Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Caring for the Hurting and the Dying

. Because of the faith movement many are silent on this subject. Great Bible scholars are still mystified as to why the righteous do suffer. Some say all suffering is of the devil, if this is true, then why does God allow it? Some say a “good God” doesn’t allow bad things to happen to us. Well if you read the Bible there were those that had bad things happen to them, and they were greater than you or I. Human wisdom is not sufficient to even understand the mind of God. This is why Job, Joseph, David, and I are the primary subjects of this book.

I feel qualified to write it because I am a man that loves God; I am a preacher and defender of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I suffer daily with two incurable diseases one called Sarcoidosis and the other Lymphadema. When I came back from the Gulf War I started a downhill spiral of sickness and disease. Prior to the war I was a strong and vibrant young man. I don’t know what I was exposed to in Desert Storm, but I do know it made me sick! A great many Gulf War vets have returned to the states with a number of Auto-Immune Illnesses. Now before you write or call me to tell me I should believe God for healing, understand this. I have been saved since I was 14 years old. I have been a preacher over 25 years. I have cast out devils, survived 3 car accidents, run revivals, prayed healing for others and they recovered, and in the past I have been healed myself. I have had this illness over 10 years and it has gotten progressively worst. My joints hurt, my eyesight is deteriorating due to lesions on my brain and my right eye, I have trouble breathing, and I have chronic fatigue as well as Sleep Apnea. I have quoted every healing verse I know I have made positive confessions, I have been anointed with oil and prayed for by nationally and internationally known evangelist and pastors, and I am still not healed. Has my faith gotten weak? To be honest yes at times! I have learned something many preachers are negligent in sharing with God’s people…Good people do suffer and everyone doesn’t get healed.

We (the Pentecostal/Holiness church) have become Job’s friends. We treat the sick like lepers. We tell them faith can heal them, and if they don’t get healed they have no faith. We accuse them of secret sin and sometimes we tell them they are cursed or worst that they are demonized. I have heard preachers tell poor people that were sick…”If you give more, God will heal you!” Hmmmm when did Jesus tell a sick person THAT!?!

I am almost in tears as I write this because I can only imagine the pain Job must have felt when his friends attacked his character. I have studied the Book of Job with great intensity, and I want to share some personal insights I have gained from this book. If you are suffering be encouraged God knows and God cares never forget that. If you know someone that is suffering what they need is your love, prayers, and concern. (Psalm 120:1)

I am a Chaplain at the largest Trauma Center in New Jersey, Cooper University Hospital. It is located in the most violent city in America, Camden NJ. I have seen more my fair share of suffering. Many of the patients are Jesus loving believers, and the thing that hurts them more than their physical pain at times is the way they are treated by healthy and wealthy Christians. We often act like Job’s friends when we encounter the sick or downtrodden. We judge them as doing something to deserve their plight, why? It gives them a sense of security, Security from the thought that God would allow something bad to happen to a believer. Even the disciples treated a blind man this way by asking Jesus, “Who sinned…Him or his parents?” Jesus replied NIETHER!” Yes innocent people DO SUFFER. I hope this book will help us be more sensitive to the sick, handicapped, and the downtrodden.

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