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In a few weeks I will be participating in a walk to help raise money for medical research to find a cure for Croh’s disease and Ulcerative Colitus. The cause hits close to home; “inside my own body” close. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in late 2011.

Here is a brief description of the event by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America:

Take Steps is CCFA’s national evening walk and celebration and the nation’s largest event dedicated to finding cures for digestive diseases. It is a casual 2-3 mile stroll to raise money for crucial research, bringing us closer to a future free from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Over 1.4 million American adults and children are affected by these digestive diseases. While many suffer in silence, Take Steps brings together this community in a fun and energetic atmosphere, encouraging them to make noise and be heard.

Through my illness my understanding of medical science has been changing and how as a Christian I choose to value medical science. A few years ago I might have felt that medical research was vain work of people who wouldn’t trust Jesus to be their healer. And after my friend Rob Timpone died at age26 from stomach cancer despite chemo treatments and the removal of the tumor, I really didn’t know what to think. In some ways I still don’t. To reject any help from medical science for illness is an ignorant and inaccurate and potentially dangerous perspective on the issue. And if our faith is informed at all by history we will value and commit to contribute to medical research as well as commit to prayer. The two are not at odds. In the 20th century many diseases have been cured which once took the lives of many and sadly still take many lives in third world countries where medicine is rare. Here is a short list of these diseases:

Chicken Pox

Diptheria

Invasive H. Flu

Malaria

Measles

Pertussis

Pneumococcal Disease

Polio, Tetanus

Typhoid Fever

Yellow Fever

Smallpox

Click here to find out more information on these if you are interested.

The other side of the issue is what the Christian community often emphasizes: the work of Christ is the ultimate cure. Those who experience healing, whether from the hands of a doctor or through prayer, or a combination, will still die someday possibly not knowing the salvation and eternal life offered in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. There is no surgery or drug that can pay the price for the sins that we as humans inevitably commit in spite of our best efforts or intentions. But the wonderful reality is that Jesus paid the price for the sin of the whole world so that anyone who repents and believes can have eternal life.

The tricky and murky part is sustaining this life. Eternal life is guaranteed through Christ. But some lives on earth last longer than others. I have already outlived my friend Rob Timpone and plenty of other people I don’t know I am sure. I was so convinced shortly before Rob’s death that God was going to extend his life further than 26 even though he had cancer. But God didn’t. Rob got 26 years. I have at least 29 and rather than assume that I am going to die with my disease or without my disease I am in a state of not knowing what God is up to. I think God could get rid of the disease for me and maybe even make it the next on the list of cured diseases or He could choose not do that. Maybe I’ll die with the disease and it won’t be cured. Maybe I’ll die before Crohn’s will be cured or maybe I won’t. Maybe I will be healed through prayer and medicine will not play a huge part in the experience. I don’t know. I who was once confident in my own ability to perceive God’s will outside of scripture am less confident. God has a plan and it’s good of that I am certain. I have a bad track record in predicting it with a lot of specificity though. I know my long term future. I will spend it in heaven thanks to the forgivness of sins available through Jesus. I am less certain that I have a lot of my life left to live and live symptom free than I was last year. In a way I feel a bit like a whiner since I have a mild case of Crohn’s disease. But perhaps I am whining not only for myself but for others with far more reason to complain.

All of this may not be news to you and if not then great.  Either way on June 3rd I am participating in a walk to raise money to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitus. Your donation would be much appreciated and go to a good cause as would your prayers.

So if you can donate money, please donate by clicking here. If you aren’t in a position to donate please pray and also keep in your prayers places where medication is not a viable option due to lack of funds.

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