The short version is that in November of last year, my sister, currently living in Australia, was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma brain cancer. The prognosis for such a cancer is extremely bad. I visited her just after Christmas and left expecting she would die within a month or two. I am pleased to report that my expectations were not met. Below is a note which she dictated; but first I need to share some thoughts about prayer and faith, or perhaps the lack in my faith.
When I wrote my first message about my sister I received over 3000 email responses – and I read them all! I was greatly encouraged by most, and I was also rebuked by several. I was rebuked for writing as if I expected my sister to die, as if I did not believe that God could heal. I was also rebuked for not believing that God would absolutely heal my sister.
For the record, I do not believe that God promises to heal all illness in this lifetime, nor do I believe that healing is dependent on my faith. However, some of the rebukes did indeed hit home.
In my part of the world we definitely pray for healing. But I have to admit that most of the time we pray not fully expecting that God can heal, or that He really would. Maybe I should not say We and rather should just say Me. When I was praying for my sister, I prayed for things like comfort and peace, and for an easing of pain. I did not pray for healing.
After my Christmas visit, and after some more gentle rebukes in response to an update message, I finally prayed for my sister to be healed. I said “God I do not see any way that my sister can be healed, but I believe you are God and can do the impossible. I pray that you would heal my sister; and if You do, I will tell the world.”
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
My sister is not healed but the last brain scan indicated the tumors had stopped growing and several had actually shrunk in size. This itself is a miracle which has the doctors astounded. Today my sister is in better condition than when I left her in early January. I fully believe that God can heal her; whether He will or not I do not know. But she has been given a significant amount of extra time and I am so thankful.
The following note was dictated by my sister. In the note, Jaime is her husband, Nick and Ryan are two of her young children, and the move back to the USA from Australia is scheduled for the end of May.
Well I’m walking a little better and talking a little better. I still get tired lots, Jaime says something like “I can’t believe she’s going to sleep some more.” I try to have races with my right hand eating cereal with Nick or Ryan to practice getting that side to do what my brain says, like when I walk down the stairs with someone I have trouble grabbing the railing with my right hand. I’ll stare at the railing but my hand doesn’t get there, my eyesight is still my frustrating thing. I have to stare at something for a while for it to come into focus. Old people at the church say at least you have something to blame it on, maybe true but I’m used to 20/20 vision. Also when my words don’t come out right, like calling people by other names is frustrating. In general my spirits are high, it helps having the bed facing the window because I can see people coming and going and feel the sunshine, like this morning I could have laid there forever. I get a little scared about moving back to States, the flying part, how it might affect my health. We’re going to Queensland next week and I’m worried about the flight, but it will be good to go and face it as a test run. The doctor said I should be OK with TED socks (that’s Thrombo Embolic Deterrent, or compression, socks for us laymen).
Thanks again for all of your prayers. I truly believe it has made a difference; your prayers have been “powerful and effective.” There is a good possibility that my sister and her family will stay with us the first week in June. I am in awe of God’s mercy. I will continue to pray for a good report the next time I send an update on my baby sister.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries