One of the most incredible mysteries of God, to me, is how He can take things that are negative, and use them to bring life. I mean, it’s impossible right? Sickness, death, destruction, pain, they should only be able to bring about more sickness, death, destruction and pain. At best you could say that the experience might teach you something good, but to say that something good came out of a tragedy?
That Life can come from Death?
Now that is a miracle. That is a mystery.
I have Autoimmune Hepatitis. I’ve mentioned it in the past and as it’s a recurring theme in my life it will probably be mentioned again. I was told once that my liver was “as good as a cheap stake with lots of grissle.” When looking at the number scale I’m in stage four of liver disease progression. There are only four stages.
So, rubber meets the road here. Is what I’m claiming to be true, true in my life?
I believe God can heal me, but as yet He hasn’t. At times I’ve questioned why, at times I’ve struggled with self-blame. I even read in a book once that autoimmune disorders were “caused by the sin of self-hate” and my lack of healing, even my sickness, was my own fault.
Just so you know, even if a person DOES have a problem with self-hate, telling them that all their problems are their own fault because they hate themselves is NOT the way to help them not hate themselves. But moving on.
I don’t know if, and when, God will heal me. I do know that He will. It might be on Heavens doorstep, but He will. But I’ve seen something else as I’ve gone on this journey. I’ve seen Him be able to work through my circumstances to reach out and show His glory to people.
How? How could He show His glory by me having a junk liver? Let me tell you one story to illustrate.
When I was about seven months pregnant with my daughter I went in for an upper endoscopy. You see, one of the side affects of late stage liver disease is that the blood will back up from the liver to other parts of the body. One of these places is the veins around the esophagus. Problem is these veins are not built for that kind of pressure, and can rupture, burst, hemorrhage, bad things. A few years prior they had observed a few problem veins in me, they weren’t bad, but they were there. Now with pregnancy the blood volume in your body basically doubles. Can you see where this is going? I was told that with known issues with these veins during pregnancy the mortality rate can jump up to 50%.
Suffice to say my doctors were NOT happy I got pregnant. As far as they were concerned, I was a walking time bomb.
Throughout my pregnancy though I had an incredible peace. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to live or die, but I was ok with it. I knew God was in control and I knew the risks to my life were worth it for my child.
Anyway, back to the upper endoscopy. So I go in, they have to put you at least partly under for the procedure, because no matter how calm you are, you will fight it and freak out when someone sticks a probe down your throat. They decided to do it in the maternity wing, in the operating room used for cesareans, and prep me for emergency cesarean just in case. They were planning to go in, take a look around, and hopefully tape off any problem veins to give me a better chance of not, well, hemorrhaging to death.
There just happened to be a nurse in the O.R. that went to the church my parents attended at the time. She later recounted to us what happened.
So my doctor goes in, starts looking around, fully expecting some really scary looking veins, and the nurses start hearing her say something like this,
“Are you seeing this?”
“I don’t understand, this doesn’t happen!”
“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?”
She calls in another doctor to look.
“This looks perfectly fine! This looks perfectly healthy!”
“This just doesn’t happen!”
“They must be praying to the right God!”
There were other risks and complications in my pregnancy. But that was the biggest hurdle and God took care of it. Honestly for the most part my pregnancy and delivery went enviably well even by the standards of someone with no medical problems.
But the biggest most amazing thing? He not only took care of this hurdle, He did it in a way that it would testify to my doctor of His power. If I’d never had this disease, or risks, or complications, she would never have had that moment. I don’t know if it’s enough to reach her, but He used ME to call to her, to speak to her. Every moment of this trial has been worth it for that. To be used in that way is an honor and a blessing. And yes, it brings life out of a situation that should bring death.
We generally all know the story of baby Moses, found in Exodus 1-2, Pharaoh was afraid of how numerous the people of Israel had become and ordered all the baby boys to be drowned in the Nile. But Moses’s mother hides him for as long as she can.
When she can’t hide him anymore though, what does she do? She makes a basket, water-proofs it as best she can, and puts him in the Nile.
Think about that for a minute. The Nile was destined to be the vehicle of death for Moses. But instead God used it to preserve his life.
That, I think, is what God wants to do for us. He wants to take our situation, whatever it is, and turn it around for us. To speak to us through it, minister to us through it, strengthen us through it, and use it to actually preserve our lives. If we can just take a moment to throw ourselves on His grace, to let go of our trials, worries, and to just trust Him, I think we will be amazed at what He will do.
~Joy Aletheia Stevens.