Proverbs 17:22: A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Exodus 21:19: “If he rise again, and walk about leaning upon his staff, then he that struck him shall be clear, except he must pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.”
As a Physician Assistant for almost 21 years, I have learned that I can help bring healing, but I am not the cure. Medical Science has learned much about the body, particularly the mind and gut connections. We know that the brain and gut are connected by way of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve has cardiac branches that slow our heart rate and digestive branches that stimulate peristalsis and gastrointestinal secretions. The gut houses 70% of our immune system and is the first line of defense from illness. The brain is connected to our immune system by small vessels, so our thoughts and what we meditate on is important to our physical health. The gut bacteria also plays an important role in health. The imbalance of the gut microbiome caused by our Standard American Diet has been indicted as the cause of chronic illness. Recently, I found a study that revealed suppression of IgA in the gut may contribute to obesity and diabetes. Good bacteria like lactobacillus and bidofidobacteria actually protect the gut lining. The diet that best promotes and healthy gut, brain, and heart is the Mediterranean diet. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324221#mediterranean-diet
The above is a brief review and so much more could be shared. The human body is so amazing that researchers have only scratched the surface of learning about all the intricate processes our body performs everyday (Ps. 139: 13-14). What we are feeding our mind, body and soul is very important to physical and spiritual health which leads me to Exodus 21:19 and Proverbs 17:22. The Word of God is so rich and filled with life giving instructions. The Hebrew language is also rich and its words have such deep meanings. Jewish teachers, called Rabbi’s, say that each scripture has at least 70 different meanings. In my quest to learn how a happy heart is good medicine, I came across a blog post that studied the difference meanings of the words heal and cure (https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2015/06/word-study-heal-or-cure-גהה-רפא/). In the blog post, the author quoted from the Talmud (Bava Kamma 85a) the English translation of Exodus 21:19:
“He shall pay for the loss of his work, and he shall fully heal him.”
Some Jewish teachers interpreted this to mean that a physician, a medical provider is allowed to heal but he or she is not allowed to pronounce a person incurable. In other words, a physician can heal but only God can cure. The Jewish teachers state that there are no synonyms in the Hebrew language so there must be a subtle difference between heal and cure. The Hebrew word for heal in rapha whereas the Hebrew word for cure is gehah. I was excited to learn that this word gehah is only used once in the Bible and it is in Proverbs 17:22 as the word for medicine. Further study of this word gehah revealed the idea of being freed or set free. Interestingly, the Aramaic version of the word gehah is identical to the Hebrew version and means to stoop over as to protect. The author of this blog stated that gehah could be further described as someone throwing his or her body on a grenade to protect another person from shrapnel. Wow! Isn’t that what Christ did for us? He gave His body for us so that we could be could be set free, healed, and protected. In other words, Jesus is the cure, the medicine that heals the broken hearted and brings happiness. So a merry heart is protection. In short, a medical provider can heal (rapha) but only Jesus can cure (gehah), only He can protect.
Medical providers can give instructions and education on leading a healthy lifestyle, which usually includes diet and exercise. Sadly, most do not address the issues of the heart or the soul. Much has been learned about stress and how it leads to chronic illness. Our inner self or our emotional state also contributes to chronic illness. Unhealthy emotions, not dealt with properly, can have a negative impact on our health and how we react to those around us. What we feed our body, mind and spirit is very important. Yes, it is very important what foods we are putting into our body, but what we are putting into our minds through our eyes and ears is just as important because for as a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
What are you feeding your mind today? Are you feeding your mind fear, doom and gloom? Is your heart troubled? If you are a Christian, you have precious promises of hope, prosperity, and life. Yes, we are living in trying times but nothing is too hard for our God. Let’s not be like the ten spies who saw the giants in the promised land. They forgot all that God had done. Let’s be like Caleb and declare that our God is able and if He be for us who can be against us. Caleb had a different spirit. He did not have a spirit of fear. He was ready to take the land and process it because he believed and trusted God fully. The giant many are facing now is fear. Messages of fear, doom, and gloom are not the message of the good news of the Gospel. People of God arise and take your place as sons and daughters of the King. God is for us not against us, He is for us. His heart is to see everyone come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and be saved. He is not angry but is looking for a people to usher in His Glory. You and I were created to push back the darkness and to bring hope to the nations.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
The Bible tells us in the Book of John, that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself (John 1.1). The book of John goes on to say that the Word became flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is the cure for the broken heart, the angry heart, the racist heart, and the forgotten heart. Come to Him today and feed on Him in your heart and mind. He is able to cure and protect. He is the answer for todays problems but remember that Jesus didn’t come into the world with a political agenda. His agenda was YOU and ME! His agenda was to reveal the heart of the Father for His creation. Jesus restored us to the status of heirs to an eternal Kingdom. He restored us to our former Glory in the garden. We are not orphans but children and heirs to His Kingdom. We are new creations in Christ and are meant to go from Glory to Glory. We are not victums but victors. We have a promised land and a destiny.
The key to good health lies in what we are feeding ourselves physically and spiritually. A happy heart is good medicine (protection) for the body and a cheerful mind works healing. It’s times for us to prepare our hearts and minds. It’s the healing of our hearts and minds that will bring transformation and healing to the nations. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds and this begins by choosing to think on things that are above or praise worthy. In other words, we need to be Kingdom minded. The Word of God is Spirit and Life. Jesus is the Word and He is the bread of life. Feed on Him in your hearts by faith and thanksgiving. Let Proverbs 30: 5, 8 be our prayer:
Father God, your every word is tried and purified; You are a shield to those who trust and take refuge in You. Remove from my heart and mind any falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches but feed me with the food that is needful for me. In Jesus name. Amen