What do you do when you’re in trouble physically? When something is really troubling you and you’ve not been very successful at being able to fix it yourself? If you’re like most, your next step is probably asking around to find a specialist–a good doctor–who you trust will be able to medically resolve your issue. Yet in all of our scurrying around, we must be careful to not neglect to consult the Great Physician who truly is that, not only of our souls but also of our bodies.
“And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.” (II Kings 19:14)
Many of us will call out to God for help, yet in this modern age, where our health is concerned, we are frequently reluctant to relegate our physical destiny to Him. Because medical science is as advanced as it is, we tend to assume that spiritual problems must be addressed to God but physical problems to physicians. And while it is a very foolish idea not to get diagnosed to know what, exactly, our particular problem is as well as to find out our medical options and probable prognosis, it is just as foolish not to present our problem to the One who created our bodies in the first place. Yes, He heals through the knowledge He has allowed modern medicine, and yes, He can if He so chooses, heal miraculously. Yet there are many times when He also heals by giving us wisdom when we earnestly ask Him for it.
As a caveat, we must certainly keep in mind that there are times, as with Paul, when God does not heal us:
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:7-9)
Yet, I believe there are other times when healing (or at least partial relief) is available, but because we do not pursue it we do not get it.
Recently, my left hip began to hurt, on certain days quite severely. Even earlier, I began to experience chronic generalized pain in my legs, attributable to nothing in particular. I began regularly (right before bed so I could sleep on a daily basis, and more frequently on some days) using various commonly available pain medications such as NSAIDs and acetomenophen. Eventually the pain intensified to a point where I was noticeably limping, and on a bad night was even brought to tears. I went to a specialist, who advised me, even though I am only fifty-one years old, and based on my perceived pain level and the X-rays taken, that I needed hip replacement surgery. Research showed me that although far improved than before, this is a major operation and requires subsequent home support and care, that (due to our particular circumstances which include a large German Shepherd who daily and frequently jumps on me) I may not get.
So, I did what I should have done from the beginning–I called out to God for help. I asked for wisdom, and began researching online causes of hip deterioration, as well as possible ways to avoid immediate surgery. Even though my physician told me there was no way to rebuild worn away cartilage, I also know that the Creator of my body is certainly knowledgeable enough and capable enough to do as He sees fit, including either rebuilding cartilage or decreasing or removing the associated pain.
So I began researching nutrition-based and other methods to alleviate pain and generally improve the internal well being of my body. Within the past week or two I’ve incorporated various changes into both my life-style and diet, and even though previously I had rarely been able to go even one night without pain medication, I have now not taken any for almost five complete days. Not a long time in the grand scheme of things, but amazingly promising for me.
So what, specifically, did I do? Primarily, I incorporated the recommendations of a Dr. Miercola (available online), which seem to be a gathering of current research from various sources. Time will tell if these lifestyle and diet changes will be enough for me to avoid surgery, yet as we encounter various physical problems, we must not be reluctant to present them to God, being open and willing to pursue wisdom as He reveals it to us:
“Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you. Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.” (Proverbs 4:5-10)
Help us, in all of our running around with the experts, not not neglect to present our problems to You, the true Expert. Give us wisdom to know when to take the advice of others–to recognize when their advice is from You, to do us good and not ill. Help us also, however, to see if modifications to our diet and lifestyle that can make us healthier, and to be open to all legitimate sources of Your wisdom and healing. Amen.