“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases.” (Psalms 103: 2-3)
Let me tell you, there are no atheists in a doctor’s office either.
Especially as you get older. You know what the worst part about getting old is? Getting old!
It’s created a love-hate relationship between my doctor and I: I don’t want him to find anything wrong … and he usually does.
If you ever want to know how your prayer life is doing, go to the doctor, wait for him to utter some mysterious, ambiguous, clinically monosyllabic observations, and then ask you to come back in two weeks for a follow-up.
My doctor is friendly, courteous, knowledgeable, gentle yet firm, and most importantly, accepted by my work insurance plan.
Some doctors, like mine, are naturals at putting the fear of God into you because they have never grasped the concept of proper bedside manners.
The first time we met, he opened his laptop and sighed, exclaiming to anyone within earshot, “Wow! We got problems here. I don’t know where to start!”
The guy has a knack for relaxing his patient.
It was time to pray more than just “Jesus, help me!” I dived into fervent prayers about me, me, me and how I needed God to dig me out, out, out of whatever new mess I got myself in.
I must have set a record for saying the most prayers in 30 seconds flat.
But why was I scared? I felt fine. In fact, I felt great.
It’s the fear of the unknown, sparked by some little phrase of medical jargon uttered by a doctor cruising through his laptop. Ten minutes later, it’s as if no conversation ever took place.
My Strange Conversation With The Doctor
Doctor: OK, here is something we need to talk about. Your uric acid is up.
Me: What’s uric acid?
Doctor: It’s a precursor to gout.
Me: What’s gout?
Doctor: It’s where your feet or big toe hurt.
Me: What causes uric acid?
Doctor: Foods like beans.
Me: Oh, no, I often eat a can of kidney beans a day for protein. What’s my uric acid level up to?
Doctor: It’s a 10.
Me: Is that like a “Bo Derek 10” or “you failed the test miserably 10”? What’s normal?
Doctor: Normal is 9.2 … Do your feet or big toe hurt?
Me: Not at all.
Doctor: In that case, keep eating the beans. They’re real good for you.
You see what I mean, it was like the conversation never happened…
What Going to the Doctor Reveals About Your Faith
From the fear of the unknown to the known, our prayer life says a lot about how we react in a doctor’s office, even before we get any news, good or bad.
I will sit in the doctor’s waiting room and pray, “Lord heal me of anything, whether I have it or not,” such is my fear of the Man in the White Coat.
Sometimes I feel like the disciples being rocked to and fro on the ship, and Jesus telling them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
Is fear stronger than faith? Or is faith stronger than fear?
God’s Word in James 5:16 says:
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
If I am so worried about a doctor’s visit, afraid that God won’t hear my prayers, and stew over the fact I may not be the most righteous man in the world, then I definitely need to revisit James 5:16.
Unless you’re a 16-year-old champion triathlon swimmer, it seems, there is always ample reason to worry about a checkup at the doctor’s office.
But doesn’t God say to be anxious for nothing? Oh, frail humans that we are! Philippians 4:6-8 reminds us:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I pray for that peace before the doctor entertains me with tales of what new escapade my body is starring in. My mind starts the projector and I see my name on the movie house marquee …
“The Life of Ani Ma’Amin!” starring his Uric Acid Test, co-starring his Prostate Exam and Cholesterol Levels, with special guest star Vitamin D Deficiency!
If my mind is racing in hyper-worry mode when I go see the doctor for a checkup it means I don’t have that relationship with my God that I should have … the kind that gives me a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Frail human that I am, indeed. But I am joined by the multitudes, because there are many instances in the Bible that deal with healing. Jesus Himself is the Healer, the Great Physician.
“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)
“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14)
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
And we find one of the greatest scriptures of love, faith and healing in Matthew 9:20-22:
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
“Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
I say Amen to these scriptures and many more that should set our mind at ease before the doctor even opens his mouth.
What Kind of Faith Do You Have?
Do I have that kind of faith? The faith that says my God is in charge?
Romans 9:18 tells us, “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”
And yet, I have found God to be merciful to me, abounding with grace without measure, ever faithful in His love and caring.
If a centurion had the faith of a mustard seed, what more will God do for one of his faithful children?
“The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8:8)
I remind myself constantly, Jesus heals the sick. He is the Great Physician.
If you worry, pray to God. If you need healing, pray to God.
And if you need others to pray with you and for you, don’t be afraid to send your prayer requests here to Calvary Chapel South Bay where others will pray for your needs.
Matthew 18:20 says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” If you need a prayer answered, let your brothers and sisters stand with you. The prayers of the righteous avail much.
The Bottom Line
Whether we are motivated by worry, fear or need, we have a God we can run to.
We have a God who is our refuge and our strong tower. We can run to Him with a faith that says, my God, you are in charge!
We have Jesus. This Jesus saves the sinner, this Jesus embraces the wayward prodigals. This Jesus brings new life to the lost.
Jesus heals! He can make the lame to walk and the blind to see, and He can see us through whatever real or imagined calamity we face, so that we can have that peace that surpasses all understanding.
Which always brings me back to this question: What purpose has this life of ours without Jesus? And the answer is always a resounding “None.”
And that is why His praise is always on my lips. What an awesome God we serve!