. I think it would be presumptous to say. God will do whatever He wants, whenever He desires. It would be good for us, though before we embark on some of these prayers to check with Him to know “Is this in your will, Lord? Do you want your son /daughter back home?”
    I also believe that the use of mantles, olive oil is very scriptural. Mantles were used in the book of Acts(Remember Peter?). Mantles, when prayed over by our pastors carry apostolic grace and authority(By a prophet He preserved them, by a prophet He brought us out). Let me explain it this way, there are levels of graces and anointings and our pastors(most times)carry levels of graces and anointings higher than ours, particularly for difficult cases. So when such a minister prays over a mantle, it can bring immediate breakthrough over a situation. So don’t knock the use of articles in bringing healing or relief. The way i see it, whenever i have had to use it, my faith is in God who called that man of God, who recognizes spiritual hierarchy and who is indebted to His word, to bring the man of God’s declarations to pass. Sometimes again, God himself mandates ministers to pray over mantles and such.

    About the issue of people saying the God of so and so pastor, I am surprised you have a problem with it, because God himself in scripture refers to Himself as “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. Men of faith, right down through the new testament consistently referred to God as “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”.So i don’t think it is out of place to refer to the God of Oyedepo or the God of so n so pastor. Again, when people do this, it is like calling God’s attention to the status, faith authority, anointing that person carries which God is obligated to recognize.

    All of this is not to say that we shouldn’t grow our own faith to the point where we on our own can handle difficult cases. It is to say that there is a time and place for different things,and we should not be quick to criticize without understanding where it is coming from. Test all spirits, scripture says. So until you have tested, you might wanna be slow to speak/judge.

    PS:I do enjoy reading your write ups. Keep it up, hope to join you soon.

    drnsmusings responded:
    February 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I left the post without a conclusion because I had none. No, I don’t have a problem with u using oil, wrist bands or a name. I simply narrated the story as it happened. My intent was to get us talking and I like the points raised.
    Question tho, if the doctor on duty was an unbeliever, how do u think he would have handled the situation? What would Jesus do? I respect Pastors and their names. I only hope we don’t lose faith in Jesus while chanting their names. Whatever works for u is fine

      naijawife said:
      March 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      i agree with most of the comments. at the end of the day. It is by God’s will and God’s will alone. When he chooses to heal and when he chooses not to heal. It is by his will.

    drnsmusings responded:
    February 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Let me add that the atmosphere of faith is usually easy to tell. I will do more posts on this to buttress my point but I hope I didn’t come off as too critical as Ezinne implied. Calmness, confidence, and results often characterise the atmosphere of faith. Medicine cannot solve all problems so I don’t see why people should not invite their pastors to pray for them. The only reason this particular story was shared is that it was my 1st time of seeing it get to the extent of puttting STICKERS, WRIST BANDS, CALENDAR on and around a corpse. It just didn’t strike me as faith. Not judging them cos when u lose a loved one, u want to do anything. I only thank God for the man who brought control that day. Afterall, God can raise the dead in the morgue, grave, or coffin.

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