The Great Courses

Doctors Treat. God Heals. (Really?)

Apr 8, 2014 at 11:29 AM

To those asserting that God uses doctors as part of his design for your healing, I'd like to draw a few things to your attention.

praying hands

If God sees through time and exists beyond time, he saw your sickness or malady before it ever occurred or took root. Yet he said and did nothing to prevent it, which would have been the more efficient and effective course of action.

If God sees your body afflicted with disease or injury and withholds his hand of divine healing until the proper petitions are offered up, he is essentially blackmailing you with pain, more interested in receiving accolades than demonstrating mercy and miracles.

If God's "plan" for your recovery involves no direct healing miracle, but instead requires hugely expensive ambulance rides, surgical procedures, hospital stays and medications (often plunging whole families into financial crisis), he is purposefully allowing your physical burden to feed a financial one. (Tell me again why a cherished child of the Almighty would ever need to worry about a deductible.)

If God is using human hands as specific, chosen tools for your healing, why do so many of those hands belong to other (or no) faiths? And why does the physician/caregiver scenario work exactly the same for those outside your faith?

Finally, if you are prepared to give God the credit for improvements in your condition, are you also prepared to give God the blame when the disease worsens, when the infection intensifies, when the cancer spreads, when the organs fail, and when the scenario doesn't have a happy ending?

praying man

Too many times, I've seen people gaze lovingly into an empty sky, ignoring flesh-and-blood caregivers standing only inches away in favor of an invisible Friend who never speaks, never calls, never appears, never intervenes. Good news is attributed to miracles. Bad news is attributed to a lack of faith, an attack of dark spiritual forces, or the perverse idea that a loving father would need to "afflict" a child to build his/her character.

Why would I seek to rain on the prayer parade when it gives so many comfort in their darkest of hours? Well, I think the question should be phrased differently:

Why are so many God-followers content to ignore the doctors, nurses, support staff, scientists and ambassadors of modern medicine, and often in full view of the real "healers," direct their gratitude to a deadbeat parent?

The fact is, if God exists, he allowed tragedy to befall you and is holding the solutions hostage until you bow down and kiss the ring. If he doesn't exist, you're wasting time and energy that should be directed toward those who have met your condition with education, experience, skill, compassion, dedication and sacrifice.

It's time to recognize and thank, with all of our hearts, the true healers.

-  Seth Andrews

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