I don’t know about you but I hate going to the doctor. First of all, I don’t like being poked and prodded. Secondly, I don’t like taking up half of the day traveling to the location, waiting in the lobby, waiting in the room, and then finally spending what seems like 3 minutes of the last 4 hours getting some help. Did I mention the germs and coughs and the war zone atmosphere of the waiting area? If you weren’t already sick you always think that you need to put on a gas mask or bathe in acid or antibacterial fluids once you have been exposed to all of that. Oh, and it can be expensive. Like I said, going to the doctor is lots of fun…
But you know what? Sometimes we need to go to the doctor. This past week, something happened that reminded me that we cannot just pull the covers over our head every time we are sick and think we will get over it. We need to remember that God in his wisdom created all types of materials and chemicals on the earth containing medicinal purposes…and he gave us the brains to discover them. In fact, in a way, it seems that by design he has forced us to be involved in the process of our own healing. He wants us to recognize when we are sick and he wants us to do something about it. We are supposed to desire and discover the source of our healing. We are supposed to do what we need to do to get better.
Sometimes I wonder if we are even aware that we are sick. For example, let’s start by talking about our spiritual body that comprises the church. Does the church know when one of its members is sick? At times we are not aware of the infirmities of our brethren, whether they be spiritual or physical. It is entirely possible for a person without friends to die at home (spiritually or physically) – and it be several days before anybody finds them. This reminds me that our church body is not always as healthy as we often assume it to be. It’s like finding out you have had cancer growing in your body for years, but you didn’t know about it because you never went in for a wellness checkup.
Let’s continue by talking about our own spiritual health. Just as we are not always aware of a physical ailment until it causes symptoms that causes us to investigate, subtle sins creep into our lives and change our behavior and character until, all of a sudden, our malady becomes obvious. When did that happen? –we ask. When did I get so far away from God? I didn’t mean to arrive here! I didn’t purposely navigate to this state of spiritual weakness! I was not trying to get spiritually sick!
It occurs to me that there is a reason for the church to exist beyond the extension of the gospel to the lost. We are here because we need people to check on us and make sure we are doing alright. We are here because we need a regular health assessment of our spiritual man. We are here because there is a great physician available, the sympathizing Jesus – and he can heal us. And he heals us perfectly. And he heals us completely. He heals us compassionately. There is never a waiting room.
Did I mention how much I love going to the doctor?
“When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.” – Luke 4:40