In the mornings I listen to a "Christian Radio" station that plays uplifting and encouraging music to start my day. I listen for the music, but invariably these "Christian" radio stations feel the need to also feature speakers, usually "pastors," who share short little stories or messages played between songs that are supposed to represent Biblical teaching. Yesterday, the following story was shared on this particular station (I could not find this story in written format anywhere, so I am recalling this from memory and it may not be 100% accurate.). "A young mother was recently diagnosed with advanced cancer. Her doctors gave her two choices. One, she could go to a place like Acapulco and live out her remaining few days in comfortable surroundings. Or alternatively, she could undergo chemotherapy which would extend her life by about 5 years, but she would live in constant agony and suffering during those 5 years from the effects of chemotherapy. The young mother made the tough decision to go through with chemotherapy so she could extend her life by 5 years, because she said that she wanted to spend as much time as possible with her children, so that if they needed her, she would be there for them." The reason that this story was broadcast on a Christian radio show, is obviously because in Christianity today, choosing to make sacrifices for the sake of your family is considered very noble, and because Christians have a very high regard of the medical system, and doctors, whom Christians are taught are to be obeyed. Her choice was obviously being broadcast to communicate that she chose the most moral, and noble option available to her, the "Christian" thing to do. Well I am here today to tell you that she made the wrong choice, and that her choice was neither moral, nor noble. First of all, given only those two options, the better choice would probably have been to pack up the whole family, put life on hold for a while, and head to a beautiful place like Acapulco in Mexico with warm, sunny days by the ocean. Being in such a relaxing and restful atmosphere with her loved ones might have literally cured her cancer without pharmaceutical products. But most of all, her choice was the wrong one because she chose to obey her doctors, and accept their diagnosis of her alleged "sickness" and their prescribed treatments, which only provided two options, as if there were no others available. Who is missing in this story? God. Did God diagnose this young mother as "sick" according to how the Bible defines "sickness"? Were her options really only the two options her doctors gave to her? How you view the definition of "sickness" and who you view as the authority in diagnosing someone as "sick," determines if you are living a life of slavery to medical "authorities," or you are living a life of freedom, where "sickness" has no power over you, because you do not fear it.
Are you facing trials through sickness today? How are you handling it? Can you look at it in a positive light as Paul looked at his sickness, and find some reasons why God may be allowing you to go through these trials? Or do you look at your sickness the way the world does, the way people who walk in darkness with a Darwinian evolutionary basis of life view sickness? In this view, God’s plan and purposes are not even considered, and sickness is seen as strictly a physical condition caused by natural forces that can only be cured through the purchase of medicine or medical services.
The idea of our sickness being a result of our sins is not a popular message today, because our humanistic culture is built upon the foundation of Darwinian evolution, and it has taught us to believe that all sickness is a result of natural causes that we can control in our environment. The drug companies have developed a medicine or vaccine for just about every problem now with this belief system. If they cannot find a cause for the sickness in the natural realm, they usually just cite the cause as "stress" and give a pill for that too. The spiritual realm, including sin, is usually not even acknowledged. While it is certainly true that our environment, the physical realm, can cause us to be sick, we should first examine ourselves and see if there is a spiritual cause. Sin is very real, and it has very real consequences in our physical bodies. If God is disciplining us through our sickness, then physical remedies (natural or medical) will probably not work.