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Just What The Doctor Ordered

     More than once, I have been surprised at how easily people who will obey no one else will accept a doctor's advice without question.
     Please do not misunderstand me -- I have no objection to doctors, or to obeying the doctor's orders. But as a case in point, consider the patient whose doctor, wearied by his constant appointments, ordered him to "keep his feet off the ground," all the while hoping that it would keep him at home, out of his practice, and off his professional schedule. It worked, and for years the patient literally went to extreme pains to "keep his feet off the ground."
     Because doctors are men and women with expertise, we place significant value on their direction. In most circumstances, obedience to the doctor is unquestionably to our advantage. The odd time, it may be otherwise.
     Somehow, though, most people place little value on the advice of Jesus, the One who came to bring healing to our broken spirits and our ruined souls. This Great Physician -- and the Doctor's orders that He brings -- are blatantly rejected and deliberately ignored, and most of His patients go on through life without finding healing.
     Christ finds purposeless lives and prescribes "Ye must be born again "; yet we find a thousand good reasons to avoid obedience. Christ finds crushed spirits and weary souls and directs us to "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and ye shall find rest for your souls." And instead, we turn in the opposite direction. Christ uncovers bitterness, and advises, "Love one another"; but we return to life with a renewed vengeance toward those we feel have wronged us.
      Perhaps the reason we consciously and subconsciously try to discredit this Physician's orders is because His cures require so much of us. Christ does not merely prescribe quick-fix medications; instead, He insists on revolutionizing our lifestyle. He never stops with band-aids or over the counter pills, instead, He invariably goes to the very heart of our problems.
      In short, Christ is not satisfied to deal with symptoms. He goes to the spiritual cancers that consume us and insists that that is where healing must begin. And this is why He is so successful with the patients who obey His doctor's orders; He has no patch-you-up-and-you'll-feel-better-soon approaches to the sins that are ailing us.
      The cures Jesus brings hurt, but they bring healing. If you have been rejecting His orders -- partially or completely -- then the only option you have to achieve spiritual well-being is to open yourself completely to His advice and to do as He directs you. At that point, through the tears that self-abandonment and repentance bring, you will begin to feel Christ's healing in your life and spirit.
     And that, truly, is just what the Great Physician ordered.

- Arlin Weaver,
   Fordwich, ON

April 2007