There once was a girl named Faith, who trusted Jesus with all her heart. Trusted Him to meet every need. No matter what.
When the math was too hard, she asked God for wisdom. And aced the test. When her dad lost his job, she prayed for him to get a new one. Within a week he got a better offer, with more pay. When her friends were sick, she prayed for them. And they recovered.
Everyone who knew her thought that Faith had remarkable faith.
Her father commended her, her mother spoke highly of her, her brothers and sisters envied her (as was to be expected), and all her teachers thought she was the best and kindest student they had ever met. A girl like that could go far in this world, they said. They had high hopes for her.
Until the day she caught the sickness. Diagnosis: lupus. Prognosis: six months to live.
With news like that, what would become of Faith?
Her unbelieving friends chalked it up to bad luck. But among believers, it was a different story. All of them believed that God could heal her. If he wanted to. Yet as far as most of them were concerned, this sickness was a "thorn in the flesh," sent by God to "teach her something."
Of course, with the proper medical treatment, she had a fifty-fifty chance of survival.
Fifty-fifty. Like the two forked tongues of that medical symbol known as the Caduceus. One snake hissing "yes," the other "no."
Fifty-fifty. Take your pick. Heads or tails.
"No," said Faith. "God can heal me, all by Himself. No ifs, ands, or buts. In Jesus all His promises are 'yes and amen.'" (II Corinthians 1:20)
"Did you really say what I think you said?" came the shocked voice of Aunt Zelda. She was at the hospital with her husband, 'visiting' Faith, who had just undergone a wide battery of tests. Well aware of her niece's views, which were contrary to her own, Zelda considered it her business to talk some sense into both child and parents.
"Come, dear, be reasonable," she argued. "Your faith is sweet, but God made common sense as well."
"And he has given me uncommon sense," replied the girl. "Sense from above, which tells me to trust Him one hundred percent. Because He's the real deal. And He never changes His mind."
Unable to rock the faith of Faith, Zelda shot a flaming glance toward her mother. "Don't tell me you're going to put up with this, Mabel! Take charge! Make her get the treatment! This is your flesh and blood. Don't you care whether or not she lives or dies?"
Never having learned to stand up to her older sister, Mabel ducked behind her husband. "Help me out, Henry."
Zelda sharpened her pitchfork and directed it toward her own significant other. "Back me up, Ned."
"Yes, dear," replied her beleaguered man. "Ahem, uh, well, as the scripture says, 'Physician, heal thyself.' Right?"
Thanks, Ned. Big help you are!
Henry made a brave attempt to calm the storm. "You see, Zelda, we, uh, we were planning to, uh, have the elders in our church lay hands on Faith and pray, according to - to - I know it's in the Bible somewhere."
"James five, verses fourteen and fifteen," interjected Faith with fervent zeal. 'The prayer of faith will raise the sick.' And it doesn't say anything about doctors. Please, Daddy! God doesn't need poison to heal me. Don't make me take it. It's against my will!"
With many tears she pleaded with her father not to make her get the chemo.
Zelda aimed another zinger. "What about that man in Kansas who refused to have his daughter get the chemotherapy? He chose 'faith alone.' Humph! Guess who's in jail now, paying for her murder?"
"Yes, but," Faith protested, "what about all the children who die while getting chemo? Or those that get killed by operations gone bad? Or the boy that didn't wake up, whose mom and dad decided to pull the plug? Did anyone call their parents criminals? Did anyone send THEM to jail? Did anyone sue the doctors for murder?"
"Humph!" snorted Zelda. "I never knew a little girl like you could be such a doctor hater."
"But I'm not a doctor hater," argued Faith. "I have no problem with common sense or with Christians seeing doctors. For me it's simply a matter of choice. I mean, come on! If I wanted an abortion, I could have one, with or without my folks' permission. And I know you'd have no problem with that!"
Zelda's eyes lit up. "I'm shocked to hear a girl like you speak so boldly to her elders! Where's your respect?"
The words shook Faith to her core. Certainly she had meant no disrespect. Or had she? Doubt crept upon her like a dark shadow, threatening to smother her. "Oh God," she cried from the depths of her tortured soul, what shall I do? Whatever shall I do?"