I am laying in a hospital bed for my first full day of recovery from back surgery. I woke up in recovery-room yesterday to sounds of nurses, technicians, doctors, and assistants giving me the best medical care I could have hoped for.
I first thanked God for even waking up. The medical release forms you have to sign the day of the surgery will sober you up very quickly. There are real risks.
Then I thanked Him for the companionship of my loving wife and helpmate in this world. She has been there for the saga of my aching back for the last dozen years
And then I thanked God for the amazing resources of trained doctors, committed and skilled nurses, all health care workers, and hospitals. Not until you need them do you see them for what they really do: save lives. Prolong life. Improve lives.
Then I remembered this grand passage of praise from Book of Sirach of the Biblical Apocrypha.
Read every word:
Give doctors the honor they deserve, for the Lord gave them their work to do. Their skill came from the Most High, and kings reward them for it. Their knowledge gives them a position of importance, and powerful people hold them in high regard.
The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible person will not hesitate to use them. Didn’t a tree once make bitter water fit to drink, so that the Lord’s power might be known? He gave medical knowledge to human beings, so that we would praise him for the miracles he performs. The druggist mixes these medicines, and the doctor will use them to cure diseases and ease pain. There is no end to the activities of the Lord, who gives health to the people of the world.
My child, when you get sick, don’t ignore it. Pray to the Lord, and he will make you well. Confess all your sins and determine that in the future you will live a righteous life. Offer incense and a grain offering, as fine as you can afford. Then call the doctor—for the Lord created him—and keep him at your side; you need him. There are times when you have to depend on his skill. The doctor’s prayer is that the Lord will make him able to ease his patients’ pain and make them well again. As for the person who sins against his Creator, he deserves to be sick.
So many in the medical field give their very best to great numbers of needy people and hurting patients with loving care.
This patient says thanks.
Canon David has over 35 years of local congregational ministry, diocesan and national involvement, leadership, and ministry experience and is the founder of Leaderworks. He was the founding Rector/Pastor, Christ Church, Plano and currently serves as the Strategic Leader and Dean, Diocese of C4SO.