Doug Creamer: In Sickness & in Health
aaachooo… I hope you can’t catch a bug by reading the newspaper. My wife started to feel bad last week and I followed suit by last weekend. I don’t remember much about last weekend as I slept through the whole thing. The only reason I got out of my pajamas from Friday night until Monday morning was to get some supplies from the drug store and a pizza for dinner.
I seem to be on the slow upward tick while my wife is still struggling to feel better. We need some homemade chicken soup. While Monday and Tuesday will prove to be easier days at work…I can sit and watch the students take their exams… the latter part of this week will be challenging as we begin a new semester. The beginning of a new semester requires lots of talking and I am not sure my voice is up to the task with the little tickle in the back of my throat.
We are in the heart of cold and flu season. Schools seem be a place where the germs flow freely. Churches can also be one of those places. Sometimes I want to avoid shaking hands to avoid getting the “stuff” that is floating around. We need to work on another kind of greeting.
One of the good things about being married when you are sick is that one spouse can take care of the other one. When I have been sick, my wife takes good care of me. When she is under the weather, I try my best to take good care of her. The trouble comes when we are both under the weather at the same time. This has happened a few times in our married lives. Who has to go to the store to get more supplies? Who is feeling worse? Look at that laundry pile and the dishes stacked in the sink.
Married couples are lucky for that clause in the marriage ceremony: in sickness and in health. The health part of the clause is easy. It’s easy to love someone who is healthy, showered, and dressed nicely. What about when we are sick, disheveled, and coughing all night long? It’s not always easy, but we have been there for each other through the good times and while we are sick.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus decides to keep us in spite of ourselves? Even when we are healthy we can be spiritually sick because we make wrong choices. In many ways, our bad choices (our sin) make us sick and unworthy to be in God’s presence. The really bad news is that there is nothing we can do to fix that problem.
The only cure for our sin is the blood of Christ. Can’t earn it. Can’t buy it. The blood of Christ, the forgiveness of God, is a free gift that only has to be received. We have to humble ourselves before God, ask for His forgiveness, and then allow the perfect of blood of Christ to wash away the sickness of our sin and bad choices.
I am becoming increasingly convinced that the church doesn’t understand all the power that is in the blood of Christ. First and foremost, our forgiveness is bought and paid for 100 percent. The blood that was shed can also bring healing to our bodies. The stripes across Jesus’ back, the whipping He took, was for the healing of our bodies. He was broken so we could be made whole.
My former pastor explained it best to me. He said that we live in the world and the germs of this world will infect us. We will get colds and have other ailments, but through faith in Christ we should not suffer as long as people who don’t know the power of Jesus’ blood. Jesus bought our healing but it’s our job to acquire that through faith. God did not intend for us to suffer as the world does, but to be forgiven and healed through the blood of His Son.
I want to encourage you to think about the stories in the gospels where Jesus healed the people. Then consider the many healings in the book of Acts. If we can believe that we are forgiven for our sins through the blood of Christ, then why can’t we believe that God wants to heal our bodies too? I want to believe God for greater things for the body of Christ, to see the sick made well and the broken made whole. What about you?
Doug Creamer has authored two books: The Bluebird Café and Revenge at the Bluebird Café. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org