Health; June 1, 2020

Psalm 6:8-9 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.

The first thing that strikes me here, comparing the Japanese and English, is that where the NIV uses the very generic “evil,” the Japanese is very specific with “lawless.” For David, the Law was the Torah, so in a sense that really puts a point on it. We don’t know at what point David wrote this, but if it was after he became king, he himself was the one who made the secular law! The impression is that is definitely not what he is talking about. We don’t know what David’s physical ailment was here, but he obviously turned a corner and had assurance that he would recover. We are so used to modern medicine that we have trouble grasping David’s situation. There are many medical problems we think very little of today that back then could be debilitating or even fatal. I was struck by that in the reading a few days ago when King Hezekiah had a potentially fatal boil, and Isaiah’s prescription was a poultice of figs. (1 Kings 20:1-7) In the first place, no one dies of a boil today, but long before antibiotics of any sort, sepsis (which can be fatal even today) could come from any break in the skin. Today, we might not even think to pray about a boil! We should be grateful for advances in medicine, but we must never forget that all healing comes from God, however He delivers it. We need to be just as focused on God as our Deliverer as David was, instead of thinking the doctor himself or herself is the source of the healing we need.

The whole question of medicine and doctors is very personal for me, not because of my own health but because of Cathy’s. She has had quite a litany of problems over the years, and today her Parkinson’s specialist is amazed at the slowness of progression in her case. She does continue to have one thing or another almost daily, and a lesser person might have given up a long time ago. I am very grateful she hasn’t done so! I need to be fully earnest in my own prayers for her, but that feels almost selfish, because as Paul said, loving her is like loving my own body. (Ephesians 5:28) I’m not to let that confuse my prayers, but stand firmly in submission to God against all the attacks of the devil. (James 4:7) The devil has treated Cathy’s body like a punching bag, and I’m not to let that go unanswered. At the same time, I am to be a good steward of my own body so that I will be in good health, not only to take care of her but to do all that the Lord has for me to do.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank you for the specific instructions I ran across yesterday on how to do planking. Reading that seems like it would be a very appropriate exercise for me, and potentially for her as well. Help me follow through myself first, and then give us wisdom as to whether it is something Cathy should attempt. Guide us in receiving the health, and everything else, that You have for us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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