My neurologist just put me through my least favourite range of tests since being diagnosed with MND / ALS.
These electromyogram and nerve conduction tests are gruelling and painful.
They involve the signals to and from my muscles and brain being measured by using electric shock.
Other treatments, like the 3 hour immunoglobulin infusions I have once a month, are a breeze in comparison.
Light exercise to boost my happy endorphins, a drug for MND / ALS patients called “rilutek” said to increase life expectancy by 3-6 months, juicing for breakfast, and a cocktail of about 40 vitamins I have self-prescribed through my own research have all become a regular part of my life.
Taking it deeper, daily I pray and believe for Jesus’ life, light and love to flow through my body, bringing life to my motor neurons.
I read my Bible and meditate on God’s word and His presence in my life, bringing my mind into a place of peace, not worry.
Why do I do all this stuff?
Why do I fight this disease with medicines and subject my body to research? Why do I hang my hope on the life-giving power of God’s word?
It’s because I believe in the power of prayer and the word of God that brings life and transforms.
I also believe that God has blessed man with wisdom and knowledge to appropriate healing through medicine.
Is there a tension between me doing what I can and believing God for a miracle?
Yes, there is a tension and for the Christian living in a fallen world: there always will be.
I personally walk the line between doing what I can in the natural, and believing God to do what He can in the supernatural.
They are not mutually exclusive.
We don’t disqualify God from intervening in our situation by relying on man’s advancement in medicine.
I believe God is at work in a number of ways in sickness and health through:
- the supernatural intervention of Gods miraculous power
(e.g. defying doctor’s predictions and seeing a medical turnaround. like people healed from cancer);
- the process of regeneration in our body that has been created by God
(e.g. the body healing itself from scrapes and bruises);
- medicines and medical advancements of our time, a gift of God’s wisdom and knowledge to man
(e.g. antibiotics to treat an infection, or radiation to treat cancer); and
- the comfort and wonder of one day entering heaven and eternity, a place God has prepared with no sickness or sorrow
(e.g. death of our physical body causing us to pass from this life to the next).
All are expressions of God’s love, care and kindness towards a world that will continue to struggle against sickness and disease.
If you are sick today, I would encourage you to do whatever is available for you to do as provided by God through medical advancement and trust God to do what only He can do.
This will bring you great peace.
January 31, 2014 at 8:00 am
That’s brilliantly put Phil. Another friend was diagnosed with MND yesterday. He doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus yet but I’ll be praying before his time comes he will be able to view his illness like you do and knows the peace of God to help him through it.
January 31, 2014 at 9:44 am
Hi Jane. Thats so sad, sorry to hear about your friend. Where does he live?
January 31, 2014 at 8:08 am
Beautifully said Phil. Thank you……..having “rejected” prayers telling me my breast cancer was already cured and I wouldn’t require surgery, I have experienced that tension you describe between human intervention and God’s ultimate control. Your words reinforced to me my own thoughts with beautiful clarity. In this instance, God working through man, with His wisdom and skill in the hands of the specialists and surgeons. Thankyou.
January 31, 2014 at 9:46 am
Julie may God continue to give you wisdom, strength and healing.
January 31, 2014 at 10:53 am
We love reading your Fridays with Phil as they are very inspiring. Our names are Dave Penn & Liz Standen-Penn and we have been Married 5 years this month after both caring for our late spouses with MND. They both went to be with the Lord 6 years ago. We understand your Journey and absolutely stand with you that God is a Miracle God and able to totally Heal you.
It’s interesting that you were the Pastor at Life that Caleb Standen (My Son ) talked to and got Council from about, Him & Anna & Summer leaving Auckland & Get Smart to come home to Tauranga and help Ivan & I with his on-going care. I just want to thank you for this Godly Council which was an absolute Blessing, help and encouragement to us both. they lived with us for 2 Years until the Lord called Ivan home, but the Blessing is that we now live within about 5minutes of each other.
I love the photo that you put on your encouragement today as we found that the MND Support Groups were amazing and we met some wonderful , and very courageous people there.
We look forward to continuing to reading your Fridays With Phil.
God Bless you and your Precious Wife and Family.
Love Dave & Liz
February 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm
Hi Dave and Liz. Thank you so much for reading the blog but also taking the time to write such a touching and moving response. I do remember that conversation and so happy they had the courage to make the move. You have blessed me thanks.
January 31, 2014 at 11:11 am
Thank you for your blog today, it answers a lot of questions I had with so much disease around. I remember what you said in one of our very first Designers Image classes on LOVE and how God is Love and Love is God! I have never forgotten that. Yvonne Park (Cochran) Elim Whangarei
February 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm
Thanks Yvonne. Designers Image that is a flash back every Thursday night drive nth for 2 hours and i loved every minute.
January 31, 2014 at 9:37 pm
Inspirational stuff as always Phil
Sending our love and Praying with you mate
Rod & Chrissie
February 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm
Thanks Rod blessings mate love ya.
January 31, 2014 at 10:44 pm
It is not often to hear or read a balanced view on sickness, healing and the miraculous healing of God. You are such a blessing to stay positive willing to share the truth about your life and stuggles. Proud to know you. John and I are still praying for your daily health and a miracle of healing to come. Blessing Ps. Phil
February 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm
Thanks for your prayers Lynda and John and continued reading of blog.
February 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm
Thank you Phil for your blog which is encouraging and inspiring! Amazing that you can use something bad and bless others and bring good! Praying for you!
February 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm
Thanks Christina, He comforts us so that in return we can comfort others.
February 3, 2014 at 9:16 am
Phil, I love your blogs and the inspirational and challenging thoughts you share. Praying for you along with the many others.
February 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm
Thanks Mustang Mick!
February 3, 2014 at 11:38 am
Thankyou for your weekly blog and in typical Phil Camden style you continue to provide tremendous encouragement to others. I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather have in my corner when going through difficult times.
You are truly inspiring and a great blessing to all who have the privilege of knowing you. With our deepest affection in Christ, John & Patricia
You are truly inspiring and are a blessing to all who have the privilege of knowing you. With our deepest affection and constant thoughts John & Patrri
You are truly inspiring and a blessing to all who have the privilege of knowing you. We still hope to visit Hunter soon and would love to catch up. With
tremendous encouragement you continue to provide others
February 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm
Hi John and Patricia. Great memories are shared and appreciate you following blog, be blessed. Congrats on coming grandchild!!!!
February 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm
I’ve never had a doctor inflict me with electric shocks, but your story reminds me that the good fight is always a fight … sometimes we’re just more aware of that. You inspire me to keep fighting in both the natural and spiritual arenas.
Do everything you can in the natural AND everything you can in the supernatural.
Work as if you couldn’t pray AND pray as if you couldn’t work.
I needed to be reminded of that – thank you.