05072019ONTHESIDE

On the Side: May 2019

Physician, Heal Yourself
Sharon Chatwell

“Doctors make the worst patients,” or so the saying goes. Being trained as a physician myself, I refuse to comment, because I am a little biased. But, since I am also married to a physician, I can say that doctors are often non-compliant patients. I could tell you stories that would prove this, but I won’t do so here.  You probably have your own examples!

I suppose the reason for this non-compliance is that they know so much. They know the diseases, the meds, and the system. And so, quite often, they think that they know better than their own doctor, nurse, etc. They know the rules; they just don’t think they apply to them. And I speak for myself as well, when I say that.

I had my right knee replaced just a few weeks ago. (As I write this, I am still hobbling around at home, behind a walker.) But I am improving rapidly and the general concern is that I will do more than I am supposed to, when everyone’s back is turned. I don’t know why they think that… Except that it is mostly true.

My husband, Rick (God bless him!) stayed home with me the first week and then part-time the second week. When he went back to work, his nurses asked him how I was doing. He said with a grin that I was doing great, but that he hated to leave me alone, not knowing if I’d be up trying to do something I shouldn’t!

They laughed and suggested using a “Nanny Cam” so he could keep an eye on me from work. When I found out about this, I replied that I would simply put a little sign in front of it that read, “Back in 5 minutes.”

“Physician, heal yourself.” This is something Jesus predicted that the people in His hometown of Nazareth would say to Him; wanting Him to do as many miracles there as He had done in Capernaum. (Luke 4:22-23) The problem was that they didn’t believe in Him as the Messiah. They heard Him speaking in their synagogue and began asking themselves things like, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” But Jesus, knowing of their lack of faith, said to them, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.” Luke 4:24 NASB

Doctors know all too well how this feels! How many of us have tried to take care of our own elderly family members? I remember as young physicians being asked to help diagnose Moms, Dads, Uncles and Aunts. I have to tell you, it doesn’t work. As soon as you give your informed opinion, they suddenly remember when they used to change your diapers and reject your treatment plan!

Jesus is called the Great Physician. Matthew 14:14 tells us, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. He healed people with all kinds of diseases and physical needs. And He did a marvelous job! He cured blind people, lame people, deaf and mute people. He even raised the dead!  Every one of His patients got well; including those who thanked Him and those who didn’t.

Being a doctor can make you believe that you can take care of yourself, no matter what. If you are sick, you come up with your own Differential, Diagnosis, Treatment Plan and all. This can carry over into other parts of your life as well.

As Christians, we can fall into the same trap. We often think that we can take care of our own Spiritual Problems. We find ourselves lacking in faith, or not doing what we should be doing. We feel scared, lonely, abandoned or unlovable. At their very foundations, these are all spiritual issues.

We need to give these problems to God. We must confess our sins to Him and pray over them. We need to find Bible verses that apply to our situation and make them our own. We need to talk with other Christians and have them pray for us. And we need to ask Jesus, the Great Physician, to have compassion on us and heal us of these spiritual issues.

We have to take all of our spiritual problems to Jesus. Nothing else will do. He has to heal us of those. And He will; perfectly and eternally.

1 Peter 2:24-25 tells us, He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Are you, or a loved one, sick or hurting?  Take your pain to Jesus the Great Physician. May He heal you of all your wounds. Amen.


Sharon is a physician’s wife living in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska, where she is currently recovering from knee replacement surgery. She says that she intends to give up her walker as soon as possible and find out just what that new knee of hers can do. She asks that you pray for her husband’s continued patience and peace of mind.

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

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