St. Matthew 6.vv.24-34

~ Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of them. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you - you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, "What will we eat" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?". For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today". ~

One of the most poignant and tragic incidents brought to my notice is the true account of one who on his death bed recalled that the things that had given him most anxiety were the things that had never happened.

Among the manifold causes of physical, mental and spiritual disease, anxiety is paramount.

Psychiatrists have asserted, probably with good reason, that a very large number of beds in General as well as Psychiatric Hospitals are occupied by people with no organic or physical ills but only anxiety-related ills.

Modern medicine supports such contentions; and experiences of the individual confirm that in times of stress and anxiety the physical body is far more prone to suffer the invasion of infectious diseases, aches and pains.

Many books and treatises have been written on the subject of healing but the majority concentrate on the holistic approach, i.e. of the whole person. How often it is proved necessary to allay fears and to reassure the sick before healing can take place. The Christian Church has naturally followed the example of Jesus in attempting to drive out guilt feelings as a precondition of healing. The classical example of healing through sin forgiven is to be found in Mark 2.vv.1-12.

One of the foremost Christian Psychiatrists of our day is the Swiss Paul Tournier whose books, written in a scholarly yet popular vein, exemplify the power of a mind at peace to bring healing to the body. Compared with what we might term the "secular healer", the "Christian healer" has the great advantage that he or she can give the assurance of sin forgiven in the name of Him from whom alone all healing comes.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the terms "healing" and "healer" are so often applied in reference to human efforts in medicine and surgery. What the medical, nursing and caring agencies are doing is to provide the means whereby healing can be facilitated or made possible for God - He alone heals - we simply co-operate with Him.

Perhaps even more tragic than the mind ill at ease or anxiety-ridden is the refusal or inability of so many sufferers (even sincere Christians) to accept the knowledge that in Christ all sin can be forgiven. It is as though, accepting intellectually that God has put the sin "behind his back" we* try to drag it out again and make ourselves miserable or anxious by dwelling on it again.

* the shift to the first person plural is not without significance.

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