Monday, March 22, 2010

The LORD JESUS: OUR ULTIMATE Health Care Provider

Well, its happened; a national health care system has been narrowly voted in, and many Americans are upset to say the least, that in such an economy as ours, with unemployment as it is, and a host of other problems, now would be the worst time to burden us with yet MORE taxes, with LESS quality health care. Yet here we are!

Perhaps we the people would do well to revisit the issue of making sure that those in D.C. get the same exact coverage as we will; perhaps that would even be a pre-requisite for any who would run for office in the coming elections. Perhaps that might reverse this decision? Maybe so, but I won't hold my breath on that.

In the meanwhile, what are we to do; especially those who are already sick and in need of continuing care?

Remembering JOHN's Gospel, chapter 5 from last Sunday's sermon at church (the pastor there is going through an "Encountering Jesus" series), there in that portion of scripture, we learned about "a certain man . . . which had an infirmity for thirty eight years (vs. 5)". Can you imagine in those days, without the hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and professional medical personnel, being sick for thirty eight years?

In this particular case, this man was surrounded with other sickly people, multitudes of impotent folk, along with the blind, the halt, the withered (vs. 3) all together, gathered around a pool and its five porch areas, the pool of "Bethesda" which means incidentally, "the house of kindness".

These sick folk waited for the moving of the waters in that pool for it was believed (whether rightly or not) that it was an angel that stirred those waters, and that whoever entered first, would be healed of their malady. Not so 'kind' of an experience for those who came in second, or third, etc.

The LORD Jesus enters the scene, and approaches this man, and we might wonder why this particular man, among so great a multitude. He asks the impotent man a question that He will be asking us more, here in America, now that this national health care system is going into place:

"Will you be made whole?"

If the LORD so chose, He could have healed every single person there, but He is focused on this one man. Listen to what the man says in response:

"Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me. (vs.7)"

Now we get a better picture, and perhaps an answer to our question - Why this man, above any of the others? He never stood a chance (literally!) of getting into that pool without someone to help him. As long as he was alone, others would assuredly get healed before him. Others would be first, he would always be last.

NOT SO! Our Loving LORD Jesus will bring this man into a position of being the first to be healed here!

Yet perhaps you feel this way yourself, perhaps this is the very situation you are struggling with. This may be the situation for a lot of us in these coming days ahead. We feel alone, with no one to help us, no attending physicians until some appointment weeks or even months in the future (or if its proven that we hold politically-incorrect views, maybe never?).

No resources, no immediate attention. We are left to our own devices to struggle against the ailment that confronts us. Feelings of loneliness, desperation, hopelessness threaten to engulf us and plunge us down into despondancy!

Whereas before we would simply pick up the phone, schedule an appointment, visit the doctor, specialist, hospital and receive treatment and gradually be on the road to recovery - - such resources will likely become scant and more remote. It may well be that we no longer can trust that such medical assistance will be there for us.

Who can we trust?

The LORD Jesus arrives in our direst time of need, when we feel most alone and helpless: just like that man at the pool of Bethesda, and asks us, "Will you be made whole?"

As bad as this whole thing is, I can't help but wonder: Christians all across this nation have prayed earnestly that this Health Care bill wouldn't pass, and we know that God's ears are open to the righteous (and certainly we must have at least a few of these left in this fallen nation), and that He hears the prayer that's in accord with His will. So why did the LORD allow this bill to pass?

I believe its to provide for us an opportunity to see Him strong on our behalf, an opportunity to trust Him, over any provision of health care from doctors and hospitals (good as these may be). Could it be that we've become overly dependent on our health care? What did the saints do before health coverage was a part of an employers benefits package?

They prayed a lot more!

They sought God, and were more attentive to His Word!

They trusted in the ONLY Trustworthy Man that there is, the Man from Galilee, the LORD Jesus Christ! He will be approaching us in these days ahead, days in which we may be diagnosed with a serious health condition, but with little chance of immediate treatment, that might prove fatal if not for help secured for us elsewhere - -

At the nail-scarred hands of our Great Physician who is eager to bring us to Bethesda and into the kindness of His healing touch! You are the one He will be approaching, when all other help fails, and He will ask you the same question:

Will you be made whole?

When the man told the LORD of his helpless plight, Jesus' answer was immediate, and these were the words of the Almighty!

"Rise, take up your bed and walk! (vs.8)"

The man was of course, attentive to receive such a word, and by faith and in obedience to the LORD's command, made the attempt; instantly the grace of God was present to enable him to do so!

So too, we must receive healing from the LORD, knowing of course that He is in fact the Almighty, and fully capable of meeting our needs. Again and again the Word admonishes us to not put trust in the flesh, but in the LORD. See JER 17:5-8 for example.

There's nothing wrong with physicians or medicine of course, but as such resources will no doubt diminish we will find ourselves trusting God rather than man and his own medical wisdom.

God will prove Himself strong on our behalf, of that we can be sure!

2 CHRON 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

PSALMS 91:1-6
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

PROV 3:1-6
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

JER 30:17
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

May the LORD Jesus bless you all, and bring you to an even deeper level of communion and prayer with Him, as He provides Himself as our ever faithful Shepherd and Healer!

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