“Two Kinds of Faith for Two Kinds of Miracles”
Luke 17:11-19 2 Cor. 12:1-10
Rev. Paul E. Capetz
Christ Church by the Sea (United Methodist), Newport Beach
September 29, 2019
Many years ago, I worked as a chaplain in a large hospital. Being a hospital chaplain is not an easy task: the sadness and tragedy that one encounters in a hospital can be overwhelming. Trying to be a minister of the gospel in that context is especially challenging. There’s one experience in particular that troubled me greatly and I want to share it with you this morning.
One day as I was making the rounds in the surgical intensive care unit, I met a man whose wife was recovering from surgery. He was very glad to see the chaplain because, as he explained to me, he was a Bible-believing Christian. He told me the grim news that the doctors had opened up his wife’s abdomen and concluded that she had an inoperable form of cancer. But even though his wife’s diagnosis was virtually hopeless, this man assured me that he wasn’t worried at all. He wasn’t worried because he knew that God was going to perform a miracle to save his wife in spite of the fact that the doctors had already given up hope for her. As I kept listening to him, I realized that the real reason he was glad to see the chaplain was because he wanted me to promise him that, yes, God really was going to cure his wife by a miracle. And though he was trying to convince me that he wasn’t worried, I could see that he was deeply worried. In fact, he was more than worried; he was terrified that he was going to lose his wife.