Mom was released from rehab last week and is back at home with my dad. I was in MO speaking most of last week, but ended the week by going to Okla City to help with the transition. In many ways, the worst of our fears are now upon us. We traveled around to many nursing homes with my mother on Friday. It broke my heart that it was a consideration. She was 20 years younger than anyone there. Nevertheless, we did not find anything that was affordable at this time. My dad will have to liquidate most of his assets before this becomes affordable.

I wish at this point that I could say that God has given us all peace about the situation, but I don’t think that we have found it yet. Maybe we are not allowing it to enter . . . I don’t know. I think that if she could just tell us when she needs to go to the bathroom, this would change many things. Everyone’s back is going out trying to carry her from one place to another. Luckily she is not overweight.

I have to shamefully admit that I practiced my “just-in-case” theology this weekend. I have never been one who looks for the power of God to come through the laying on of hands in a literal way. I have always believed that laying on of hands is a cultural representation of approval and agreement that can still have much meaning as long as it is explained. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I attempted to lay my hands on her and pray for the power of God to come through me. When that did not work, I tried again, emphasizing the words “In Jesus Name.” Nothing. Sigh . . . A few years ago I did practice my “just-in-case” theology with my sister who said she was demon possessed when she was sick. Laid my hands on her and commanded the demon to come out. Nothing.

I think about this and how experience can truly affect the way we think and believe. What if God had healed my mother by means of my “just-in-case” methodology? What would I have done then? Would I have joined the Vineyard movement? Would I have started writing blogs that encouraged others to follow my practice? I don’t know. In theory, here is what I think (hope?) I would have done. I would have said that God has been gracious to me and healed my mother in spite of my adaptation of tabloid and folk methodology. I hope that my experience would not set the agenda for my practice and preaching. Why? Because I know that this is not the experience of others who sincerely seek God’s merciful hand of healing. I believe that if I were to change the way I think based upon one subjective experience that I have had, this is not enough to justify the promotion of pop methodology for everyone. God’s movements are mysterious and hidden in His counsel. Sometimes He heals and sometime He does not. I dare not attempt to find a method to control the Wind. This would be idolatry.

Oh well, back to what I know. These difficulties may be around for some time. I guess I have to submit to the heavy hand of God right now.

BTW: No, I did not “slay” my mother in the Spirit! Things are not that desperate and never will be. 🙂

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

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