Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: healing

The quest for health

Some trust in doctors

Folks today seem to accept it as fact that this life is all they have. They turn to doctors for help in staying alive as long as they can.Sometimes people blame the doctor when someone dies – it would not have happened if the doctor had done his job.

People also turn to doctors for help in staying happy, or dealing with emotional trauma. Yeats ago, they would have gone to their pastor, priest or rabbi for help in such troubles.

I believe most doctors are trustworthy. I also believe they can help with many emotional, mental and developmental issues. But genuine healing can only come from God. The doctor can help, but he is not infallible, and we are all going to die sometime.

Some trust in natural remedies

My wife and I visited a young wife and mother who had cancer. She knew her time on earth would soon be over. Yet she faced the future with faith, peace, and even joy. She told us that the thing that troubled her the most was Christians who came to her to propose one kind of herbal remedy or another. These were well-meaning people who were true believers in the remedies they suggested and made her feel that they thought that if she didn’t try their remedy it would be her fault if she died.

Some people spend their life savings on a new remedy or therapy that is not approved by the medical profession, but which promises to cure their ailment. Reports come back that they are feeling better every day. Then we hear that they have died.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that many prescription medicines are plant-based. I know that many herbal and vitamin supplements will enhance our health. I also know that many “natural” remedies do not deliver on the promises made for them and may even have harmful side-effects or interactions with other medications.

Some trust in faith healers

Another young lady was dying of cancer. A minister anointed her and prayed for her healing, and she was healed. She then was called upon to speak to groups of people and interviewed on radio to tell of her healing. A year later she was again dying, of the same cancer that she had been healed of. Her friends hardly knew how to talk to her – wouldn’t it be unbelief to admit she was dying?

This happens all too often, yet people want to believe that there is someone out there with the gift of healing who can help them.

Some trust in God

Isaac Mastre was a well-known minister and travelling evangelist in the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. There were times in his travels when he was asked to pray for a sick person. A number of remarkable healings occurred. In writing about one such incident he said “This is given to the church.” In other words, Isaac  Mastre did not see himself as someone with the gift of healing – all healing comes from God.

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15). Please note that this does not say “call for an elder whom you know has the gift of healing.”

These verses are not just about physical healing. They point to the need for spiritual healing. That is the most important healing of all, because this life is not all that we have.

 

He hath torn and he will heal

I took our little Pookie to the vet a few days ago; Pookie being our three year old Flame Point Siamese. This was a follow up visit after his latest ear infection had cleared up; the vet is trying to figure out why he so often gets these infections.  Her theory now is that it may be a food allergy.

Pookie makes these trips a few times each year and nothing horrible has happened to him yet, still he does not like these trips to the vet. He complains all the way there, all the time he is there, and only a little less when he know that he is on his way home.

Once we are home he is my friend again. He is a very friendly cat and will often come to me to let me know he values our friendship and wants a tummy rub. My wife is the one who applies the medicine in his ear, something he would dearly love to avoid. Yet when she sits in the recliner and puts her feet up, he will come and curl up in her lap. In other words, this little guy holds nothing against us for the scary treatment we sometimes mete out.

That reminds me of the words of the prophet Hosea that I quoted in the title. Sorrow and pain are a part of every human life, some experience less than others, some much more. Sometimes it is obvious that we are suffering the consequences of something that we have done; at other times it seems like we are victims of random acts of fate. Whatever the case may be, it would have been in God’s power to prevent the pain and sorrow.

Job found that it was futile to demand that God give an account of these things, partly because the interplay of our actions with the actions of others around us, aided and abetted by unseen spiritual forces, is simply beyond the capacity of our understanding.

Besides, blaming God, or demanding an answer of God, will do nothing to make our circumstances any better. Yes, God allowed this to happen. But, He is also the only one who can help us in such circumstances. So may we come to Him without bitterness or recrimination, love Him and seek His help and comfort.

That is the message of Hosea 6:1-3. Here is the full text of that message.

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

That ye may be healed

My wife’s elderly cousin has been in Saskatoon a couple of days. This morning we went into the city and Chris spent a couple of hours with her. This cousin had two sons with her first husband, then divorced him. She married again, had four daughters, then divorced again. She loves her sons; she does not love her daughters. The sons do not get along with each other; the daughters are close — it seems they had a loving father. Neither of the sons is married, one of the daughters is a single Mom, the other three are happily married.

This is a brief portrait of a dysfunctional family. Even though the mother loves her sons, the relationships are often rocky. There are hurt feelings all around, between children and mother and mother and children, between the brothers and the sisters and between the two brothers. It seems that the mother had a cruel father and did not have a happy childhood. How many generations back does this go? How many more generations will be messed up by dysfunctional relationships.

Is there no balm in Gilead? I believe there is a healing balm, but only applying it on the surface will not bring about a reconciliation, it will need to penetrate through many layers to reach the deep wounds that cause the dysfunctional behaviour. First they will need to forgive each other. That would be the beginning, but only the beginning. Next they would need to admit how they have wronged and hurt each other. They are all victims, but they have also all inflicted wounds on each other. Finally, they would have to open up the deep-seated fears that cause them to lash out at one another and allow the balm to be applied so that they can begin to trust one another.

Of course, genuine, durable reconciliation is probably impossible as long as they continue to reject God’s call to repentance. (One of the daughters does make a profession of Christianity.) This led me to wondering how we are doing as Christians.

We say that we love everybody, that we have forgiven everybody. Wonderful. But how deep does the healing go? Why are so many among us struggling with hurt feelings?  “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16). How deep are we willing to look in seeking a full healing?

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

(This prayer is usually attributed to Francis of Assissi, though its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912 when it was published in Paris.)

The life is in the blood

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emanuel’s veins;
And sinners washing in that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
-William Cowper

Christianity is a messy, bloody religion. Some people find this repulsive and would prefer a neater, bloodless form of Christianity. But that is a lifeless Christianity — the life is in the blood.

The Old Testament law mentions several times that the life of all flesh is in the blood. Consider for a moment the many ways our life depends on the blood flowing through our veins. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our body. The blood also purifies the body, picking up minute quantities of waste throughout the body and carrying them away to be disposed of. The blood fights infection and disease, containing cells that seek out, destroy and remove invading cells that would harm our body. The blood stops bleeding and repairs wounds. We could not live without the things our blood does for us.

In a spiritual sense the blood of Jesus Christ does for us what the blood in our veins does for our natural body. It cleanses us from all sin and gives us life; it is the remedy for all spiritual diseases that war against the soul, the source of healing for the wounded soul.

Soon we will commemorate the resurrection of our Saviour. That is also vitally important for our spiritual life, but let us remember that we would have no life at all if it wasn’t for the blood.

Non-drug treatments for anxiety and depression

There was a full page ad for Nexalin in a recent edition of the Budget. This is a device which emits a low frequency electrical wave that is said to produce positive results in treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain and similar conditions. These treatments are available at some chiropractors and other alternative therapy clinics.

I would like to suggest a better solution for these, and other, ailments — get a cat.  Research shows that owning a cat will lower stress, anxiety and blood pressure. Cat owners are less likely to suffer from depression and their risk of having a heart attack is reduced by 40%. There is research showing that the vibrations produced by a purring cat are exactly the right frequency to stimulate the healing of injured bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. These vibrations also help heal wounds and swelling.

Besides, cats are just a whole lot cuter. You don’t need to make an appointment and travel to the nearest clinic offering this kind of therapy either. Your cat will make his own appointment to de-stress your day.

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I’m wearing a scary face today

Yesterday evening my wife was feeling a bit tired after a busy day cooking at the seniors’ residence operated by our congregation.  Therefore I went to church by myself.   Returning home a couple hours later, I drove into the garage and walked the few steps to our back door.

Let me set the scene here:  at our back door there are two steps up to a short deck, with the door to the house on the left.  Straight ahead of the step is a sloped roof  cat shelter that I built two years ago.  The distance from the edge of the deck to the front corner of the cat shelter roof is roughly equal equal to the distance from the top of my shoe to the tip of my nose.  Very roughly.  I know because I inadvertently measured it last night.

For some reason the tip of my shoe caught on the edge of the deck and I found myself flying nose first toward said cat shelter.  The front of my nose slid rapidly along the edge until I came to a sudden stop as my upper lip encountered the edge of the roof.  I have a full upper denture and the force of the impact popped it out of my mouth, causing some abrasions to the gums and roof of my mouth.  It seems I also bit the tip of my tongue.

I picked myself up, walked in the door and called for my wife, blood streaming down my face.  She brought cloths and tissues and helped me get out of my jacket.  I got cleaned up as best I could, but the wounds and abrasions were still bleeding profusely.  She thought I might need to get the wounds stitched, I thought it wasn’t that bad.  She called our son-in-law for a second opinion and he was here in a few minutes.  He looked at the mess and agreed that there was no cut deep enough to require stitches.

I went through most of a box of tissues to soak up the blood until the bleeding finally stopped.  I spent the night on a recliner, getting a few hours sleep.  I’m actually pretty much pain free today, but I am on a liquid diet.  My denture did not suffer any damage, but my mouth is too sore to wear it or to chew with the denture in.

Last night my wife thought I needed to go to the hospital emergency ward.   Today she looks at me and says I’d better not show my face in public until it heals up.  I’m inclined to agree with her.

I am thankful that God has created our bodies to be self-healing.  The healing has begun even though my face doesn’t look very attractive right now (did it ever?).

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