As I write this post today, I am sitting in the waiting room of a medical facility – anxiously waiting on the outcome of a procedure Janet is having to diagnose changes in her health during the last thirty days. We don’t expect anything earth shattering but I can tell you that as we get older, it seems that we are all getting used to realizing that good health is not guaranteed and every day that we feel good is a gift from God.
Our family has been plagued with a number of health issues recently that have caused me, even more than usual, to be grateful for the health that we do enjoy. Furthermore, that although some of the things are serious, none of them, at this point in time, are life threatening.
As Janet and I get older, we find that we spend more time at doctors than we used to. Her broken arm and shoulder two years ago, my severed tendon this past spring and all the usual things that accompany getting older. I never thought that I would have to see a dermatologist every 3 months – or have my quarterly visit to the internist to monitor blood pressure, sugar levels or cholesterol. I don’t know that either of us have an “annual visit” with any of our doctors other than, perhaps, the eye doctor. And even there, we both know that cataract surgery is on the horizon – it’s just a matter of time.
Of course, each time somebody in the family undergoes a visit or procedure, I pray for God to watch over us and protect us from harm. On balance, even though we each have a growing list of infirmities, God has been good and everything is manageable.
But sometimes that doesn’t calm the nerves. Janet and Kristin, in particular, are fond of going out on the internet and heavily researching their symptoms and have become armchair diagnosticians. I am quite the reverse – I kind of bury my head in the sand and pray for the best. I figure that God can handle whatever is wrong and if it is His will, things will be fine. And I really hope that it is His will that our health, and the health of everyone, will be fine. I can’t tell you how much I yearn for disease and sickness to be wiped from the face of the earth.
Inevitably, when someone I know is ill, at a doctor or undergoing a procedure, I call my closest faith based friends and ask them to pray. I am not too proud to ask for prayer… And God knows that I have received a number of those calls myself and have offered many prayers on behalf of others who have contacted me. When I personally have a problem, I solicit prayer from just about everywhere, including the doorman at the medical facility we frequent. And prayer has worked.
The verse for today highlights the fact prayer is important in the healing process. In the first century, the apostles were given divine power to heal the sick throughout the countryside. We know that Peter, in the book of Acts, performed such miracles and gave the credit to God. In our current world, the prayers of the saints, as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus, are important as intercessory prayers.
While elders and other church leaders are important to keep in the loop, we each, as believers, have the power of the Holy Spirit in us and are able to have the power of Jesus at our disposal as well. James, the half brother of Jesus, tells us in James 5:14, “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up…”
My encouragement tonight is that Jesus wants us to pray to Him and to use every resource available to us to cause healing and health in everyone we encounter. My prayer is that God will grant each of us a long, healthy life full of compassion for all people who haven’t been so fortunate. By the way, Janet’s procedure went well. Good news so far, with another short procedure scheduled for next week. Thanks for your prayers… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…