Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
HEALING OF BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT – MEDICAL MISSION SUNDAYPsalms 42:11
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
The Sons of Korah (The Kohathites) were one of the main Levitical families in charge of the Tabernacle. They were called the "Gatekeepers" and they made sure the duties of the Temple were done as they should. Today's portion for meditation, Psalms 42 is a song of lament written by the sons of Korah while they were in exile. Deeply grieved as they felt distant from God, this song became a song of hope during the exile, while besieged by taunting abductors. The Psalmist experiences a great spiritual drought, even despair, and depression, being away from the Temple and unable to worship God as he knew and recalls the worship time he once had.
We all have seasons in our life when we have pain or disease in the body, or when the mind and spirit are distraught . Some of us react to such hardships with anger and complaining. Some of us withdraw, live in denial of the problem, and pretend that the problem will go away on its own. The Bible gives us a third option- to 'lament'. "To lament" is to mourn or grieve - you’re letting God know everything you’re thinking and feeling. You let it all out. Psalms of lament (Psalms 42) verbalize the most painful, difficult experiences of life. "Why is this happening? Where are you, God? I feel like you’ve abandoned us; you’re nowhere to be found." Even Jesus laments. When he is on the cross, suffering in excruciating physical pain, feeling utterly deserted, he quotes Psalm 22 and says, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" This third way gives us a healthy alternative to the language of bitterness and hatred on the one hand and the behavior of escapism on the other.
Dealing with discouragement can be tough. The key is to look to God, and not allow our thinking to overwhelm us with negativity. Our faulty thinking and hurt feelings will never bring us help or get us out of it. Rather, a good attitude and an unwavering faith in Christ are our only ways out from dark times. When we get into situations of distress and sorrow, situations of anxiety and uncertainty, it is important that we act as the narrator of Psalm 42 does. It is crucial that we too speak out our sorrows, that we verbalize what distresses us, that we are honest with ourselves and also with God, by telling God what depresses us. We need not despair when we are overwhelmed by our emotions and when some people try and convince us with comments like, “God is no longer present” or “God has forsaken us.”. Even if we are weak and full of sorrow, we can be assured that God is with us and leads us through our dark valleys.
Every time a physically sick person came to Jesus in faith, he healed that person. Nowhere in the gospels do we see Jesus encouraging the sick to patiently endure their illness. Instead, we see Jesus treating sickness as a display of the kingdom of satan which he has come to destroy. This is why every time Jesus confronted infirmities of both body and soul he treated them as evil and as an enemy to his creation. Jesus Christ came to save human beings - body and soul.
Jesus healed those whose spirits were sick and needed deliverance or forgiveness. Jesus also healed those whose bodies were lame, blind, and leprous.
The devil wants us to feel alienated from God in hard times and feels a real sense of achievement when he can trap us into thinking that God is really not there for us. It's a lie that convinces too many people. One thing we can know for sure today is that Jesus Christ wants us to be made completely whole. He will always hear and answer our prayers for healing and deliverance - sometimes in unexpected ways through miracles, sometimes by deferring an answer, or even through death. Whatever way God chooses to answer the fact of the matter is God loves us and does the best for us. The more we are centered on Jesus Christ, the less desire we will have to strive for human results and the less anxious we will be and the more peaceful we will become. We can be ourselves while approaching God for healing because healing is not a test of our faith but it is the natural response of God towards us because of His generous love.
Heal me O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)
Thought for the Day
"I believe that God both wills and is able to bring good out of everything, even the worst" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church