After posting and reading your reactions I felt like I need to share with you my journey in this area and how I have arrived where I am today. This will get long but will be as brief as possible.
Many years ago when I was in my 30s (I am now 66 years old) "Christianity Today" magazine printed an article that explored end of life issues. Thus was something completely new to me. As a young person I was stumped - I thought everyone who is sick, including old folks should pursue medical assistance. So, I went to church and asked the elderly sisters, "When you get old and ailing, do you want people to use life support to help you, keep you alive?" With no hesitation they all said "NO!" Oh..Oh.. well - I have never considered this before. This was a huge eye-opener to me.
Fast forward.In 1988 our oldest son was diagnosed with acathamoeba keratitis that resulted in a cornea transplant. In 1980 my husband had a herniated disc that was removed - back when these surgeries were not commonplace. And by this time I was carrying child #5. In 1994 our only daughter, Regina, was afflicted with glioblastoma - brain cancer - the worst kind there is. After aggressive treatment by one of the nations renown neurosurgeons she died. Now I was confronted with issues I never considered before.
During her treatment the hospital had open house inviting the public in to showcase their radiology department. While taking that tour, I asked a nurse, "can radiology cure cancer?" She said, "NO!" I was absolutely shocked. Here Regina was taking treatments in the hope of treating her cancer successfully. What a let down! Yet, this was all they had to offer at this point in time in 1995.
During this time I did some investigation in clinical trials for glioblastoma victims. I had a stack of lit from several cancer societies. At this time my brother-in-law and his wife visited in our home. She is an optometrist and he is a professor in the biological sciences at Eastern Mennonite University. They looked at it and then counseled me to not even consider putting Regina into clinical trials. His reasons were logical, spoken from a professional point of view. Then they told me, "You know, dying is not the worst thing that can happen to a person." It was this principle that became a pivotal point to me in my attitude/conviction on this issue. In fact, as I ministered to our daughter during this time the LORD had impressed me with the same idea.
Regina died and was buried. She went to her Father and today I am glad she is there and not have to deal with the ugliness we all are confronted with. This culminated in a disruption of life in which I had pent three months out of a 11 months away from home (750 miles). I had a ringside seat in caring and observing what was done.
In the meantime, one of my sisters is an registered nurse as is her husband; another brother-in-law is one as well. My husband's brother is a professor who has done research into why the prostrate gland begins to fail once males reach old age. And his wife is an optometrist.
My sister has cared for many in ICU who were elderly with no hope of recovering or leaving it apart from death. We have discussed these issues in depth. She taught me that what I was learning is indeed valid.
When our oldest son had eye infection, he was anointed with oil; Regina was anointed three times because the cancer would return. One of these anointings was for the baby she was carrying in her womb. He was born 10 weeks early, weighed 3 lb 4 oz. - is well and alive today with no hint of the trauma that surrounded his time in his mother's womb.
As I reflected on all these physical difficulties, God impressed upon me that he is the healer. Sometimes He will use medical experts but not always. Richard Wurmbrand has said, "That if God wants me alive, persecution will not kill me." I have embraced this concept and modified it to also mean that if God want me alive, no illness will take me before my mission is done. Today, when I see/hear of a young person who died I know that person's mission has been completed on this earth. Now it is time to remove him/her from the living. To live beyond this point in time in counter-productive.
Presently, my health is good, I deal with arthritis and I have had two heart attacks. I am aware of the probability of having another one with it killing me. When I had these two I opted to not pursue medical assistance but took aspirin instead. Since then I have seen first hand in my dad what heart surgery does to a person and how effective it in preserving life. All I seen confirms what Wurmbrand has taught me. For the last number of years whenever I did not feel well I would ask my husband to pray for me or I asked the church leadership for anointing. What this has done is increased my faith in the all-sufficiency of God. God is good; He is the healer and sustainer of all life. I embrace this concept and teach it. It is not welcomed by all and I understand where they are coming from. There is a point where one will be shocked and appalled when long held beliefs are challenged. I understand your dilemma, Just-in. I judge no one for seeking medical help - this is their prerogative.
Just-in, you suggested we may be so poor we cannot afford medical help hence my opinion. The reality is that we do have medicare but we have never used it. I rarely go to a doctor and neither does my husband. It is because we pray and expect the LORD to teach us what we should do to alleviate this ailment - if this is what we need to do, otherwise we expect him to heal and He does.
God is good. And I want others to experience this as well. Does this make sense?
FYI, if someone has Lymes I do not begrudge them from taking antibiotics for it - scripture does not forbid it. But I have also noticed they will not seek anointing which raises some disturbing questions in my mind. I do not understand why...
I have not shared the money angle on this issue - if you insist I can share that later.
Hope I have answered your questions, if not, ask again...