The Worst News-Part 2 Dan’s Perspective

This blog post is part of the continuing story of our family’s journey facing my husband’s cancer with the grace that only the Lord Jesus can give. If you would like to read the story from the beginning, go here.

My mom and dad usually leave just after Christmas to spend the winter months in Texas. It had become clear that things were looking bleak in my cancer battle, so they decided to stay in Minnesota and help in any way that they could. I argued a little, feeling guilty that they were forgoing their usual plans because of me. I soon realized that I would do the same thing if my one of my children was battling for his or her life. It would be a great blessing to have them with us as we went through this part of our journey. II am very thankful for their unselfish decision.

When someone is diagnosed terminally ill and believes in both divine healing and in the benefits of modern medicine, it is a constant, sometimes frustrating balancing act. As time went on and it appeared various drugs were taking effect and helping, it became a challenge to not have faith in the drugs instead of the Lord. My prayers went from, “Lord, heal me,” to “Lord, let the drugs would work.” Let’s face it, when one is terminally ill with little chance of survival, any time that we are granted, any healing, and whether or not the drugs work is up to our God. Our hope is in Him. Even though the Lord has blessed us with lifesaving medication, our faith is not in the drugs but in God, himself. I have found myself wrestling with the guilt that I am taking chemotherapy rather than handing my life over to God, and at times I still struggle with it. Ultimately, my daily prayer is with the psalmist, “Lord, I pray that I will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord.

Many in the faith believe we have a right as sons of God to live 70-80 years without health problems and then just die of natural causes. That sounds good and I’m all for it, but I’m not sure I see it happen to believers any more than unbelievers.

Many believe healing is part of salvation and is in the atonement. There certainly are scriptures that appear to suggest that. Often those who believe this will say that by His stripes we already have been healed. Again, I get the reasons for this interpretation, but if I am already healed, why do the scans show cancer? The response from those with this belief is that the provision for healing is already there and one can freely tap into it, yet we don’t.

Whatever the truth on healing in the atonement is, there are comparatively few believers having much success with our “right to divine healing. While miraculous healings do happen, if our healing is in the atonement, there should be more. Perhaps as some suggest, we just haven’t learned how to access that healing through the same simple, childlike faith that saves us.

One thing for sure, it isn’t as simple and automatic as some seem to suggest. I’ve become a little weary of well-meaning Christian brothers and sisters endlessly quoting to me the magic formulas to healing that seem to seldom work. Either we understand them [the verses] wrong, or we have a long way to go in learning how to implement the promised healing.

I would have a couple of weeks off from all treatment and I expected to feel great and get some things done. Instead, I seemed to have some kind of chemo hangover that kept me dragging for nearly the entire treatment break. Soon enough, the time arrived for what would be my third course of treatment in a little over two years’ time. The first two were oral and while they had their own sets of side effects, they were tolerable. This treatment his would be given via infusion and promised to be the greatest challenge yet.

You can learn more about Dan Erickson, his family, and his ministry at his blog,”Dan’s Pulpit.” Follow “Facing Cancer With Grace,” to read our continuing story.

About connectedtothevine

My husband was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in early November, 2012. He needed to resign as the pastor of a small non-denominational church due to his declining health, but he still desired to have a place to minister. He began a blog called, "Dan's Pulpit." Along with other topics, he wrote a 16 part series called, "It's Cancer." I began adding to these blogs and editing with the intent to have a book about some of the things involved in fighting cancer. We wanted to foster an understanding of what a patient and his/her family faces. As things continued to progress, we decided to put what I was writing out in the blog, "Facing Cancer With Grace." Along with the series, "Our Story," I hope to add some information to help people facing a health crisis to be able to see hope in the midst of a major life crisis through Jesus Christ.
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4 Responses to The Worst News-Part 2 Dan’s Perspective

  1. SR says:

    Hello Dan and Heather, and Dan I pray you are feeling better. I loved the post! I would like to share some of my thoughts on it.

    “By His stripes we are healed.” Dan, if I remember correctly in one of my studies, the word “healed” means we are “justified” by His stripes. I am going to get back to you on this one, as I want to make sure. Even if it does mean “healed” as we think of the word, Dan, there are many different types of healings. The Word never tells each and every one of us specifically what type of “healing” we are going to get! My goodness!!!

    Example: I suffer from some ailments. Now I have not been “healed” physically but the “spiritual” healing I have received has been astronomical! I have trusted God more. I am more at peace with it. I have good and bad days, but the bad days do not mean God is no longer with me, it means I have to have the faith I need to get through it. Yes Dan, these are all “types” of healings also, because I do have that “faith” now, where I cannot say the same for years ago!

    As far as the “medicine” part goes Dan, let us see! In the Bible people used to have to bathe in certain waters, mud and spit was used from Jesus to heal I think it was the “blind man,” so on and so forth. Many “healing herbs” (medicine used back then) were used in those days. Not all healings came about as a “divine and natural healing,” as we think of it. We are so foolish to think that way! I mean, who gave “man” the mind to come up with some of these “drugs” to heal? Hmmm… let us see? Oh I know!!! 🙂 God!!!!!

    Let us look at some diseases which are no longer with us because of these drugs: smallpox, polio, measles, mumps, and chickenpox we no longer see in a lot of our children, shingles we now have a vaccine for, etc…. Heather still has you, because of these drugs. I do not think in fact I know, using drugs does not mean WE DO NOT TRUST GOD! He did give us a brain to reason this stuff out for goodness sake!!!!! It also does not mean, that the healing Hand of God is not in these things as well! God is in everything Dan! Even an aspirin, by the way, which was used way, way, back then.

    If God uses something as fickle as man, what makes one think will not use anything? Dan, He uses my dogs daily to teach me something! 🙂 He used a jackass, a burning bush, angels, His Son, let us not forget how Paul had his sight taken away from him, or a thorn in his flesh. By all means let us not forget how Peter sunk in the water, with Jesus standing right in front of Him????? It does not always mean Dan, we are doing something wrong, okay?

    I really run from those who make one feel like dirt, as well meaning as they are. Dan, each and every one of us, have to walk our sufferings out with God in the best way we know how.

    Remember in Scripture Dan, not a direct quote again, but where the man I think was having seizure’s, and Jesus was asked something like was it the man’s sins, his parent’s etc… and Jesus said, It was neither but for the glory of God! God does allow many things to happen to us for His glory alone. One of the ways to me this is used by you, is sharing your story of how much you have trusted God through it all. (I will never forget the post where you said, “You were never angry with God.) Bingo, Dan!!!!

    That does not mean you have not questioned God over some things, doubted if what you are doing is right/wrong, and any other thought/action you might have had. I would be the same way. What it does mean is, you are hear sharing this walk with us. You know Dan, sometimes questioning things is our lives, even with God, is a very good thing to do? Let us see, Abraham, Moses, David, Job, Peter, Paul, etc… questioned God. If we do not ask Him questions, how are we going to get the answers????

    You know Dan, sometimes “well meaning Christians” quote and quote and quote. I have a friend like that, who I mainly ignore and stay quiet with, because I get so sick of it. I have found out though through years of knowing her, all the Scriptures she quotes to me and many others, have a different meaning when her feet are knocked out from under her. That is usually what happens.

    I do not know why this has happened to you, Dan. You nor Heather know. But…. it has happened. You know my Dad brought us up with this saying, “It has happened, now what are you going to do about it?” That to me is where it starts and stops.

    Ourselves and others need to always quit trying to understand it all, and trust that God does! Love to you both and kids, God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, SR. I agree with what you so wonderfully explained. Thank you for your insight and your friendship. I pray that you are doing well and that your heart is healing from your recent losses. You are in my prayers. God bless you, Heather

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    • SR says:

      Thanks a lot Heather. It is healing and I have come to a certain peace with it all. I know I am in your prayers and always know there is never a prayer I say that Dan, you and the kids are not always in.

      Now I looked up some stuff on the word “healed.” It has many different meanings in Scripture. It means cured of diseases, justified, righteous, made whole, and free. Now I went to the Scripture in 1 Peter 2:24-25 because so many never read the whole thing through and they quote one verse.

      “He Himself bore our sins in His body on a tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

      Now look at verse 25. It does not say SQUAT ABOUT “ILLNESS” DOES IT? The very reason as explained in verse 25 Jesus laid on the Cross was because these people were “STRAYING LIKE SHEEP, BUT HAVE NOW RETURNED TO THE SHEPHERD AND GUARDIAN OF THEIR SOULS.” But… because of the wounds on the body of Christ they now can “die to sin and live to righteousness.” They can be “free” because of the “stripes of Christ.” See those stripes “healed” them from “bondage” to “freedom.”

      Now go to James 5:16-19 (Again reading the whole thing) “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth its fruit. My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” There again it does not say SQUAT ABOUT AN “ILLNESS.”

      Now here we see confessing our sins and praying for one another also heals us. It even gives to us someone to use as an example in Elijah. It also talks about the kind of healing done here again, doesn’t it? Bringing a sinner back from the error of his ways. When we do these people are “justified” because of the “stripes” to receive the “covering of their multitude of sins.”

      We have to be very careful to read the whole dat-gum thing when reading Scripture! We also must be extremely careful when quoting it, not to make it mean what we feel it should be.

      The “stripes of Jesus” brought many things to those of us in the world. All different sorts of healings. They made it where we COULD be healed of illness, if God so desires. It does not necessarily mean we will be, though does it? They made us where we could be “free,” yet with the thorn in Paul’s flesh, God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” So at that time, Paul was not freed from that thorn was he? Those “stripes” justified us, so we have access to God now, and forgiveness of our sins. Those “stripes” made us whole, in the very essence of who we are. Those “stripes” gave to God everything He needed so He could have the mercy He has to have on us. Most of all those “stripes” ripped the flesh of Jesus, so we would not have to bear them.

      To take the words “stripes” and “healed” and apply it to only one things in our lives, is taking these Scriptures so out of context. You know, God truly cares about the inner self we have, doesn’t He? Those “stripes” made it where we can become the inner man, that God can work with. You know what, if He wants to heal us for His greater glory, He will do that! If He does not, it is still for His greater glory, isn’t it? Love and God Bless, SR

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen! I have always questioned those verses being applied to physical healing as well. I believe that God heals and does miracles today, but to say a few words out of context with the expectation that we can manipulate God into doing our bidding, bothers me. We have a friend who was our pastor for a long time. In fact, he even married us. He used to say, “God is more concerned with our character than with our comfort.” I believe that to be true. Now I must say that if God healed Dan today, I would be ever grateful and joyful. I still pray for that. Regardless, I will trust Him with the outcome.
    Love and blessings to you, Heather

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