Sometimes the hardest part of my day is remembering which medical condition goes with which old lady.
In my thoughts, dreams, plans, and preparation for ministry, I never assumed I would know so much about medical conditions.
Seriously, seminaries should offer classes in basic biology and nursing. Talking about diseases and physical ailments will be approximately 67% of all conversations pastors have with people.
This is especially enjoyable with those old ladies who no longer have any sense of decency. They’ve been through it all, they are old, and they don’t care anymore. They just tell you everything.
I know more about some women’s physical problems than my own wife’s. The number of women who tell me about their bowel movements and their gas, I just. I don’t know. Why?
Men are never as bad. Probably because men don’t go to the doctor. Or it could be that men don’t talk about anything personal. I don’t know. But God bless men.
There is also a notion that if the pastor prays for physical problems, then those problems have a higher chance of being healed. Therefore, whenever there is any slight ailment, the pastor is called.
“Pastor, I just got back from the Y and my water aerobics class went a little long. I was so tired. I swallowed a bunch of water. I was choking. They almost did CPR on me. But I have this tremendous gas pain in my side now. Could you pray for me?”
Oh, I pray for them. I doubt the prayers I offer up at such times are what these folks are thinking I’m praying for them. Sure, there are times I pray for someone’s healing.
There are other times too.
I always pray that the pain and suffering would help grow their faith.
We focus too much on physical health and not nearly enough on spiritual health. Tribulation works patience, patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed.
I pray that people learn everything they possibly can through their suffering. I pray that the suffering lasts as long as necessary to teach everything possible. If healing will teach them more; then heal them. If continued suffering will teach them more; then continue the suffering.
Be careful when you ask me to pray for you. I know not what to pray for as I ought. So I cover all the bases!
Plus, if I pray for people to continue to suffer so they learn more, perhaps they’ll stop telling me their disgusting problems. Sheesh. Get a doctor.
And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
–2 Chronicles 16:12-13