Case in point: for the past several weeks, I have hacked and coughed my way through my sermons and Bible classes and sleep at night and office hours in the day. I just figured it was allergies.
Shortly after this started, I took Jamie to see Dr. Ezra Cole about her wrist. In his office I had a coughing fit. He looked down my throat and, I believe I’m quoting him directly, said “YUCK!” He told me to try some things (no plug for OTC medications here) to get rid of the “yuck”.
Well, the things didn’t work. So finally I went to the doctor on Monday...a “grown up” doctor...or a doctor that treats adults...ummmmm...a non-pediatrician.
My lungs were clear, but my sinuses were not: I had/have a sinus infection. So the doctor prescribed an antibiotic (no plug for pharmaceuticals here) and, now, two days later, I’m feeling a little better...except for the side effects of the antibiotic.
So why didn’t I just go to the doctor when I started coughing? Because I’m male? Because even the co-pay is high? Because, “It’s just a cough”? Because, “It’s just allergies”? Because, “It’ll last two weeks if I go to the doctor and 14 days if I don’t”? Because I’m stubborn?
A more important question is when we are spiritually ailing, why don’t we go to The Great Physician? Is it because we think we can take care of it ourselves? Is it because the price is too high? Is it because we think it is just a phase we are going through? Is it because we believe our friends will think less of us? Is it because we are stubborn?
Jesus knows human nature (since He created humans and then became a human). He knows it is human nature to be stubborn. This stubbornness, though, is not pleasing to Him.
In Mark 16:14 Jesus rebuked His disciples for their stubborn refusal to believe those He had sent to them with the message of His resurrection.
When we are sick, hurt, ill, or just plain not feeling well, we don’t need to let it go on for four weeks before seeing a doctor. When we are spiritually sick, hurt, ill, or just plain don’t feel spiritually well, our first inclination should be to call up The Great Physician.
Sometimes His prescription is filled just by taking the time to pray about it for our self. One indicator of ailing spiritual health is that we let our private devotional times slip.
Sometimes His prescription is filled by the shepherds of the local church. In James 5:14 James writes, “Is anyone 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.”
We’ll save a discussion of anointing with oil for another time. The important thing is that when we are sick (physically and/or spiritually) one of the best things we can do is call the elders and ask them to pray for us.
Sometime His prescription is filled by the prayers of our fellow Christians. James 5:16 tells us to, “...confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
We need to be doing our very best to live a righteous life so that if someone comes to us and asks us to pray for them we can pray powerfully and effectively. We also need to understand that if they ask us to pray, we are to pray and not share with everyone we know.
And here’s the clincher...He doesn’t even require a co-pay! So the next time you’re “just not yourself” spiritually speaking, call up the Great Physician...He always has immediate appointments available and He always has the cure for what ails you!