Debra Chew: Just What Is The Best Medicine?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - by Debra Chew

Growing up, whenever I had a problem, my mom would often tell me, “laughter is the best medicine.”  And, that old adage would sometimes make me feel better. But, what truly is the “best” medicine for healing both body and soul?

Recently, at the 2017 Conference on Medicine and Religion in Houston, Texas, leading healthcare providers and representatives from various religious groups addressed that very question. In premiering his documentary, “Your Health: A Sacred Matter,” filmmaker Gerald Krell focused on stories from patients and health care providers who shared their views on why religion is important to health.   

While I find it encouraging to see some well-known scholars in the medical community appear to be embracing spirituality and its positive effects on the body, it seems to me that they simply view religion/spirituality as a way to cope with sickness and not as a reliable form of healing physical ills.

However, at the turn of the twentieth century, when medicine was certainly primitive, the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, organized “a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.”

She saw, through Christ Jesus’ works – healing the sick, raising the dead and cleansing the lepers -- that “primitive Christianity” meant working things out spiritually instead of materially, looking to God as the source for healing. And in spite of modern advances in medical technology, spiritual healing is still relevant today, as one example I am about to relate shows.  

But while Christian Science certainly helps one cope with life’s challenges, its mission is not to simply provide temporary human assistance.  Eddy wrote, “From my very childhood I was impelled, by a hunger and thirst after divine things,—a desire for something higher and better than matter, and apart from it,—to seek diligently for the knowledge of God as the one great and ever-present relief from human woe."

A friend of mine experienced the relief that comes from turning to God for help. While in college, she became quite ill.  The physician who examined and treated her told the family there was nothing else that could be done and recommended they pray for her.  And, they did just that!  Turning to the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, they found the exact medicine my friend needed to be healed.

The family read how Jesus healed the blind, the deaf, and the crippled.  And they noted how Eddy herself, in reading about those healings at a critical time in her life, was healed of life-threatening effects of an injury through prayer alone.

That same healing “medicine” of humble effective prayer that was demonstrated by Christ Jesus is still healing people over 2000 years later.  It healed my friend completely when material medicine had nothing else to offer. Her family was certainly overjoyed when she was able to return to college.

If you are struggling in your search for the best medicine to help you with your problems, I am not suggesting you can laugh your challenges away.  But, there might just be something to the Bible verse “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Laughter can get your thought off of your problems - and that is a good place to start.  But there’s a big difference between understanding spiritual truth and mere positive thinking. The truth that Jesus said would make us free goes to the heart of whatever issues we’re dealing with, and that brings real healing.

Helpful scriptures such as “[nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God;” “cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;” (NIV) and “the joy of the Lord is your strength” are indeed healing medicine that you can turn to when you are suffering.  Try it!

-----

Debra Chew writes about the connection between thought, spirituality and wellness from a Christian Science perspective.  She has been published in USA Today, UK Health Triangle Magazine, chattanoogan.com, Knoxville News Sentinel, Memphis Commercial Appeal, and the Jackson Sun & JS Health Magazine.


Inaugural LIFE FORCE Call Of The Year Awards Recognize Regional EMS Providers

Erlanger Health System’s air medical program, LIFE FORCE, held a ceremony to honor local EMS heroes who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the inaugural Call of the Year awards during national EMS Week. LIFE FORCE flight crew members and awards committee selected outstanding calls in the categories of Medical, Pediatric and Trauma.   Medical Call of the Year ... (click for more)

Cherokee Health Systems' Chief Clinical Officer To Participate Best Practices Study

Parinda Khatri, PhD, Cherokee Health Systems’ chief clinical officer, has been selected by the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health to join an advisory group of health care professionals that will travel to Spain next month to conduct in-depth research on best practices in health care delivery.   Dr. Khatri will join professionals from ... (click for more)

Pool Chemical Leak Forces Evacuation Of Sports Barn North

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a reported haz-mat incident at the Sports Barn North on Hamil Road at  6:37  a.m. on Friday. Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said an employee was working with some pool chemicals when some of the liquid leaked out of a container. The employee said he breathed in some of the vapors from the liquid and became ill. When the manager ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Studying Restrictions On ATVs; City Forms Housing Re-Development Authority

The East Ridge City Council is studying an ordinance drafted by City Attorney Mark Litchford to address issues involving property in a residential neighborhood around John Ross Road, where an ATV track has been built. At the past two council meetings, people living in close proximity to the two-acre lot complained to the council that noise and dust created by almost non-stop use ... (click for more)

Scrutinizing Defense And Other Public Spending Is Right Thing To Do

I saw in the news today where U.S. senators were investigating and scrutinizing an Army "debacle," which has already spent $6 billion on a communications system developed by a defense contractor (WIN-T) that is virtually ineffective in use.   This is on top of a recent Navy scandal (Fat Leonard Scandal) where several current and former Navy admirals were sentenced to prison ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Suicide Letter

Two weeks ago there were five suicides and a fatal drug overdose in the same Chattanooga community. That absolutely tears me up inside because I am assured almost every day there is a better answer. I make no secret I struggle with depression and it is real. I want others to see if I can get through the valleys to climb the mountain, they can too. I take medicine every day that ... (click for more)