Whenever someone in my family is sick I have an immediate response. The knee-jerk reaction is “do we have to get you to a doctor”. With the dawn of brilliant medical technology I think this is a pretty normal way to think. The problem with it is that this reaction does not put God first. In truth, in the area of healing I think a lot of times my real praying kicks in after the medication has not worked.
Today I was faced with the extent of this idolatry in my heart. Lollie and I have medical insurance or as we call it in South Africa medical aid. In the last few months we’ve racked up quite a few bills and when I added it all up I discovered that we’ve almost reached our yearly limit. This propelled me into a total flat spin. My mind raced and I pondered all kinds of scenarios. A few minutes into my anxiety frenzy I realized that I’m not allowing God into this chaos. I repented.
Last week’s conference sensitized me to the fact that our Triune God is into healing. Now at the outset I want to emphasize that I firmly believe that it’s not a case of God or medicine but rather God and medicine. The problem comes when we develop a mindset of medicine without God or even medicine before God.
A few years ago I read the story of Asa for the first time. You can find it in 2 Chronicles 16. Verse 12 nailed me (and also invited me):
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.
I have lived on the “but only from the physicians” block for too long!
In the Old Testament we’re introduced to the Triune God through many stories. In the telling of these stories God reveals different aspects of his character. Whenever God showed something of himself the people would give Him another name. In Exodus 15:26 we encounter one of these stories and namings. The Lord your healer – Jehovah Rapha.
Last week Thursday I described my journey as a maze. I think one of the things that can lead me through the maze is an immersion into the stories of the Bible where God shows Himself as the Healer. Another aspect that might help is a regular pause and acknowledgement that it is God that heals even when I see a physician and drink medicine. Does this make sense?