I had my annual physical yesterday. To spare you the drama and cut to the chase, everything was great and I was pronounced healthy. I do take high blood pressure pills, and last year I had to get on a high cholesterol med, but with these prescriptions, my conditions are easily controlled. And, several years ago, during an insurance exam, I was told that I had some sort of minor heart arrhythmia, not even treated with medication, but it has necessitated monitoring and an annual EKG. For the last year, however, for some medically inexplicable reason, my heart evaluations have come back completely normal! Praise God.
But I am probably not conveying the anxiety that I experience when I must go to the doctor. I mean, I really hate going to the doctor! My internist, Dr. M, is a great guy, and is always kind and compassionate, but I am always afraid that he will find something wrong with me. I know that, logically, he is on my side and wants me to be healthy. And, if for some reason, he finds something wrong, then I want to be treated so I get well.
However, I know that my fear (there, I said it), of doctors is rooted in my early years. When my brother and I were young, before our youngest brother was born, we went to Dr. S. I never liked the guy, and one day, my brother needed a shot of some kind. He was scared and resistant, and the doctor, rather than trying to calm him down, grabbed him, wrestled him to the ground, sat across his chest and injected him. My brother was hysterical, and I was crying in sympathy with him. That event scared me more than I can tell you. As you can tell, I still remember it to this day.
Then, there was the time that my Dad was not feeling well, and the doctor wanted him to go into the hospital for tests; they found bone cancer, and Dad died four years later. Another bad outcome from a doctor. I know what you are probably thinking – what a wimp. And you are right! My life has been made better, and even saved, by doctors many times as well. Like the time I had to have my gallbladder out, or when I fractured my leg, or when I had my tonsils out when I was twenty-five, because I was choking so much (I asked them to do that one under a local anesthetic which, on hindsight, was probably a mistake). But that old fear of doctors still haunts me to this day – and I swear I try to get over it every time I have an appointment. Janet knows how much I wrestle with this issue and although she’s sympathetic, she just does not understand it. My brother, the one I mentioned earlier, even became a doctor. Go figure!
So I am relieved today. No scheduled appointments for six months. But I am going to try something different for next time – because I remembered today that the Psalmist says, in Psalm 139:14-16, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”
So the Creator created me, and also you – unique and individual. And He had a plan for each of us when we were created. And when you think about the grandeur of God’s creation, and the complexity of the human body, how can anyone doubt that God exists?All you have to do is go outside and look to the heavens, or watch the snow fall, or listen to your own heartbeat. What a precious gift we have received from the Father. So today, celebrate the gift of life. Because even if our earthly life will someday end, as followers of Jesus Christ, our eternal life has already begun and we “will dwell in the House of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).