I’m quite familiar with medical exams here lately. My son has been in and out of doctors’ offices more times than I can count in the past six months. One thing after another, over and over I had to schedule appointments. And with each medical exam, my desire was for my son to heal. I noticed that with each visit to the doctor, the exams began the same… the nurses started with my son’s temperature. Because his temperature was important to the exam. If it was too high, that could mean something wasn’t right in my son’s little body. And that begs the thought, is there a spiritual thermometer, too? Because I am fully convinced I am to be examining this heart of mine right now. I am sure that God, who is the Great Physician, has called me to this self-examination. It was recently that I stumbled across notes in my old journal, “Heart – examine myself.” But how do I do that? Just as with a medical exam, isn’t the temperature of my heart necessary for my spiritual exam? And why examine my heart at all? For what purpose has the appointment been made with the Great Physician? Well, to be honest, the desire for myself is the same desire I had for my son with each of his visits…. healing. I want to be healed.
Physically, I’m okay, other than this sore throat. I have no complaint – no need of a medical doctor. But nonetheless, I do have need of healing. Because the truth is, my heart is not quite right. Unlike bodily (a fever being a bad thing), spiritually, our hearts should be feverish. In fact, we should be on fire for God. So, basically, it’s as if the heart itself is the spiritual thermometer. And right now, I believe the mercury of my heart is registering too low. Do you know what God says about that? In the book of Revelation, John wrote to the church of Laodicea about temperature. “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.'” Revelation 3:14-16. Lukewarm… that sounds about right. Because I don’t think I’m cold. I’m certainly not without feeling. When I hear something terrible, my heart is moved. I even cry when I hear how someone is suffering or in need. However, what do I do next? When I hear about someone suffering, do I act? Or am I complacent? Yep, I am beginning to see… lukewarm. That is my spiritual temperature. That must be the reason for this exam. Because my temperature is too low, that indicates there’s a problem.
My symptoms? Let’s see… bitterness, wrath, anger. Yes, I’ve had those symptoms. How long? Well, I’m quite certain it’s been ten years, no, wait… more like sixteen years. Yes, that’s right, my temperature is lukewarm, and my symptoms are bitterness, wrath, anger (and more). So what does this mean? Is there hope? Can I be cured? Can I be healed? What can the Great Physician prescribe for my ailments? What will alleviate my pain? And so He tells me. Or should I say, He reminds me. Because some verses come to mind that I’ve read more than a time or two. And His prescription is found in Isaiah 58:6-8. This is the medicine God has chosen for me… for my healing:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you…”
Wait a minute… this medicine God has selected has nothing to do with me and my symptoms. It seems to have everything to do with everyone else… aside from me. This is what will heal me? I believe the Great Physician says yes. I believe the key to my healing is to take my eyes off of of me, for once, and just look around. I’m supposed to share with those in need, help the poor and feed the hungry. And when I look beyond me, I will see there is great need. Yes, I need healing, but there are those very near to me who need healing, and so much more. You know, I recently wrote about new life springing forth from this heart of mine. But now I see something else will spring forth, too. When I look beyond me and see the dire need of others, this lukewarm heart of mine should heat up. And when my heart temperature begins to rise, I should be moved to action (beyond this complacency). And when I stop focusing on myself, and put others’ needs before mine, my healing shall spring forth. It’s what the Doctor ordered.