Appointment with the Great Physician
Welcome to the Sunday morning sick ward of the life-weary and heavy laden; to the Sunday morning assemblage of the wounded and heavily hurting; to the congregational gathering of the cross-carrying members of the Lord’s church. They have traveled in for one of their vital, tri-weekly appointments with the Great Physician. Don’t let the neckties, dress shirts, high heels and nice dresses fool you. And don’t be deceived by all of the suddenly-appearing smiles and “I’m fine, how are you?” responses. While such may be truly genuine and reflective of the inner soul of some, there are likely a number of others with whom such responses might be a bit more automatic than authentic, generic than genuine, and robotic than realistic.
The truth is, that if you love enough to probe just a little bit deeper and look just below the surface, many of those whom you see here are more than likely struggling with something – whether it is readily apparent to the untrained eye or not. Some may be experiencing the daily pain and stress of a personal, potentially fatal physical ailment. Others might be found to be silently struggling to come to grips with an even greater and more intense life-threatening physical ailment involving some beloved family member… such as a spouse, child, parent, or grandchild perhaps.
Many may also be heavily-burdened by some particular personal sin or temptation they struggle to overcome on a daily basis. Some may be carrying and suffering from the scars and abrasions produced by such spiritually lethal heart diseases as pride, anger, self-righteousness, or some other sort of sin-producing parasite or spiritual paralysis. Still others may be completely heart-broken because of a seemingly hopeless situation involving certain of their loved ones who simply will not come to the Great Physician for the priceless and sin-cleansing cure they so desperately need in order to obtain and enjoy a full earthly life, as well as a phenomenally beautiful eternal life, with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, look around. But don’t just look with your physical eyes; really and truly turn and look with your ‘spiritual heart of insight’ eyes. Understand that the person behind you, beside you, and before you, is more than likely every inch as much of a weak, hurting, and heavily-burdened human being as you either currently are, or else have been at times past in your life. And they have come here today, seeking some measure of hope and healing. Help them. Love them. Lift them. Listen to them. And help bear their burden both for and with them. Be, just what “The Doctor,” ordered (Matt. 9:11-13, 11:28-29; Acts 20:35; and Gal. 6:2).