I write this with sorrow, because of the lives lost daily due to ignorance. Nigerians are highly superstitious. I know how many products I have bought at a bargain, just because I was the 1st customer of the day. Such a person is believed to bring good luck, and sending him away signifies a day of poor sales. I grew up in a church where I was taught that faith in divine healing, meant not needing medical attention. In fact, one ‘loser’ convinced himself he wanted to marry me when I was 16. He said I should not study Medicine as I planned because, it would soon be obsolete. The world would know of divine healing, and I would have wasted 6 years.
This was someone who had no future ambition, no income, nothing. Everyday, he mounted the stage to testify of how they were praying over empty plates at home till someone knocked and offered them food. I always wondered why he didn’t jus tget a job, anything menial, to feed his family. No! He had faith! I digress.
A close relative lost a son recently. The only time I saw him, he was about 3 months old. He had an abnormal facies (sorry for the jargon), and I suspected he had a genetic abnormality or a heart defect. Throughout my 2 day visit, I only got a glimpse of him. It was either he was sleeping, or being fed, or being changed. Note: In Nigeria, babies are fiercely protected. I have to struggle with mothers and grandmas to be allowed to examine babies in the hospital. Though the sun is high, the child is covered in winter clothing, plus a blanket. Yet, they ask me to switch off the air conditioner.
“Doc, do you want him to get pneumonia? “, they accuse.
Probably, I want to make him sick, so they will pay more money. You literally have to tread on egg shells. Back to my story, I could not examine that baby to determine if my suspicions were right. Few months after, I was told he was admitted in hospital with an ailment.
“What did the doctor say?”, I asked.
“It is a spiritual attack”, his mom replied.
“No diagnosis? I doubt he told you that”, I queried.
She insisted that she was in church praying. He was on oxygen for 3 or more days. I kept asking what kind of ailment he had but they deflected me. They were in a different town and I did not have access to the doctor. Each time I called, they were somewhere praying. Finally, the boy was discharged and pronounced well. We rejoiced. I called from time to time to ask about him. He was said to be “fine” .
Suddenly, one night, they called to say he slumped.
“Have you rushed to the hospital? “, I asked.
“No! This is not a hospital matter. It is a spiritual attack. We took him to church”
“What did the pastor say?”
“He prayed and sent us home?”
“Why didn’t you go to the hospital after the prayers?”
I heard weeping and so on in the background and realized the boy was dead. The pastor must have noticed same. That was how that child died. Later, his mom complained that the devil had tormented that boy from birth. He did not grow normally, achieve his milestones on time, or ever become independent. He could not hold his neck at 8 months, crawl even after 1 year, and barely made a sound. Note that he was not her 1st baby. Every parent is taught what to expect at each stage of development. When those signs are absent, you scream for help.
She was not a bad mother, not in any way. The only problem is she was numbed by the deceit of “spiritual attack”. Long ago, I read something in Creflo Dollar’s book that I still struggle with. We were taught if you have faith to heal headache, you don’t take analgesics. He said, if you have faith for your eyesight to be healed, you pray and put on your glasses. When you are healed, your vision will be distorted by the glasses. You will need no man to tell you to throw them away. Besides, you need them to read the word and build your faith for divine healing.
What is my point? A spiritual attack that manifests physically, requires a medical diagnosis. Jesus asked the demon possessed man, “What is your name?”
When you get a diagnosis, you can formulate a plan of action. Get as many 2nd opinions as you like. Is it curable? Then let them do their thing. Meanwhile stand in faith. It is possible that a cure that should have taken 1 week will be effective in 2days. That is still a miracle. If it is incurable, can they give temporary relief? This will give you time and strength to build your faith.
Don’t conclude everything is a spiritual attack, I beg you. We are losing precious souls. I mourn that child. They had me but they never complained of him not growing well. Even when I asked, they deflected my questions. Dear reader, do not ignore your loved ones. They may mean well in their ignorance. Let’s stamp out this error. Hospitals are expensive and medication is inconvenient but, God has provided medicine as a relief. Imperfect, yes, but so many lives have been saved. Will you speak up today?