Saturday, May 23, 2015

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Everyone on earth has a body like the body of the one who was made from the dust of the earth. And everyone in heaven has a body like the body of the one who came from heaven.

-- 1 Corinthians 15:45

The Garden of Eden must have been quite a place.

And indeed it was. We read in Genesis that it was a literal paradise filled with beautiful fruit trees, gardens, rivers and animals. God created Adam to care for it and later introduced Eve to complete the equation. There was no crime, violence, unemployment or any of the other unpleasant realities of our modern existence. And the first man and woman communed with God in a world without pain or sickness. Or even death.

Then...everything changed. Adam Prescriptionand Eve's disobedience through eating from the garden's forbidden tree led to their permanent eviction from Eden. And ever since, human existence has involved toil, conflict, illness and mortality. It's a price we're still paying to this day.

Just how far has Adam and Eve's sin taken us from that place of perfect health? According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), our nation's healthcare spending reached $2.9 trillion in 2013. That's $9,255 per person, which is more than 17% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). And with the nation's Baby Boomers entering their retirement years, our need for healthcare and related services will only grow.

Our country--as well as the rest of the world--is in desperate need of healing. That's why it's a good thing that God sent us a Great Physician in the form of his own Son, Jesus Christ.

We read in the New Testament that the Savior--with only a touch or a word--healed lepers, the blind and the paralyzed. He even returned a man and a young child from death: all incredible miracles that proved Jesus' long-promised role as God among us. But if you think about it, these wonders were temporary. Everyone who was healed or raised eventually died.

Jesus' cures, however, were much more than physical. They had (and still have) eternal, spiritual significance. In our 21st Century culture that worships vitality and outward appearance. Christ sees through our real condition like an X-ray of our souls. What's apparent is that every one of us hurts in one way or another through the wounds and fractures of daily life. And what we all need is true healing.

What's the prescription for a positive prognosis? It's our simple faith in Him.

Luke's Gospel tells us that one desperate woman--who had been plagued by bleeding for years--believed that her cure lay in touching Jesus' garments. And she was right. Luke also cites a humble Roman centurion who sought Jesus' healing for his deathly ill servant. Remarkably, this would-be enemy of Israel trusted in the ability of Christ's word alone.

When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at the centurion. Turning to the crowd that was following him, Christ exclaimed, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."

Christ-followers aren't exempt from physical illness and death. That wonderful prospect disappeared with Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. But we do have the promise of perfect health and happiness once we reach our eternal home with the Father. Until then, the Great Physician has written the prescription for curing our terminal spiritual illnesses. And we can fill it today by believing in his power, asking for his help and having faith to the end.

It's just what the Doctor ordered.

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