The Realist

May 2, 2023

The Realist


“And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside­­—they placed the sick in marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed” (Mark 6:56, NIV).


One of the young doctors I train is an amazingly good doctor and a person of faith. She had a discussion today with a patient who refused the medicine we offered, wanting to wait instead for God’s miracle. This doctor responded to her patient’s plan in a very reasonable way: “I will pray for a miracle as well, but my job is to be a realist.”


I find nothing really wrong with her reply, confirming her commitment to her patient and accepting her patient’s faith. I differ from her response only in the word, realist.

My settled conviction for people of faith is that miracles are realistic.


Our experience with miracles is that they are infrequent. As partners in healing, we work with God to help patients using our science, with the high probability that their understanding of a miracle is not likely to occur. We accept their faith, hope they are right, pray they are right, but remain skeptical of their desired outcome based on our experience.


Or perhaps all is miracle. We are partners with God in healing by using tools discovered in His created world. By working with God in this way, every week we see patients who are healed in ways that would have been considered miraculous 50 years ago. As we continue to uncover these healing instruments within God’s creation, people are more and more experiencing miraculous healing. I stand amazed every day at the miraculous uncovering of God’s creation by great scientists who may never even know Him. Praise God for the science that has moved us forward to bring relief to so many who suffer.


For most of our patients, God works with us toward outcomes predicted within the fantastic world of science—the uncovering of truth within His miraculous creation.


And still we know, God does at times put His finger into our work with unexplainable power, released by faith, with results contradicting all scientific probability, miracles for any skeptic. I have seen it with others. It has happened for me. It is realistic.


Dear Father,

Your power and healing are built into your great creation but are not confined therein. As I work with you to heal, let me use all the tools you have placed before me, trusting your power through those tools, and seeking your power where those tools are not enough.


Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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