by Annette Bridges. ©2009. All rights reserved.

It seems in most every aspect of life, people are searching for answers, help and relief. We may often begin our search by examining the symptoms of a problem. Perhaps many believe that this process will help identify the cause of some phenomenon so that we can determine how to treat the situation.

In my recent prayers for some family members, an inspiration came to me that has changed how I approach my prayer regarding problems.

Various loved ones were (and some still are) struggling with physical illness and disabilities. Some have received a medical diagnosis, and others are afraid of getting one, fearing what it might be.

In trying to console a family member who was about to get a diagnosis that would reveal whether a tumor was benign, I pondered the meaning of “diagnosis.” The short definition could be simply stated as an “opinion.” Or a longer way to give a definition could be — “the evaluation of history, symptoms or signs and a review of data in order to reach an opinion or conclusion.”

The key word for me was – opinion. Somehow this word suddenly made an unwanted medical diagnosis less horrifying or daunting. And here’s why…

I spiritually reasoned that any opinion — or diagnosis — that is not the same as what God would say, think, know or conclude about his beloved children is always a misdiagnosis.

For me, this conclusion — although simply stated — has become very powerful, reassuring and hopeful.

I’ve decided that the only way I can approach my prayers is to begin with what I believe God knows as well as wants for his children. I believe that this approach is based upon what is spiritually and eternally true about God and His children. So, consequently, any other opinion or fear could never change, replace or destroy the spiritual truth.

I shared these thoughts with my family member, and she later told me they helped her gain a peace of mind before she went in for the examination and further testing. Gratefully, the tumors (it turned out to be more than one) were all medically determined to be benign.

My prayers that continue for other family members are holding firm to what I believe is the God-view for each one of them. No one can ever make me believe that a loving and good God wants his children to suffer.

I can’t help but consider how Jesus healed, and I recall that many times he didn’t even know the nature or name of the illness or condition. I read again about the dear woman who the Bible says had an issue of blood for twelve years and who had apparently been to many physicians in search of a cure. (Luke 8:43-48) Jesus didn’t know her plight before he healed her. She told him her story after she was healed.

I have to believe that Jesus must have maintained a spiritual point of view of everyone he saw regardless of the physical evidence or what opinions might be. This spiritual viewpoint would have surely been based upon what God sees and knows. And this point of view was transforming and healing and didn’t require an analysis of the problem.

Beginning with a focus on a problem, or sometimes many problems, has often been overwhelming. So much so in fact, that I have found it difficult to even know where to turn or how to begin to find a solution or make progress.

But as I approach a problem with first pondering what God would say or know, fears are calmed, hope is encouraged, fresh answers are discovered and in some instances, healings have been experienced and witnessed.

Don’t ever give up hope, my friends. God loves you. God sees infinite possibilities for your life. He knows your perfection. He discerns your unlimited potential. He is aware of your many talents and abilities. He is conscious only of your wholeness and goodness.

Anything that would have you believe otherwise is a misdiagnosis!