As I write this I am eagerly anticipating two pieces of information that would change absolutely nothing about my relationship with God, but would add to the ever-growing body of evidence of His continuous activity in my life.
The first is a pathology report from some samples taken from my colon just over a week ago, (I know, too much information, but bear with me). The second is a picture of that same traitorous colon taken just over five years ago after a midnight trip by ambulance to the ER.
That drama was followed by four days of agony, tests and treatment for what turned out to be an “incurable but entirely controllable” disease, and had been preceded by over a year of agonizing pain, tests and treatments in search of a diagnosis.
Since that ‘lifetime sentence’ five years ago, I take six to eight pills every day with excellent results. Little yellow pills controlled the disease, with no significant side effects.. Of course there are strict dietary rules for people with this disease, but hey, I am Jamaican, and we have a saying:
“If Jamaicans were around when God shut the door to the ark, they would have found a way inside.”
Which, written in our dialect looks more like this:
“If wi did deh ‘round wen God shut di door to di ark, wi woulda did fine won way eenside!”
My oldest daughter chauffeured me to the hospital for this most recent colon-photography session, and had the gall to tell me about her plans to capture what she hoped would be hilarious video footage of me after the procedure.
Truth is, anesthetics make me act crazy…well…crazier! After my last outpatient surgery it took over five hours to wake me sufficiently to send me home, and I was still loopy. My so-called friends and ‘you-are-so-out-of-my-last-will-and-testament’ family members, still have an arsenal of funny stories about my post-anesthetic sayings and behavior.
After this procedure the doctor came out to the waiting room to give her the news that my colon looked pristine; there was no sign of the ‘incurable’ disease diagnosed five years ago, and if he had not seen my previous records, he would not have known I ever had that ‘incurable’ disease.
She told me the news as soon as I was lucid enough to understand and I burst into tears; albeit happy tears.
“Jesus did it?” I cried, half question, half statement. “I knew He could do it. I asked Him to heal me, and He did?” The poor girl did not know what to do with me.
Of course, my doctor’s conclusion is that I must have been misdiagnosed five years ago, but that just does not fly with me, because I was there! Moreover, the written record, beginning with a year of symptoms, the EMT’s who saw the evidence, four days of hospital records, and those pictures taken of my diseased colon, copies of which I am eagerly awaiting, all point to an accurate diagnosis of an ‘incurable but entirely controllable’ disease.
However, what is waaaaaaaay more exciting to me than the possibility of a miracle in my colon, is something I have discovered about my faith in God during these days of waiting for results past and present.
With everything in me I believe God is able to heal me completely from any disease, no matter what the label, but even if He does not, I will continue to love, believe, trust and follow Him till the last breath leaves my body on this earth. Then, when I open my eyes again in heaven and see, and touch Jesus’ face, I will be the crazy Jamaican hollering:
“I knew it was true!!” (Jamaican dialect version: “Mi did know ah troo yuh nuh!!”
I have always wanted the “even if He does not” kind of faith, but it does not come quickly, easily, or cheaply. It is a choice I must make with every new challenge to its existence in me, because only then will I be ready for those times when the outcome is not what I want, and life on planet earth gets hard, painful, or just downright unfair.
“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” II Timothy 1:12
Thousands of years ago on the plain of Dura three Hebrew boys faced down an egotistical king, refusing to bow down to the ninety-foot high gold statue he insisted they worship instead of the one true God. With the roar of the fiery furnace that awaited them in the background they gave the king their answer:
“Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if He doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 The Message (italics mine).
Now that is some hardcore “even if He does not” kind of faith; the kind that does not waver in the face of threats, persecution, hurt, pain, sickness, suffering, lack, hardship, or even death. I… want… that…kind…of… faith!
So, I wait for the results that will tell me if in fact a miracle has happened in my colon, while the lyrics from one of my favorite bands (Kutless) goes round and round in my head:
Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God, You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come.
Trust this; if there has indeed been a miracle, you will hear about it. And, if He has not healed me, you will still hear about it, because God has been too good to me so I can never shut up about it! You know how it is. I will always be me…just living the thing.