2 Corinthians 12:7-9 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
I believe that modern physicians do much good. When I broke my leg, I was very glad to have a physician on duty at the local hospital to be sure that I was treated properly and given the opportunity to heal fully. When my daughter developed a brain tumor, I was very glad that MD Anderson Cancer Center had the equipment and staff to diagnose and treat her and facilitate her recovery. I thank God for modern medicine and all the good that it does.
As the first scripture above relates, there are times when the physician does not have the answer. The attending physician did not help my cousin when he died as a young child. One man I know was so shocked at how his mother suffered and died at the hands of the physicians treating her colon cancer that, when he developed a similar tumor, he treated it himself. Within a year, his grapefruit-size tumor was gone! As I am reminded daily of the consequences of the surgery to remove my cancer, I envision the different outcome that I might have realized if I had known in advance what alternatives existed, but it was not my doctor’s privilege to tell me about any choices I had other than surgery, radiation, and “wait and see.” Now I know, so I gladly share with anyone who is interested that there are alternatives to the care of physicians that might be appropriate in some situations.
One of the alternatives is prayer. Scripture includes many passages that tell us of the power of prayer; we don’t have room here to review them, but you can do that on your own. As the second scripture passage above points out, sometimes God’s answer to prayer is “NO!” As our loving Father, He does not do that to punish us, but because He has something better planned for us. Perhaps if Paul had not had his “thorn in the flesh,” he would not have been able to reach many of the people who responded to his presentation of the gospel. For any one instance of our prayers being answered with a “NO,” there are many examples of how God has responded with a loving “YES!”
The Lord Provides!