Daily Post: Relieved
Pain and suffering come to each of us at different times and in various ways. Some folks around us bear up under the most intolerable of circumstances, causing us to wonder how they do it. Aching internally, and in obvious emotional or psychological distress, we seek out a physician to aid us and relieve our misery. Said Doctor finally joins us (after a 45 minute wait in the examination room), and like the image above, smiles and says, “How you doing?” In times like these, I often have the urge to answer, “Oh, great doc, I just wanted to see if you had time to grab a quick 18 before lunch!”
Pleasantries and trite cliches are not what I need in those moments. Pain, real or imagined, must be hunted like a terrorist and alleviated. When the pain (again real or imagined) is chronic unabated suffering, a person can become jaded, angry, debilitated, or paralyzed, except that a physician accurately diagnose and treat the illness. Relief from persistent pain can often be elusive, perhaps that is why they call it, “practicing” medicine.
The spiritual suffering in the world today is just as horrific, and just as real as any other physical disease known to man today. Every day people awaken in total despair, their world in a perpetual state of emotional stress, and their outlook dim, for they see no relief in sight. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way to be relieved of spiritual, emotional, and psychological struggles.
God has revealed Himself in the Old Testament by giving us His names as descriptive titles in terms of how we are to relate to Him personally. You can find several of these names in one chapter, Psalms 23. Often read as a comforting passage to someone in trials or suffering, imagine how our mindset might change if we understood what God was really communicating. David is led to reveal the primary title of God is LORD, which we often translate Jehovah. When you add the characteristic nature names to this title, six specific revelations become clear. The LORD is…
- The Lord is my Shepherd = Jehovah ra`ah , feeder caregiver, provider
- The Lord is my Peace = Jehovah shalom, peace
- The Lord our Healer = Jehovah rapha, restoration
- The Lord is our Righteousness = Jehovah tesidqenuw, righteousness
- The Lord is our Victory = Jehovah Nicciy, banner, victory
- The Lord is our Presence = Jehovah shammah, abiding presence
One day as it happened, Jesus was passing by and saw Matthew (a tax collector), invited him to join the other disciples by proclaiming, “Follow Me!” Later they were having supper in Matthew’s home, the disciples along with Jesus, other tax collectors and outcast of Jewish society (sinners the Bible calls them). The elders in the Hebrew faith condemned Jesus for this, but His only reply was,
“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” [Mark 2:15-17]
If you look closely Jesus is saying “I AM the great physician!” (implied) In this way, Jesus is referring every listener (or reader) back to Psalm 23 where the attributes of shepherd, peace, healer, righteousness, victory, and abiding presence are described. Jesus is saying, “I am that shepherd.” Later, trying to connect the dots for His own followers Jesus said,
I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Jesus doesn’t have to ask us, “How are you doing?” He already knows how you are, and knows your need to be relieved. Being relieved spiritually in this world today means trusting the great Physician; allowing Jesus to heal, guide, give peace, give us His righteousness, His victory, and His abiding presence… so we can live as God intended.
Who is your shepherd? The Doctor is IN!
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