Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Now The Day Is Over"1 (Lyrics)
Some of us recall those days when a doctor made house calls, carrying a black bag stocked with medicines. After he assessed our trouble, we'd be offered a suitable remedy. Today, house calls have been replaced with clinic visits or perhaps a brief phone call. Sometimes, we never meet the doctor; we simply receive a prescription, which hopefully helps.
Psalm 30:2 – O Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. (NIV)
Thankfully, God's methods as our "Great Physician" are far superior. He makes "house calls" — or better yet, He comes into our lives and stays, supporting us with His "righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV)
What a comforting portrayal of our Lord! Of course, as a Physician, he'd have his own "doctor's black bag" filled with medicinal preparations. Let's take a look inside and imagine what's there. What do you see? I see compartments stocked with different coloured capsules ready to explode with healing power when absorbed. These colours represent various portrayals of our Lord, such as "I am the Lord, who heals you." (Exodus 15:26b NIV) Remember, the Great Physician is the medicine Himself! Yet, this infinite God is far too grand for us to absorb. We experience God best in suitable doses formulated for our need — whatever portrayal helps us best at the time.
For example, today, I experience my Lord as a gentle Shepherd tending to one hurting sheep — me. The Shepherd gives that sheep His undivided attention. He carefully examines its condition to determine exactly what's needed. Stooping low, He notices wounded knees, scraped from falling on stony ground. He gently washes the abrasions. This stings, but He soothes the pain with ointment. He sees that this sheep is weakened from its wanderings through inhospitable territory. It needs rest. So, the Shepherd picks up the sheep and makes it to lie down in soft, green pastures. Here, it is revived through restful trust in the Shepherd's protective presence.
I could go on. More and more imaginings come to mind as I meditate over the Shepherd as my Healer. It's like taking a slow-release capsule from God's medicine bag. As these soothing impressions penetrate into my being, the Lord restores my soul, even while stirring my longing for His better rest when, fully healed, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:6b NIV)
Indigenous people in my area have a medicine bag tradition. They carry little pouches containing items believed to protect them and give spiritual powers. We have our own medicine bag, so to speak, through Christ's Spirit within. Today, I'm simply offering one suggestion for its use: let's meditate on our Lord in some specific way — as our most excellent and praiseworthy "medicine".
Philippians 4:8b – If anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (NIV)
Prayer: Great Physician, subdue our chaotic thought habits so that we can better absorb the impact of Your healing power through Your continual presence. Amen.