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.



Erlanger Breaks Ground On Outpatient Cancer Center

Elected officials and Erlanger Health System executives and representatives brook ground on the new outpatient cancer center and medical office building at Erlanger East. The new 80,000 square foot outpatient Cancer Center will include the Erlanger Center for Breast Health, an infusion center, radiation and medical oncology therapy, interventional radiology and imaging services, ... (click for more)

Siskin Children’s Institute Partners With Vanderbilt To Share SPARK Research Opportunity

Siskin Children’s Institute is partnering with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment & Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders to encourage participation in a research study focused on the condition. The study, known as SPARK, focuses on speeding up the research around and understanding of autism by building a community of 50,000 individuals with autism and their families ... (click for more)

School Board Approves "Partnership" With State As "Lesser Of 2 Evils"

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 7-2 to join in talks with the State Department of Education leading to a Partnership Zone for five low-performing schools. Joe Smith and David Testerman voted against the plan. Other board members said the only alternative was for the state to take over several low-performing schools under the Achievement School District in which ... (click for more)

Investors Who Lost In Dyer/Brennan Scheme Furious At Seeing Dyer At UTC Games; Attorney Says He Takes Disabled Brother To Work Games

Two victims in an investment scheme by Doug Dyer and James Brennan said they were furious to see Dyer continuing to attend UTC sporting events. Dyer is a past president of the Mocs' Quarterback Club. In two victim letters prior to the Dyer/Brennan sentencing next Friday - from Mickey McCamish and Mark E. Smith, they state that Dyer bought season tickets to UTC football and has ... (click for more)

September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The calendar fills up quickly in September as families return to a packed routine after quieter summer days. Unfortunately, your health might take a backseat to your busy schedule. So make a note on your calendar that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and remind yourself—or the men in your life—about the importance of a healthy prostate.   Prostate cancer is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A California professor who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. ... (click for more)