Anyway, Joy is a friend of mine from college. She is a very devout Christian, and she also has some serious health issues (we did commiserate over food allergies quite frequently), so I can attest that she is telling the truth as far as her health issues go.
On my post about Forrest Gump, Joy had this to say:
I'm going to push back a little because I feel that polite feedback and disagreement is a healthy thing. If you feel i'm being impolite or too pushy say so and I'll back down.
I firmly believe that G-d does answer prayer. I think he uses police, doctors, ect to answer prayer. Sometimes it might seem easier for him just to swoop down and make things right, but he doesn't. I don't have all the answers, and I'm learning to be okay with that. I guess that's where faith comes in, believing in what we cannot understand. Just over 3 years ago, the doctors told me I was going to die. Blood vessels in my brain were getting ready to explode. They had no answers. There was no surgery they could do, no medicine they could give me. My faith community rallied around me and we prayed. I'm alive today. The doctors have no answer for it. Not every prayer is answered that way, but sometimes they are. Other times, G-d uses people.Anyway, you are definitely not too pushy, Joy. :) I do appreciate you commenting and opening this discussion. However, I am going to have to disagree with you.
To be honest, I think it's kind of sucky for God to not just swoop down and fix things. I mean, what's the point in making this huge creation, and then just totally screwing over large portions of it (e.g. third world countries, people born with diseases, etc.)? That does not seem very loving to me.
I'm not claiming that I have all the answers. In fact, for everything we find out, it just creates more questions. Does that mean we will never know everything? Not quite. I mean, sure, humanity may die out before we solve everything about the universe (in fact, that's more than likely), but this idea that god has some secret plan for all of us and so we should stop asking questions because it will never be revealed to us...well, I just can't accept that. Why doesn't god want us to know his secret plan? What would be the harm in that? If god just revealed himself to everyone and used his big booming voice to reach everyone (like Voldemort in Harry Potter 7) and said, "Hey yo, I'm real, stop acting like assholes and killing each other, I want you to love each other, okay?" Like...wouldn't that stop all wars? Why doesn't god do that? Oh, because we have free will? But we don't have the knowledge that he does. That seems....not wise. (I am pretending, for the moment, that god is all-loving and doesn't support war and genocide, despite the entire OT.)
I will say, Joy, that I am happy you are alive and that your brain did not explode. But just because doctors didn't know what to do doesn't mean that god is real. For every story like yours, there are literally hundreds (or thousands) of stories where people prayed for god to fix them, and yet they died. Oftentimes in terrible, painful, drawn out ways.
You also say that god uses people. I know there's that joke/story about the guy standing on the roof of his house when his city is flooded, and like three people in canoes float by and offer him a ride, and he says, "No, god will save me." And then he dies and asks god why he didn't try to save him, and god says, "I did try! I sent three boats by!" That...actually makes me really mad. I do try my best to help people every day. I do it because I think it's the right thing to do, and because I think we should all help people, because society is better for it. The idea that the credit for the good that I (or firefighters, or doctors, or police officers, etc.) do belongs to god is bogus. First, it wrongly implies that people who do good things are exclusively Christian and are guided by god. It also suggests that god is guiding all of our decisions. But wait, I thought we had free will? Christians do not have the monopoly on beneficial actions.
I am glad that you have a community that supports you. But what about the people who pray really hard and don't survive? Did they not pray hard enough? Did not enough people pray? Why did god's plan for them involve pain and suffering and then death? God seems kind of like a jerk, if that's his plan.
Of course, the response is that he "works in mysterious ways." That's just not a response I can accept.