Trying to fix spiritual problems with physical “fixes” doesn’t work.

And trying to fix physical problems with spiritual activities rarely works either.

It’s always OK to pray about things. Even mundane physical things. But getting to the real problem is the most important of all.

Janice (not her real name) and I met for the first time at her first prenatal visit. I went through all the usual health questions, and thankfully Janice was reasonably healthy. And then I asked, “Have you ever been pregnant before?” That’s when the tears came like a flood. Yes, she had been pregnant before. Four times. And she’d had four abortions. She felt so guilty for having ended her other pregnancies, and this time was determined to have this baby.

I reminded Janice that God is a God of new beginnings. I told her I was proud of her for deciding to have this baby, and assured her that God felt the same way. He would be with her through all the challenges of bringing this child into the world, and this child had a special place in God’s plan.

I could have responded to Janice in many ways that day. I could have told her the truth – that although having several previous abortions might increase the risks to her current pregnancy somewhat, most of the time someone like her could expect to deliver a healthy baby. I could have offered her a referral to a mental health provider to deal with her anxiety. And those things would have been very appropriate.

Janice needed a physical exam, blood tests, an ultrasound, and prenatal vitamins. But what Janice needed most at that moment was a way to deal with the heaviness of her guilt. She needed to hear that God was not out to punish her, but would rejoice with her as she brought this child into the world. His forgiveness is real, and He will gladly walk with her into her future.

I can’t write a prescription for a broken heart. Or for loneliness. Or for shame.

For whatever ails you, be thoughtful about where you go looking for help.

Pray, of course. Always. And if you need to take action, do so.

But especially if your sickness is a sickness of the soul, make an appointment with the Healer Himself. There’s no waiting list!

Your Turn: Do you ever get confused about what the real problem is? Does that affect where you go for help? Leave a comment below. 

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