Canadians spent more than $228 billion on health care in 2016 representing 11.1% of GDP (cihi.ca). That’s $6,299 per person. In the USA, health care spending hit $10,345 per person (pbs.org). Governments wrestle with trying to manage the costs while providing care for the citizens. Technological advances introduce new drugs and expensive tools to diagnose and treat people. Yet the need seems to always exceed the funds available.
The cost of healthcare is not new. The Bible records this event from 2000 years ago:
A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak (Mark 25-27).
She had endured or suffered much at the hands of many physicians: it was never suggested that they did not do the best they could, but the result was unhelpful.
She spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse. There are many who tell stories of harm caused by mistakes or misdiagnosis in hospital or by doctors, in some cases resulting in expensive procedures or even death.
She came to Jesus and touched Him in faith and was immediately healed. During His ministry on earth, Jesus healed many people of disease and afflictions, both physical and spiritual.
After Christ ascended to the Father, the early Christian Church understood that healing is available for those who call on God.
Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed (James 5:14-16a).
The requirement to submit to God is implicit in the process. If you walk in defiance or rebellion against God, it is unlikely that He will hear your call. Your own forgiveness hinges on whether you are willing to forgive everyone who has wronged you. Forgiveness is deeply related to health.
Jesus never condemned the physicians of His day, and even today, we know their value to help us heal from accidents and disasters. We all have been touched at some point in our lives by medical help. We are grateful for the doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners who spend so much of their lives helping others.
The Gospel message says that there is healing available for those who seek God’s agenda.
“If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exodus 15:26).
This option was presented to the nation of Israel – it’s application is at the personal level. Listen to the voice of God, hear His commandments (with the intent to follow), do what is right and God will protect you from diseases.
I wonder how much the load on our healthcare providers would be lessened if people committed themselves to obey the Lord God who made them.