CUSTODIAN kills six employees at California State, Fullerton, wounds three others!
Bank robber kills manager, and wife held as hostage!
Reality screams from our radios and TV's, leaps from the bold type of our news media. Everywhere we see violence, strife, hunger, illness, and death, and, although men deceive themselves with the illusion of peace and the delusion that there is no death, sickness and death are the lot and heritage of every human being on this earth.
But there is a balm in Gilead; there is a physician there. God Himself has provided an antidote. He is the source, the substance, and the completion of all healing. It comes from His mind, from the river of life, from the tree of life. "And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Rev. 22:2). A profound yet very simple statement is made in Psalm 107:20: "He sent his word, and healed them." God declares, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8, 9).
As a physician I can line up the ends of a broken bone and put the whole thing in a case, but after that point I have very little control over the healing process. It is all done by God's silent word stamped on every cell of the human body.
Let's take a quick glance at how a fracture heals. First there is the shed ding of blood and the formation of a clot. Millions of red blood cells fill in the gap and form a bridge over the interrupted relationship. Without the blood there can be no healing. The white blood cells are agents of cleansing, smoothing the rough edges and removing dead cells and debris. The serum brings the nutrients necessary for the reconstruction process, and specialized cells form a callus that is eventually perfected into new bone that is stronger than the original.
Healing of even a simple fracture is a cooperative communal process in which all systems of the body are involved. The lungs furnish oxygen; the muscles and body fluids splint and protect; the digestive system furnishes the nutrients; the kidneys eliminate the poisons of injured tissue; the heart pumps the lifegiving blood; and all act in unison as directed by the nervous system.
Healing Operates According to the Laws of Nature
What rich spiritual lessons can be learned from what we call natural physical healing. Healing operates ac cording to the laws of nature, and it is God who is the Author of these laws. Mental and spiritual healing operate along the same line. In fact, healing and salvation are the same process. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction" (Ps. 103:2-4).
Everything that God has done throughout this vast universe was done by His word. Creation of matter was by His word. Energizing the billions of suns in our Milky Way system was by His word (Isa. 40:26). Incarnation and redemption was by the Word (John 1:1- 3, 14). While on earth Christ lived and resisted evil by the Word (Matt. 4:4). All His miracles were performed by His word, and when He spoke, the dead came to life.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb. 4:12, R.S.V.).
With all this reservoir of power on display, is it not easy to see why God sent His Word as the dynamic of healing?
In the Garden of Eden, there was a tree called the tree of life. It was a literal tree planted by a literal river called the river of life. But both tree and river were rich in symbolisms that pointed to divine realities. Neither is the tree just a historical curiosity. Be fore this world was destroyed by the Flood, the heavenly Gardener trans planted the tree of life to His headquarters, perhaps some billions of light-years distant, and there it exists today (see Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 288). John saw it in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:2), and he saw its healing dynamic.
This literal reality is a symbol of Christ Himself and of His unending life, which He shares with man. It is a symbol of righteousness by faith and of redemption. Please note these inspired comments from the pen of Ellen White: "Christ. .. was the tree of life to all who would pluck and eat."—The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, on Rev. 22:2, p. 989. "The Word of God is to us the tree of life. Every portion of the Scripture has its use. In every part of the Word is some lesson to be learned. Then learn how to study your Bibles." —Ibid. "The physician who loves Christ and the souls for whom Christ died will seek earnestly to bring into the sickroom a leaf from the tree of life. He will try to break the bread of life to the sufferer. Notwithstanding the obstacles and difficulties to be met, this is the solemn, sacred work of the medical profession." —Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 230.
To say that the Word of God is the dynamic of healing is more than a theological abstraction. It must be a practical reality. The prescription must be filled and taken according to the doctor's instructions. The Word of God must be studied daily and assimilated into one's daily living. Saturate the mind with its principles and promises. Recirculate its message through your mental computer until you are programmed for love. "The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate with man, and affect his inmost life." —Counsels on Health, p. 616.
And there is basic physiology in this point of view: "The electric power of the brain, promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an invaluable aid in resisting disease." —Education, p. 197. This statement, made a century ago, has been confirmed by recent neurophysiological research.
The words of John come echoing down nineteen centuries: "My prayer for you, my very dear friend, is that you may be as healthy and prosperous in every way as you are in soul" (3 John 2, Phillips).*
Each one of us has in his hand the keys to unlock the answer to that prayer. The marvelous brains God has given us should be saturated with the Word of God. It is our privilege to live by His principles, including health reform. And by so doing we can claim and possess God's promise, "I will take sickness away from the midst of thee" (Ex. 23:25).
But even greater than physical healing is the spiritual healing that flows from God's Word and is mediated by His Spirit. Spiritual healing comes from our belief in the good news about God. We learn that the universe is not a hostile unknown, but that its very core is love. And so the burden is lifted and a new life begins. Our life style and attitudes change. We have joy, which is the consciousness of love; peace, which is the state of love; and long-suffering, which is the attitude of love. At that moment we receive the down payment on life everlasting.
* From The New Testament in Modern English, © J. B. Phillips 1972. Used by permission of The Macmillan Company.