Today's reading took me to the book of Exodus. The recommended reading was Exodus 15, but I read 14, 15, and 16. Chapter 14 is the story of the parting of the Red Sea, Chapter 15 was the praise that followed after the destruction of the Egyptian army, and Chapter 16 was about God providing Manna and Quail from Heaven for the Israelites to eat. It's amazing to read the Old Testament stories and see God in action. God providing for every single need. The Israelites fled a life of slavery in Egypt only to end up in the desert for 40 years. And for every year of that 40, God provided manna and quail for them to eat. 40 years! It took them 40 years to get to the land of Caanan where they could grow crops to eat. That is amazing to me. That God would care enough about a people to provide their every need for 40 years. That's a long time!
In chapter 15, the Israelites sang and danced to the Lord. I remember singing a song in church growing up that was based on this chapter. "I will sing unto the Lord for he has triumphed gloriously, the horse and rider thrown into the sea." The Israelites had just seen their enemy completely destroyed by the red sea. Just after they finished praising the Lord for his delivery of them from Egypt they turned to Moses and started complaining. They came upon a place where the water was bitter, and they had been thirsty, so they complained about leaving Egypt only to end up suffering of thirst. God commanded Moses to throw a stick into the water to make it drinkable. And this is where we learn what Yahweh Rapha means. Yahweh Rapha- The Healing God. Not only does God care about our spiritual health and well-being, he also cares about our physical health.
God told the Israelites that he would spare them from the diseases that he had sent to Egypt if they would follow his commands and do what he told them to do. Just as God cared about the Israelites health, he cares about ours. I think about when one of my children is sick. Zander had croup last winter, and it was so scary for us. I sat up with him all night, literally just listening to him breath and praying for him. I can't tell you how many times tears came to my eyes as I thought about how uncomfortable he must be. Every time one of my beauties is sick, I spend time with them just praying for them to get well, and praying that they will be comfortable. It just kills me to see one or both of them suffering with an illness. And when I think on this reading today, and think on Yahweh Rapha, I imagine that God must feel the same way when one of his believers is physically ill. He gives us the strength to make it through. In some cases, he gives Physicians wisdom as to how to treat a particular illness. This past year my Grandma passed away from cancer. She had a miraculously short battle. God didn't want her to suffer, so he called her home and gave her the ultimate healing. That sort of healing may not always be what we want here on earth, but I believe that for my Grandma, that was God showing mercy, taking her to Heaven so she no longer needed to suffer with her physical body.
Having read this today, I think to my own health. You know, as a Mom, I don't get the luxury of being sick. I can't just take a sick day and curl up and watch old movies all day. I still have to function and be Mom, I have little people to take care of. And as much as I pray over them when they are sick, I don't know that I pray much for myself when I am sick. I get this determined attitude that I can make it through the day, and I just keep going. Imagine how much better I could feel if I just asked God for help. I will try to remember this passage and call on Yahweh Rapha when I need it. How wonderful to have a God that cares about our physical health!