Paul was the model patient as he recovered from minor surgery. He rested, enjoying his wife’s extra attention, homemade chicken soup, and extra time to sink into the depths of his recliner.
He followed the doctor’s orders until he felt better. To him, the recovery was proof of modern-day miracles. Then, the man seized the day and sprinted back to life on full throttle. It was too soon.
He was sick again. Not long after, Carol wondered, had any of the returning Canadian geese slipped into our house?
Carol tiptoed through the house with a can of disinfectant in one hand and a large fishing landing net in the other. No geese in sight except on the wide lawn. The honking was only Paul with a racking cough.
Though she emptied wadded-up tissues overflowing the trash cans, she saw more. They seemed to regenerate.
Finally she suggested, “Paul, you’ve been sick for a week. Why don’t I drive you to the 24-hour clinic? They’re open right now.”
“Why, that place is full of sick people! No way!”
“But Paul, think about this — you are sick.”
Still, in his stubbornness, Paul wouldn’t go. He just didn’t want to be around all those infected people, even though he was one, too.
Some feel that the same applies to being in the company of church goers: that they aren’t perfect and might even show a touch of hypocrisy.
Jesus was criticized in his time for welcoming all into his offer of love, healing, and forgiveness. “It is not the healthy ho need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” [Mark 2:17]
And so it is today that in a body of believers in Christ, none is perfect, but those who strive together to get better each day, Jesus offers healing. That applies to those today who are soul-sick with regrets, doubts, disappointment, depression, dread, hopelessness, and bitterness. For Christ, a life invested in him and his teachings transforms such conditions to hope, joy, and anticipation.
Jesus still invites all, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” [Matthew 11:28 NIV]
And his healing is even better than a 24-hour clinic.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]