Stephen Blackwell, Stonepoint Member
My wife and I have two sons. Unfortunately, my boys have been blessed with my lungs. Dodge has asthma, and it looks like Truett is heading the same direction. Often when they are on the front end of bronchitis or an asthma attack we give them breathing treatments, which helps break down the mucus and open up their lungs. Dodge is at the age where he understands the need for treatment; so he sits and takes it without argument. Truett on the other hand, is not at the age where he understands; so there are times when we have to physically hold him, so that he will take the medicine. He often fights the whole time, not realizing that the medicine will help with his sickness. If we let him go, he will run and hide in hopes that we will forget about the treatment.
As I look at my life, I can relate to both Dodge and Truett; especially when it comes to my own spiritual growth or healing. There are days when I wake up, drink my coffee and begin my day with God. Not only is this what I need, I relish the time alone with God. Everything seems to click and just comes together. I pray the whole way to school, and even listen to a little Andy Stanley Sermon or Podcast. However, there are other days where I wake up and it’s the last thing on my mind. I’m either not prepared, running late, or sin has kept me away from God. Often times, my first instinct is to run. I know what I need and I know how I need to spend my time, but I run. Instead of getting the “spiritual medicine” I need, I become sicker.
As I reflect, I have noticed that there are two main differences between my scenario and my son’s. For one, my two year old doesn’t realize the medicine will help him. He sees it as an inconvenience, so he fights. The second difference is that when we run, God doesn’t try holding us down to force feed us. As a two year old, Truett doesn’t understand that if he wants to get better he needs the treatment; therefore, we hold him down because we love him. God DOESN’T hold us down and force-feed us because He loves us, and wants us to reciprocate that same love.
1 John 5:3 tells us, that “if we love God, we will keep His commands.” Matthew 22:37 says, “The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.” I love my wife, but if I run from her, (like Truett runs from medicine) then when things get tough, we’d have serious marital issues. Instead, I run to her so that we can work things out. This helps solidify and strengthen our relationship. The same goes for our relationship with God.
There’s a scene in the great theological epic, The Break-up that explains this concept better. Brooke Meyer (Jennifer Aniston) wanted Gary Grobowski (Vince Vaughn) to help her with the dishes. After constant nagging, he finally complies with, “Okay, I’ll help”. Despite his change of heart, she tells him to forget about it. In her frustration, Brooke (Aniston) explains, “I want you to WANT to do the dishes.” The same application is true with God. John 14:23 states plainly, “that if we love Him we will obey His teachings.” God WANTS us to obey Him because that reflects our love for Him. God could have force-fed us, but as followers of Christ we know what we need and who we need to go to for healing.
The next time you are sick and in need of healing, I encourage you to run TO the Great Physician. What you need may be tough to swallow; but it will strengthen your relationship with the Father and bring healing to your spiritual life.