Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Health and Refreshment

March 5, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 3:1-8 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (John Seksay):

I find writing about Proverbs to be a real challenge. What could I possibly contribute that would improve the distilled wisdom of ages?! Today’s reading seems so straightforward, with its direction to actively seek God’s guidance in all aspects of life and reap the benefits in a peaceful spirit.

But wait a minute. Verse 8 says : “It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.”

As a person who has worked in the medical field, I have always viewed miraculous healings as rare events that were hard to understand or believe. My particular scale of seriousness generally went: chicken soup, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and emergency surgery. The processes involved were physical agents and their effects. A positive, cheerful outlook was helpful, but secondary. In my past life, prayer was something you did after everything else.

But recently we tuned into a PBS program on stress in modern society. I was so impressed by the information presented that I got the DVD and still watch it from time to time. The study was of two hierarchies with very good record keeping over long periods of time. One was an extended family of baboons, and the other, the British civil service. It seemed that the best predictor of an individual’s overall health was his status in the pecking order. High status conferred good health, and lower status conferred increasingly poorer health in a depressingly linear fashion, even when health care benefits in the human society were relatively uniform in coverage.

Apparently we constantly absorb a sense of powerlessness when we are lower in an hierarchy. Beyond the actual stresses that may pile on, the very cloud of uncertainty has a toxic effect on our physical health. In tumultuous times, these stresses increase for everyone, being ever greater as one moves downward in the social order. So, how can this proverb possibly be true?

Then I remembered the parables of the lilies of the field, and the sparrows. The common folk of Jesus’ day certainly weren’t at the top of their social ladders by any means! But Jesus constantly pointed out that they were looking in the wrong direction. In the hierarchy of God, each and every one of them was Number One. It was the rich and cynical who were further down the ladder, trapped in the world. With prayer and meditation, we step out of the stressful hierarchies of this world and they cease to have power over our minds and bodies. Jesus showed us how to fully understand this proverb, to turn the world on its head and enjoy a peace that exceeds all worldly understanding!

Thought for the day: Am I letting the world wear me down, or am I allowing God’s Order to strengthen me every day?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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