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 July - August 2004
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COVER STORY: Casey Martin was thrilled to play professional golf, but he never thought he'd be thrown into the spotlight because of his disability. . .
When Your Pain is Not Being Treated
WARNING: Beware of Bible Cures!
God is in the Details
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When God Hollers, "No!"
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When God Hollers No!

Many times God said, "Yes. . ." As a former professional tennis player, Kay McDaniel received the award for "Fastest Serve in Women's Professional Tennis." Professionally ranked #30 in the world, she competed at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

But a few years ago, God say "No." Kay was diagnosed with systemic lupus and Addison's disease. Kay shares a bit of the
lessons she's learned . . .

"NO!"

Have you ever received an answer like this from God? You earnestly, specifically, and directly prayed again. The response from God remained the same, "No!" It was quite a blow, wasn't it? Despite your prayers lining up with God's Word, His character, and His will, the word from God's throne room was an emphatic denial.

Why didn't God respond as you had believed and hoped? Good question, but better yet, how have you responded to God's "No?" Not so well? Paul knew something about God's "No's" as evidenced in I Corinthians 12:8,9. Paul asked God to remove his thorn and despite being denied of this he persisted. At least three times he knocked on heaven's door waiting on an eloquent answer from God, yet the answer remained the same. "No!"

We must realize that God does answer our prayers, in whatever manner He sees fit and many times this doesn't suit our preconceived idea of a right answer. Often, for some distinct reason(s) that only Heaven will reveal, He chooses a different route. At these times it would behoove us to not merely yield to His supremacy but to trust His sovereignty. After all, God sees all, knows all, and is all. Above all, God desires to transform us with His power and one of the best ways to accomplish it is through hard places, spiritual wildernesses, and fiery trials.

When Jesus was on the cross, he desperately needed and wanted a "Yes!" from God. Instead, he received a resounding "No!" Why did God deny His only Son? So that we would not be denied! Jesus had the power to call upon angels to minister to him or to deliver him, but he chose not to intervene in the natural order of things. The good news about suffering? If yielded to God, it can:

  • increase our understanding and knowledge of Him
  • broaden our view
  • sensitize us to the things of God
  • equip us for kingdom service
  • enhance our relationship with God and others
  • increase our compassion
  • usher in humility
  • heightens our spiritual senses
  • keep us close to the cross
  • help us rid ourselves of self-efficiency and lean on God's power
  • help us learn keener listening skills and obedience
  • remove the impurities in our lives

According to Philip Yancey in Where is God When it Hurts, Job's response when all the props of his faith were removed would prove or disprove Satan's challenge. Job is a hero to the suffering because he stood strong in the midst of devastating trouble, pain, and loneliness. It seems that our spiritual experience is nourished best in the wilderness places - as long as we don't desert Him.

C.S. Lewis said it best, "Pain, the megaphone of God. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain." Another favorite writer, Joe Stowell, President of Moody Bible Institute, said of pain, "With God, there is always a reason for pain. He never permits pain without a purpose."

The heroes of the faith were heroes because through pain, they remained. Stowell believes that Job was called upon to prove a point on God's behalf. He suffered to prove the worthiness of God and there could be no higher calling. In Corinthians 1:8 and 2:5-11 it emphasizes that a main staple in perseverance is "patient endurance." This important ingredient comes as a direct result of our standing strong during times of suffering. Hebrews 12:1 says to "Run with patience the particular race that God has set before you." (Living Bible) And almost comical, in Hebrews 10:36 it states, "For you have need of patience…" You got that right!

The morning that I was directing of the city-wide tennis camps I got an urgent phone call from my doctor. He told me to get off the courts immediately because the MRI test taken days earlier revealed a herniated disc which had caused a bone chip to be lodged in my spinal canal. This chip had been causing severe pain because it was pressing in on the nerves. It would have to be surgically removed as soon as possible.

The next day I could not get out of bed. I was stuck! If I can't rise from the bed, how am I going to be able to see a doctor? I wondered. A doctor friend arranged for me to see a top neurosurgeon. I told him my plight and he said he would see me as soon as I arrived. But. . .how was I going to get there? I could hardly see my toes, much less get up on them!

Somehow, divinely led, I crept onto the Louisiana-bound plane where I stood the entire trip from Tennessee. Upon arrival, I collapsed on the floor with severe pain resulting in round-the-clock pain medications, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory pills. My surgery was set for early Monday morning but this was only Friday and I was quickly losing motor abilities in my foot and leg. The operation was successful. However, because of the long wait I had incurred a "drop foot" that did not leave after surgery. The neurosurgeon had performed many back surgeries but he had never witnessed a patient recover from this rare post- surgery syndrome. The pain was gone but I wasn't able to lift my foot onto a curb. It was lifeless. Stunned, I wondered, Will I ever be the same?

You can read the rest of this article in the July/August issue which can be ordered here.

Kay McDaniel lives in Cleveland, TN. She contends with these chronic and progressive illnesses on a daily basis and walks in wholeness of health and victory because of the grace of Jesus Christ. Through this "thorn" God has richly blessed her life as as a Christian warrior.


This article was featured in our July/August 2004 issue.
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