Q: There have been side effects from taking certain medications to help with having Attention deficit disorder ADD. Is it realistic to turn to God with this problem?
A: First of all, I will never give advice about whether one should stop taking medication, but am happy to share what I do know regarding the power of Christ.
A relative of mine has a son who was diagnosed with learning differences and ADD. His mother ,whom we will call Sally was never convinced that ADD was the actual problem and often had arguments’ with the boys’ father who we will name Harvey about this diagnosis. They had divorced years ago and had shared custody. Harvey insisted that their son take medication so he would do better academically in school as well as controlling any behavioral difficulties. Sally hired tutors and found some non-medical methods of helping her son. However, this did not satisfy Harvey who then filed for an emergency hearing with the court system claiming that the mother was not a suitable parent because she was with-holding medicine from their son. Sally started doing research on the various medications prescribed for this condition and was extremely concerned about the possible side effects written about for each of them. Sally hired an attorney who presented the outcome of the research to the judge. The judge did not make any ruling at this case management meeting but did make a side comment that many children take these medications and her son would probably have to try it and see if it works. Sally was devastated, the judge wasn’t on her side and her own attorney told her that there was no way she could win this case. Her attorney said that she will have to come to terms with giving her son medication after the next hearing date when the matter would be settled because the judge usually rules on the side of the expert reports. Sally called me and relayed the disappointing news she was given. Immediately I told her to that she could trust God because he was the only judge and I would pray with her. Though Sally was not a religious person, she does have faith and was willing to listen to some podcasts on how others had prayed and received answers to their prayers. We even found a non -profit group in the state Sally lives in that is trying to find solutions to court mandated medical reliance, but at this point they were a start -up company and didn’t have the legal help necessary to assist her. Again Harvey told Sally that because of her medical negligence he was going to ask the judge to take all medical decision rights away from her.
Every day on the way to work, Sally would listen to podcasts from a variety of religious leaders. She found one from a lady named Mrs Gooding who stated that God is the only lawmaker and decision maker, so it doesn’t matter what the reports are saying. Sally clung to these words even when her attorney needed to resign from the case due to a leave of absence from her job. Another attorney was assigned to this case and Sally again heard the opinion that she would lose this case. A child psychologist evaluated their son and wrote a 42 page document in favor of prescribing medication and a private school that was designed to help children similar to those her son was experiencing. Sally was willing to pay for it without any assistance from Harvey who baulked at the idea and told Sally that he would not allow for this. Sally continued to declare that God was the only Law and decision maker and it didn’t matter what the reports said. The autumn came and their son was enrolled in a public middle school. Sally feared that the middle school teachers would support what the elementary school teachers’ had said about their sons challenges with school work and behavior. But Sally never gave up on trusting that God was present and could make any adjustments necessary.
Both Sally and Harvey were given the cost of court fees if they couldn’t settle this out of court. The negotiations resumed and a conclusion was settled on. Harvey suggested that they bring their son to the pediatrician and whatever was prescribed, they would agree to follow. The pediatrician then gave them a questionnaire which needed to be filled out by all their sons’ middle school teachers, speech therapist, tutor plus Sally and Harvey. Every one of the teachers, the tutor and speech therapist said that their son was doing well in class. His grades were good and he was paying attention. The pediatrician looked at all the comments made and told Sally and Harvey that there was no need to prescribe any medication.
Glory to God! Nothing is impossible when we stand up for Gods ability to help us even when no one else can.