A wise friend once gave me this memorable definition of humility: “Humility is just acknowledging reality.”
If this is so, then my husband and I have found a humble chiropractor for David’s back problems. The doc said he doesn’t heal anybody; the body heals itself if he can figure out what to move out of its way. The doc sees himself as a detective trying to discover what’s blocking the healing that wants to come.
The body wants to heal itself. In fact, it does that all day long. But just as newspapers never talk about planes landing safely, we never think about the bullets we dodge in the course of a day as our bodies work overtime to maintain homeostasis. Every day, while you are going about your business, your bloodstream has roaming squads out hunting down cancer cells. Your body repairs broken proteins, fights off infections, keeps your arteries open, heals your cuts, and mends your bruises.
“He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (Mark 4:27).
This is Jesus’ description of the farmer’s experience with agriculture. This farmer puts the seed in the ground, but he is as little responsible for the tomatoes that come from it as my husband’s chiropractor is for the improvements David is beginning to experience. Farmer and chiropractor are “like a skilled master builder” (1 Corinthians 3:10), and each “will receive a reward” (verse 14) for what he does. But they do not create vegetables or healthy bodies, strictly speaking. All glory goes to the Creator of the body.
One interesting finding about the self-repairing body is that its natural ability to heal itself can be thwarted by stress. Stress defeats healing. Can it be, therefore, that when Jesus tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:34), He is not only addressing the issue of sin but also dispensing good, sound medical advice? Put that one up there with:
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).