God -- not medicine -- is greatest healer of all
Published: Thursday, July 3rd, 2003
The miracles of modern medicine are astonishing. Medical procedures and the latest drugs now cure severe conditions and zap infections that were once fatal. Although now it just seems to be standard procedure, it is all quite different. My mother related to me the story about the time her sister cut herself and their remedy for it. They found a chicken feather, dipped it in coal oil and drenched both sides of my aunt’s leg. Mother says my aunt shrieked in pain but infection never set in. Even though the gashes were awfully deep, they guessed coal oil must have kept her from getting tetanus. Who knows? Years ago threat of polio was real and mothers like mine were worried. I remember once on one of our trips to see my grandparents in that hot Arkansas weather, the paper reported that some new cases of polio had been diagnosed in a nearby community. That stirred the fear up again of this dreaded disease. Iron lungs with little children as their captives were frightful images in all parents’ minds. How afraid we all were that polio might strike closer to our family. Not long after word came about a new vaccine. It came in an unusual way. All children in the community between certain ages were to go to their prospective elementary school on a designated Sunday afternoon for the vaccine. The Sunday afternoon came and I remember how odd that felt. My classmates were there, other children I knew from school and children I knew from church. We all stood in line and took our turns as the nurses dispensed a sugar cube to each one of us. The polio vaccine was in the cude. Even more modern miracles have emerged since then. The invention of new machines scan the entire body and show trouble spots once undetectable. Now for kidney stones, a “blaster” breaks them into small pieces without surgery. Scopes can probe the body where surgery once was the only alternative. Many times, patients can view their own hearts as the doctors seek to make a diagnosis. So called miracle drugs are being developed every day. Yet, I am reminded once again of the true miracle of healing. All those modern things are wonderful and marvelous. I am the first to not only encourage but insist that my family and those I care about seek medical help and follow through with the drugs and procedures prescribed. But far greater still is something that has not changed even though everything else around us has. The mystery of healing still lies in hands of God. It is not up to us to know how He works. He does use the hands of surgeons and drugs and therapy for sure. But it is inescapable to not recognize that God gave the means to each of those to have the ability to direct the therapy — whether it is the invention of the drug or the successful performance of the surgeon. Medicine and prescriptions have progressed from oil treated feathers and sugar cubed polio vaccines to high tech machines. Yet God has remained the same through the centuries.
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