Health and Healing
By Pastor Glenn DeSilva
May 6, 2023
One day, earlier this week I awoke with excruciating pain in my back that ran all the way up my neck. The day before I had lifted a loaded grocery box unto my shoulders without thinking twice, only to reap the consequences of that action hours later. A knot developed in my upper back. For two days my mind tried to convince my body that the pain was not present and that it would magically go away. After succumbing to the pain and the gentle, and yet persistent entreaties from my wife for a back massage to remove the knot, the pain lessened and my health and sleep slowly improved. Is there a spiritual lesson to be gained in our day-to-day struggles?
We live in a world where stress, strife, and struggles are daily battles. Dr. James Rippe in his book, “High Performance Health” shares that “stress is omnipresent.” The only time that I have ever used the word “omnipresent” was to describe God’s presence and Jesus’ promise about the arrival and ministry of the Holy Spirit to comfort his followers upon his soon departure. Jesus’ comforting promise speaks to the omnipresent ministry of the Holy Spirit. The stressors of life are then shared collectively by a planet of believers and unbelievers. No one is immune from stress. Stress can be derived from a variety of forces and interactions and if left unchecked will destroy the mind, body, and spirit. It is amazing the interconnection between the mind, body, and spirit. In his insightful book “Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer” Dr. Ken Pelletier reminds us that the mind can be both a powerful force in healing and negative force that plays tricks on us, ultimately becoming a slayer.
And now my life lesson, the pain in my back ultimately produced a stress in my life. I know that Jesus unconditionally loves me, I understand the teaching of John 15, “unless we abide in the vine (Jesus), we (the branches) can do nothing.” I’m comfortable in my understanding of scripture and my security being found in Christ, but there are times in my life when I’m required to work, not for salvation, but for my healing. I could have spent days, weeks in agonizing prayer for my back knot to be miraculously healed. Yes, I do believe that God can heal sore backs, but sometimes God’s healing comes through the healing hands of others. Thank God for the healing that comes through family, friends, health, and mental health professionals, who dedicate their lives to relieve the pain and suffering in others.
I close with wise council from Dr James Rippe, “Healing is an active process we all can participate in, whether or not we are faced with specific health challenges. The good news is that our bodies possess an enormous and renewable capability to heal.” He continues, “healing is a process in which your actions and thoughts are probably more important than anything your doctor can do-although, in true partnership, you get the best of both.” In other words, this cardiology specialist recognizes the healing power that accompanies our mental submission and alignment with the Creator’s desire for our lives (Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:1,2) and our willingness seek and receive help from others. Lord, give us strength to trust you, wisdom to seek you, and the courage to receive your help in the ways you choose to deliver it!