I've often treated God as if he were a once-a-day vitamin I could swallow in the morning and then go on my merry way for the rest of the day. Along with six other allergy medications, it is no surprise that as I gulp them down with water, my soul gasps for something nourishing that even vitamins and minerals can't satisfy.
Do you remember those once-a-day vitamins you used to take as a child or teen? For myself, I not so fondly recall the chalky Flintstone characters that lodged themselves between my teeth and throat as I attempted to force them down. Until my mom bought the gummy Flintstone vitamins, I considered the procedure next to cruel and unusual punishment.
When I graduated high school, I developed pretty severe indoor and outdoor allergies. With a deviated septum, I have been told that I need surgery a handful of times. Not a fan of procedures, however, I began going to speech therapy and receiving allergy shots. Five years into my immunotherapy, I pray that the allergens injected into my body will improve my living conditions. Like once-a-day vitamins, my exposure and opinion of both shots and vitamins have changed over the years. I no longer see them as suffering but something that is to improve my overall health.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao
God Is More Than Medication
As Christians, we are often tempted to see God the same way I once saw in my vitamins. Instead of seeking Him all day, every day, we boil Him and our relationship with Him to once a day. One prayer, one time of reading the Bible, one song on the worship station, and that will do. But God is not just a once-a-day vitamin, but someone and something we need present with us all day long.
This past summer, I've been good at praying every morning when I get up and then reading the Word for a solid hour or two. As a teacher, I love waking up early when I usually teach and spending that dedicated time in the Word. But, I've also been bad at forgetting what I've read, prayed, meditated on, or thought about the rest of the day. I've forsaken continuity for regularity and transaction for relationship. Maybe I'm not the only one still learning how to adult and pray as I live, recite Scripture where I go, and praise as I question.
In Elevation Worship's newest song, “Names,” the first verse of the song states, "You are the medicine. The only cure for everything I feel within. Redeeming what was lost and all that could have been. Oh, this is a healing kind of love." And what if we began to see our relationship with God that way? That for every situation we face, whether or not it has a diagnosis, name, or prescription, Christ alone is the medicine, the cure we need for everything we feel.
As 1 John 3:20 of the New International Version notes, "If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything" (1 John 3:20, NIV). So even if our fickle hearts and emotions taunt and toy with us, our God is more significant than a once-a-day vitamin; He is the living, breathing medicine for our souls.
Yes, I take medication, and yes, I believe it is good. But Jesus offers a hope much more prosperous, and healing more profound, than I know my medication will ever bring me. On its own, God's Word supersedes conventional prescriptions and nutrients. Proverbs 4:20-22 of The Passion Translation interprets it this way: "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body" (Proverbs 4:20-22, TPT).
Let me be clear: There is nothing wrong with taking medication, going to a doctor, counseling, and getting professional help. I partake in all of those things and find them extremely helpful. But, those things were given to us by God Himself, who also wants us to seek Him continually like we do the medicines and physicians we seek (2 Chronicles 16:12). Just like my body knows when it is time to take my medication in the morning or the evening, our souls were created to thirst and long for the presence of the Lord all day long (Psalm 42).
Christ Jesus has given us the power of His Words through the Bible and the declaration of His Spirit living within us through the gift of salvation. When we choose to partake in both the physical vitamins and minerals our bodies may lack and the spiritual ones we need daily, we will begin to understand the supernatural healing from the Lord.
Whether your body is healthy and functioning the way it should or depleted by health issues, rest assured that Jesus came to seek and save the sick (physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and socially) and lost. Matthew 9:12 of the English Standard Version notes, "But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick" (Matthew 9:12, ESV).
Photo Credit: © Tero Vesalainen
A Prayer for Continually Seeking God
Help me to realize the power of your Word is far beyond any once-a-day vitamins I take. Please help me draw nearer to you and see that you're not a once-a-day vitamin, but someone who should saturate every fiber of my being and go with me all day long. Even if it is a slow and gradual release like medicine, I ask you to transform the way I think and perceive our relationship and draw me closer to you as I grow and change.
We love you, Lord, and we praise and thank you for the transformative power of medication you've equipped doctors and psychiatrists with, but also the presence and power of you and your Word dwelling within us.
"O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me" (Psalm 30:2, ESV).
Related Resource - FREE Prayer Podcast!
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Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Smileus
Originally published Wednesday, 18 August 2021.