Bread – Sick

October 24, 2016

Psalm 38

“There is no soundness in my flesh…there is no health in my bones…My wounds stink and fester…I am utterly bowed down and prostrate…For sides are filled with burning…I am feeble and crushed…My heart throbs; my strength fails me…”  Ps. 38:3-10

As I write this, I am sick from the change of weather, something blowing in the wind, and a vicious attack on my sinuses.

As I write this, our nation is sick as well, suffering from excess, from ignorance, from selfishness, from dishonesty.  It is well on its way to being “feeble and crushed,” with “no health in [its] bones.”

There are distinct causes of these sicknesses described in this Psalm, basically boiling down to our sin and our resulting chasing after the ways of the world rather than the ways of God.  “There is no health in my bones because of my sin…My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness…”  Ps. 38:3b,5a

We have three choices when we are sick: one is to lay on our bed in defeat, another is to help ourselves get better, and the third is to turn to someone else to help us get better.  It is interesting that we seem to follow these alternatives as steps in a process.  When we first get sick, we tend to wallow around in it feeling sorry for ourselves.  Then, we get out of bed and start rummaging around in our medicine chests trying to find some remedy which we think (or know) worked in the past [we self-medicate].  Finally, if retreat and self-treatment have not worked, we finally work up the courage to go see a health care professional, knowing there is a 50-50 chance that we will be throwing our money away on the advice to retreat until we get better [go back to bed] or will get an unpleasant shot or maybe a prescription for medicines which stand a 50-50 chance of working and cost a small fortune.

But, if we have read Psalm 38, we know that there is a fourth step we can take.  That is to recognize that the Lord knows what is going on [“my sighing is not hidden from You” Ps. 38:9b] and ask Him for mercy to relieve you of your circumstances.

Sometimes the simplest prayers are the best – “Lord, I am sick.  Please have mercy on me and heal me.”

Knowing that, when we are sick, why do we not pray this simple prayer?  Maybe it is because we are afraid God will show up.  Maybe it is because we forget that we don’t have to go through the retreat, to the self-medication, and to the help of the world – we can jump to step four.  But to do that we have to raise our eyes to heaven, from whence cometh our help.

And that is so hard to do when all we can think about is how sick we are.


© 2016 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.





One Response to “Bread – Sick”

  1. Kathryn k Kremer Says:

    Oother reasons we may hesitate to ask for God’s help is that we don’t expect God to do anything or He may expect us to change our ways and we’re not sure we want to.

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