“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” (Psl. 26:2)
“To whom will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (Isa. 40:18)
In the last week and a half, I have had occasion to sit, walk, and even sleep in a hospital room nearly every day, and many nights. I’m not the patient; my dear husband is. And during this time, I’ve heard two phrases over and over from the caregivers there. After awhile, they began to say other things to me besides what they were meant to convey. May I share some of them with you?
First, when the nurses come in to check blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc., they begin by saying, “It’s time to check your vitals.” This is because there are certain indicators within our bodies that give us a clue about what may be taking place. They may not be conclusive evidence, but provide a warning sign to look further. The same is true in our spiritual lives, I think. For instance, if we’re full of worry, “careful and troubled about many things” (Lk. 10:14), it’s bound to affect the caliber of our Christian lives. Symptoms of hypertension in the body like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and blurred vision are just as likely to plague our walk with God, spiritually speaking.
Something else to be examined is our hearts, as the verse in Psalms says. Are we truly right with God and right with our fellow believers? In my husband’s case, his physical heart had been only superficially examined through the years, and no one knew what was building up in five of his arteries until it was nearly too late. The back part of his heart was so undernourished it was hard and immobile. And, O, child of God, how quickly our hearts can harden to the things of God!
Then, we should let the Word and the Spirit take our temperatures regularly; and when it comes to our faith, God wants us to have a fever! As a dear preacher friend of my husband, now in heaven, used to say, “God wants you to be hot; but He’ll give you permission to be cold before He’ll condone your lukewarmness” (Rev. 3:15).
Finally, the other phrase often heard in a doctor’s office or hospital is, “On a scale of one to ten…” This is generally used to help determine the degree of pain you may be experiencing, one being the lowest and ten the highest. It’s not an exact estimate, of course, because some people’s threshold of pain is higher than others’. The same pain may elicit only a five from one person, while another plaintively replies, “Ten!”
There are many ways this can be applied to the life of a Christian. For instance, on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your church, describe your pastor, or even, rate your own spiritual life? Again, these would all be relative, and would reflect our own preconceived ideas of perfection. However, there’s one time you could ask this question with only one possible answer. “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate God Almighty?” The answer is, there is no scale to measure God. He is the scale. Everything and everyone else has been measured against Him and “come short” (Rom. 3:23). As Isaiah rhetorically asks, “Who can be compared with Him?” Nobody!
Does the thought that this God has revealed Himself to you and made you His child no longer excite your soul and speak peace to your heart in times of trouble? Maybe it’s time to check your vitals. Are you allowing fear and worry to “raise your blood pressure?” Is your heart clean before God, with no divided allegiance? And are you hot after God, or tepid in your faith? Run to the Great Physician, and experience Divine healing…every time.