About those medical bills

September 4th, 2010

Joe, looking over bills:  After a while, the numbers get so big that they lose their meaning.  I’m not sure what these folks think we’re made of.

Susanna, looking over his shoulder:  Maybe they found out that our Father is King of the universe?

Joe: If so, it looks like they’re attempting to commit extortion!

If there was a God who had the ability to create something out of nothing…

If He could bring dirt, dead bodies, and dead spirits to life…

If this God had mastery over all of space and time and matter and energy and all the physical and spiritual laws, because He defined them, made them, set them in place, and lives outside of them…

If all these things continue to be bound by Him, and He Himself is bound by none of them…

If such a God formed sentient beings, and gifted them with His image and the ability to perceive transcendent realities…

What would be the appropriate minimal response of these sentient beings toward Him?

A basic recognition that He is God?  A basic thankfulness toward Him?

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and divine nature, so that they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

If goodness, justice, beauty, truth, love, and all other virtues are defined by His nature, so that they can only be fully known when He is fully known…

If the creatures He made cared little for the eternal pleasure of learning to know Him and instead wanted to know themselves…

If they rejected His right to rule over them, and attempted to rule themselves, which brought death into all the life He has made…

…and thereby they willingly took on the bonds of a slavery which they were free to enter but not free to leave behind them…

If He then chooses to bring some of them back to life and freedom, and make that life eternal, lavishly rich and robust with His love toward them…

…when all they have to offer in return is weak, flawed and broken…

What would be the appropriate minimal response of these privileged beings toward Him?

To worship Him by utterly giving up to Him all of what we are and have and say and think and do, out of a longing to bring Him ever-increasing honor?

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Him be the glory forever! Amen. Therefore I appeal to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

So, what does all this have to do with medical bills??

Simply stated–we believe these things are true.

And because they are true, we have every reason to believe God when He says we have no reason to be anxious.  We can absolutely trust Him to be good.  And we believe that because He loves us, He takes great pleasure both in creating our needs and in satisfying them.

We have myriads of other reasons to trust Him, too, but they can all be traced back to these foundational realities.

So when we make our financial decisions, fear is not part of the process.  We aren’t trusting in something that has limitations or could possibly fail us.  We aren’t trusting in ourselves, other people, insurance companies, or the government.  Because we aren’t trusting in what the world trusts in, we do not need to fear what the world fears.

We have chosen to join with many of our brothers and sisters in Christ to share in one another’s medical expenses.  After researching the various Christian health care sharing ministries, we were impressed with Samaritan Ministries as being the closest to what the New Testament describes and the least like insurance.  I hope you click on that link and watch the 8 minute video on the front page.  It explains the ministry beautifully!  We joined in January of 2008.

We have submitted our medical bills to Samaritan as we have received them.  The bills we owed from Verity’s birth have all been paid by what other Samaritan members have shared with us.  The remaining bills are from both of Verity’s subsequent hospital stays.  Samaritan uses the services of The Karis Group to negotiate very large medical bills.  That is where our bills are in this process.  After an agreement is reached, the remaining amount owed will be published to the Samaritan members and shared among them.

Some of you may remember that we were told that since we went through the Clinic for Special Children for Verity’s surgery in Hershey, that we would receive a 70% discount.  This was a misunderstanding.  The Clinic has been working toward this agreement with Hershey for many months, and the final decision is entangled in red tape somewhere.  They do have this agreement with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Did you know that government health insurance typically pays twenty-five cents for every dollar of medical bills it receives?

What about all our other extra expenses over the past months?

Some of you have been the means God used to meet every single one of them.  (A big Thank You to the couple who sent us a second check this past week!  Guess you thought you could get away with asking us not to thank you!)

When God gives to us, He’s not setting up an automatic deduction for His favorite charity.  He is pouring out His love on the children who were born into His family.  It gives us immense pleasure to watch our Father provide for us, immense satisfaction to live content with that provision, and immense joy to be able to brag about Him!

Our Father can do anything He wants to do!  We gladly belong to Him.

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

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6 Responses to “About those medical bills”

  1. Denise says:

    In agreement–  Our Father  will meet all of our needs….

    Will begin praying that as he moves in this financial area — people will see  What a Mighty God we Serve!!  (just as people have seen as he has moved in the physcial area of Verity’s life— and ALL GLory has gone to HIM!!!  

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
    Ephesians 3:20-21

  2. Lara Font says:

    thanks for this post!  this week I have been praying about Parker’s medical bills, knowing that we aren’t to worry about tomorrow and reciting those same verses in Matthew.  We must trust and have faith!  Blessings!

  3. Anne says:

    I’ve often refered to my little one as our million dollar baby!  It’s not been quite that bad, but it sure is overwhelming at times.  God has provided for us abundantly many times and I know He will do the same for you!

  4. sabrina says:

    I was blessed to read this today. What a wonderful testimony of our Father’s love and provision.

  5. Angela says:

    Hello Susanna,

    I know this is a post from last year, but I just had to comment…

    I have been reading the entries of Verity’s and your (and your whole family’s!) journey and what you have written has ministered to me in many ways – ways you probably wouldn’t expect ;-P

    Our family has a lot going on, and through many MANY challenges (including being bed/couch ridden during this our fourth pregnancy), we have been forced to move out and find another house somehow relying on (Australian) Government benefits as my partner has to be my carer for this pregnancy and until I get back on my feet afterwards also.  There has been setback after setback and it has been soooo stressful to me – yet my faith in God has been strengthened. 

    We have been in a position where we needed private rental fast, however we have issues with our past rental history – the government helped supply an advocate who got us a house – in an area we first did not want to move into, however now we love this small country area immensly!!!  Then we had no money for a Bond and the two week advance required from most real estates… the government supplied an interest-free loan to cover both which equals to AU$2160 – it may as well hae been two million dollars to us as we had not a penny.

    We are moving on the 8th of November (days away!) and have not had money for a removalist or a way to take refuse to the dump.  The removalist will cost AU$650 (HALF the usual price!) and the refuse removal at least $300.  We have been asking for prayer as we still do not have a dollar to put towards those last expenses – and saying on FaceBook (we only have a very small group of family and a few friends) that God will make a way as He is our Provider and Master Planner…

    After checking – our rent is miraculously a week ahead at our current property and so through my mum we are getting a refund of $300 – enough for a deposit on the removalist…

    Each of these things is nothing but a miracle!!  We could not have done ONE of these things alone, let alone all of them collectively.  Even though no one else in my family is a Christian (My sister is a practicising Pagan) I have not been able to hold back in testifying of what our Father has done and what we are sure He will do to provide all we need ~ All of our needs are supplied in Christ Jesus!  I have never had to rely on God as we have had to through this time – all human avenues are exhausted and yet miracle after miracle is taking place and we are believing in the King of the Universe to make a way where we have not seen one on our own.

    I am sorry for such a long post and understand if you do not post it on your blog… but I have said all of that to say these things…

    I have been reading through your journey with little gorgeous Verity – and much has happened in my spirit and in my heart.  I have never thought about Down syndrome this way before – God has only revealed His will for our particular family to trust Him with our family planning (which is very unconventional and not considered ‘wise’ at all medically, financially etc, as well as not ‘fitting in’ with the doctrines we have been taught – but the Lord spoke to our hearts and it is His Word – not man’s – that we are sticking to), so to then be faced with your ministrations and love and informations about Down syndrome has been a breath of fresh air.  I have never thought about Down syndrome the way you have revealed through the love of God – it is amazing and I have been corrected in love in how I should have been thinking all along – she is truly gorgeous and so very special!

    Another surprising thing for me that really stood out was that all of your entries have taught and encouraged me in my faith for THIS current financial/moving house situation – to trust Him and not what is in our bank accounts… to know that He has a plan for us that although we may not know it in its entirety – we can still trust it and Him.  Although these scriptures and personal thoughts concern your situation at the time – the Lord has used those same things to minister to me in a totally different situation during which I had been feeling bereft and afloat on a river rapid ride with only a deflated inner tube!

    I should end things here for the sake of space – but I couldn’t read another word without letting you know SOMEHOW that you, Verity, your husband and your whole family have helped us through what was looking to be homelessness and through faith has become the house of my dreams in an area perfect to raise a family.  I cannot thank you all enough, I pray that God blesses you all mightily, and uses you in ever more increasing ways to touch humanity for Him… I pray that every seed that you have sown with grow in to a harvest an hurdred-fold – even in the season of drought around you… that you are planted by the living waters and your leaf shall always be green!  I also pray for all of those who did (and continue to) sow into your lives reap an hundred-fold harvest for every seed sown for their faithfulness towards His saints.

    And to end – I thank you for your humility and grace, for your example of true life – a real person living a real life with real stumblingblocks that have been used for the REAL glory of a REAL God!  I have never read of someone so willing and active to ‘die to self’ as I have read from you.  I am only 27 but I feel inspired by all of you and send the warmest blessings your way (over the ocean!)

    Many thanks,

  6. Susanna says:

    Angela, I don’t mind posting it here for three reasons. One, you are clearly giving the praise to the One who deserves it for the huge mercy He keeps on showing to us! Two, because your words are part of the story. And three, because it helped put courage into me during one of the most intense times of my life so far. Thank you for taking time to write, and most of all, THANK YOU for praying.

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