Recently my husband was speaking to somebody whose wife had a cancer diagnosis and asked him how his wife was doing.
This man replied that his wife was doing really well and had returned to work. He finished off with the statement “God answers prayer.”
That kind of took our breath away. Not the fact that his wife is doing well – we are very happy about that.
It’s him telling us that all of this happened because God answers prayer.
Do people think that we didn’t pray for Leah to be healed?
Do they think that our prayers weren’t good enough?
Or was it just a throwaway comment, expressing his faith in God and not in any way meant to undermine ours?
Once I had calmed down, I reasoned that the last explanation is the most likely.
We’ve encountered many and varied responses from people of faith to the fact of Leah’s death.
One leader in a church that I occasionally go to, informed me a few months after Leah died, that she had died because of “lack of faith”.
He then quoted the Bible verse
Mark 6:5 NLT
“And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”
You see, for some people, the illness and death of a child doesn’t fit into their neat “I’ve got all the answers” theology.
Even before Leah became ill, I never liked the idea of confining God to a denominational box.
In my opinion, God is way bigger than our pet doctrines and statements of belief.
Yes, I do believe in belonging to a local church and getting involved in the body of Christ.
The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25 GW
“We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.”
It’s just that I don’t like the idea that any one denomination has got exclusive rights to God.
I think that God is way bigger than the boxes that we sometimes try to squeeze Him into.
For the record, I do believe that God answers prayer. I continue to pray regularly for many people who are unwell.
I don’t know why some people get better and others die.
I don’t believe that Leah died because of “lack of faith”.
Leah herself certainly did not lack faith.
There were hundreds of churches and thousands of Christians praying and believing for Leah to be healed.
However, God isn’t like a genie in a lamp. It isn’t as simple as us just telling God what we want and then abracadabra – we want it, so we’ve got it.
The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
There are some things in this life that are always going to be a mystery.