Few topics bring more interest or concern than the subject of healthcare. It is amazing how differently we see things in life. What one group or person sees as the greatest thing that has happened in years others see as the absolute worst thing that has happened in years. As with most things the truth likely lies somewhere between the extremes. We won’t know the results of the healthcare bill passed last year for several years to come, since different parts of the bill don’t take affect for some time to come.
Whatever happens with healthcare from a political point of view there are some things worth keeping in mind. When the apostle John wrote his short letter to Gaius in the book we know as 3rd John, he prayed that Gaius would prosper and be healthy just as his soul was prospering. If you were offered the same level of health and prosperity that your soul has how would you be affected? Too often we try to separate all three of these and think there couldn’t be any connection. Others try to tie them so closely together that they see their health and wealth as a sure sign of how their soul is doing.
Let’s be clear that one can be healthy spiritually and very unhealthy physically. When Paul wrote his last letter to Timothy in the last verses as the last chapter he said, “Trophimus I’ve left in Melitus sick.” In Philippians 2:25-30 Paul talked about Epaphroditus a faithful minister of the Lord who had come from the church in Philippi to work with him. He called him a brother, a fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is your messenger and minister to my needs. He told them that he was sending Epaphroditus back “Because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.” Timothy one of the greatest servants of God talked about in the New Testament had ongoing problems with his stomach so that Paul encouraged him to take a little wine for his stomach and his ongoing illnesses. Paul himself had a thorn in the flesh that God refused to take away. So one may be physically sick and spiritually strong.
Also, one may be poor in this world and rich toward God. Jesus said for us not to lay up treasures on this earth but in heaven. He came to preach the good news to the poor and proclain the acceptable year of the Lord. One of the best known statements from the apostle Peter was when he and John were entering the temple when a man who had been cripple for many years and sat daily at the temple gate to beg, approached them expecting to receive a gift. Peter said, “Silver and gold I don’t have, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise, take up your pallet and walk.” Notice Peter was broke. He didn’t say he didn’t have much, he declared he didn’t have any silver or gold. But he was a great servant of God. Paul told the church in Philippi he had learned to be content whether he had little or much. It was the poor widow that came by to throw two pennies into the treasury that Jesus pulled his apostles together to tell, that she was the greatest giver of the whole bunch of those whom they had seen put money into the treasury.
At the same time it should be clear that one can be rich in this world and extremely healthy and still not be right with God. Jesus often told of those who were rich who were out of harmony with God. The rich farmer had better crops and more harvest that he knew what to do with but he died lost. The rich young ruler wanted to know what to do to be right with God but when Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor and come follow him, he went back home to his money and left the Lord behind. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus the begger laid at his gate longing for crumbs that fell from his table and received nothing, but when the beggar died he went to heaven to be with the Lord and the rich man died and lifted up his eyes in hell.
What is true is that the life lived in a right relationship with God is healthy and prosperous. Being forgiven of sins can free our minds of all kind of burdens. In Jesus’ sermon on the mount He said we should stop worrying about food, clothes and shelter. He said those in the world worrried about those things and we should “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”
Solomon said a cheerful heart does good like a medicine. Instead of living by greed we are challenged to be content with what we have. Such peace of mind tends toward health and the best this life has to offer. It tends to be when we allow greed and selfishness to take over that we go deeply into debt purchasing things we can’t afford and putting ourselves under a weight too hard to carry.
Who knows what will happen with healthcare in the future? But it is under all our control to live in a spiritually healthy way so that whatever happens with life we have better days ahead.