3 John 1 and 2, NIV
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
I’ve just been to watch a football match. My home town team, Blackburn Rovers, were playing Aston Villa in the Premier League. They were not expected to win, but, amazingly, our team came out on top, over a team that are much higher up the league than they are. It was a great win. Before the game, I’d seen the jubilant Aston Villa supporters almost dancing towards the Rovers ground at Ewood Park. They were expecting to win and at that time were feeling great.
But when the match was over the Villa supporters were stunned into silence. Their physical behaviour reflected how they were feeling about their surprise defeat. The Rovers supporters were, of course, jubilant. They were on top of the world. Their team had won and they were going home happy. And so was I. But the Aston Villa supporters were as sick as the proverbial parrot!
This was only a football match, but as I looked at the demeanour of the two groups of supporters I was reminded that how we feel physically, is often directly related to the condition of our soul – to how we are feeling about other things. John totally understood this truth when he wrote to his friend Gaius. He was concerned for Gaius’ health, and so he prayed that Gaius’ body would be as healthy as his soul.
I’ve often had to pray for people who have been ill for a long time. Sometimes with conditions which don’t seem to be responding to any form of medical treatment. At times like this I remember John’s comment about Gaius and start asking a few leading questions about the condition of their soul. Time and again I have quickly discovered that the person has been very unhappy for a whole variety of reasons. Sometimes because of rejection, at other times abuse, occasionally because of betrayal or some form of damaging relationship breakdown. Often there has been bitterness and unforgiveness in the heart against other people. Truth exposed opens the door of healing for the heart.
It never ceases to surprise me how often people get physically healed, when the inner conditions of the soul are brought to the light and have been properly dealt with before the Lord, according to the ways of the Lord revealed in His word. If only our souls could always be kept in good health, I suspect that many of the conditions that people struggle with might also get healed!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for showing us that there is sometimes a relationship between how I am feeling on the inside and my physical health. Help me to always be sensitive to the inner voice of your Spirit so that I may not allow situations to develop in my soul, that might make me ill. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.