Case 1. Daniel had a fever last week. He prayed to God about it, and in an hour it was gone.
Case 2. Chinelo also had a fever last week, lasting for a day. She prayed about it during the day, dropped by the hospital on her way home and got some medications, and took them when she got home. In two days the fever was gone.
In your honest opinion, in which case do you think God healed the person from the headache?
There has been, and I believe there still is, this demarcation in people’s minds between medicine and faith. I know that a lot of people, in Nigeria and maybe beyond, believe that once anyone takes a decision to seek professional help, they have lost all faith. I beg to differ with this opinion. Faith and medicine are not mutually exclusive. They do not run on parallel lines; rather I believe that they can converge.
To those who believe that medicine is contradictory to faith, I ask this: is it everyone who takes a drug that gets better? People can die of sepsis (infection in the blood) even after administation of antibiotics, so where do they fall in?
It is very possible to use a drug but not experience its expected effect. There is this phenomenon in pharmacology ( i.e the study of drugs and how they work ) known as drug resistance. When a previously working drug for someone just stops producing its effect, or a drug that’s meant to have a certain response does not do so from the start, drug resistance is said to have taken place. There are a number of reasons for this, too many to start explaining now for length sake. It is very much a reality today, there is evidence of resistance in many medications, from antibiotics to anti-cancer drugs. My point is, taking a drug does not guarantee its action. The fact that the drug does what it’s meant to do and at the time it’s meant to do it is a testimony in itself, and this is often overlooked.
The same indignation given to medication by the “overly religious” population also applys to surgical procedures, even more so. A very common example is the attitude to a Caesarian section (an operation done on a pregnant woman to take out her baby). This procedure was developed and has been modified as an alternative to vaginal delivery for women who have conditions or complications that prevent them from having a safe vaginal delivery. Its sad to hear that in this day and age, there are churches who preach against this operation, telling people that it is all their portions to deliver like the ‘Hebrew women’, and any other means is “faithless”.
Sure, there is a place for a natural childbirth, and thank God for that, but please let us not act like having a vaginal birth makes a woman and her child excluded from mortality. For women whose anatomy or physiology does not permit them to have this, God has given men wisdom to design a surgery and given many others the intellectual capacity to learn it so that they and the babies in their wombs will be at less risk of dying. So what’s the miracle here? That a woman gave birth without a Caesarian section? Or that her and her baby are healthy after the birth?
We all have our own man-made ideas of what a ‘miracle’ should and should not be, and any event that does not fit into this small box is “outside of faith”. Whatever way God chooses to heal someone, that’s okay. One should not become inferior to the other.
We clap and cheer loudly for the testimonies when the person says that he or she has not been to the hospital in twenty years, and that is amazing. In this manner, we should also celebrate the people who were directed to medical personnel to seek help and came out healed. The woman who had a successful Caesarian section, the once-depressed man who is now whole again after months of spiritual counselling and psychological therapy, and even the young man with cancer who is now on remission after chemotherapy. God can work in all ways, with medicine and without.
Thank you for reading.