PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• This is Day 2 of a 7-part series “Things We Can’t Buy.” And today, we’re talking about Health. Christians are so good about praying for health and healing. Those prayers go hand-in-hand with a chicken casserole (the official bird of the Baptists meets the official casserole of Christians).
I think, in part, our eagerness to pray for health and healing stems from the Gospels. Jesus’ miracles aren’t presented as an itemized list, but He did a whole lot of healing during His ministry. Matthew 4:23-24 ESV says, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.”
We know Jesus can do miraculous things with a person’s health. He did those miracles then, and He still does them now.
But when it comes to our health, consider the following… Collectively, Americans spend $1.8 billion a year on gym memberships. We spend $33 billion a year on weight-loss products. And we spend $21 billion on vitamin supplements. As staggering as those numbers are (give or take some cross-over from my rapid-fire research this morning)—brace yourself for this one. $3.5 TRILLION is spent each year on health insurance.
We can’t buy health but goodness we sure try.
In early Bible days, it was assumed that anyone with a handicap or health condition was being punished for sin. John 9:1-41 describes the story of the man, blind from birth, and the debate among the Pharisees over responsibility for the man’s blindness—the man’s sin or his parents. Jesus answered their question in verse 3, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (ESV).
It’s this story I think of when I hear of families who deal with chronic health issues. I know every situation isn’t met with faith and hope, but those families who face challenges I can’t imagine and yet cling to hope in God’s goodness—those stories touch me so deeply. They know they can’t buy health, and so they are dependent on our Creator for peace, comfort, strength, endurance, and they trust the promise of Romans 8:28—“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (ESV).
We can’t buy our health, as much as we want to try. But we can trust our Creator. Healing happens in a variety of ways, and sometimes it doesn’t look the way we expect it. Sometimes healing means calling someone home to heaven… sometimes healing means physical challenges that are accompanied by a strong voice of faith and persistence.
But even more important that physical health, we have to consider our spiritual health. All of us are born in blindness. It’s up to us to decide whether we will trust in Jesus… Whether we will stay in blindness or trust Him to heal us so we can see Truth. Like the man who was interrogated by the Pharisees, we all have an opportunity to say, “though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25b ESV).
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being the ultimate Healer. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize that as important as physical health is, our spiritual health matters most. Ask Him to help you be spiritually whole and healthy.