Friday, October 9, 2015

IT'S AN ADHD WORLD: Part 2 - Chasing After Cures

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Mark 5:24-34, NIV

"Desperate times call for desperate measures," so they say.  When things are not-quite-right with our children, we can set out on a desperate quest to make it right.  We want treatments.  We want cures.

We are not much different from the woman mentioned in Mark's gospel, who suffered from a prolonged problem with bleeding.  In her time, this would have rendered her "unclean," leaving her marginalized socially, physically, and spiritually in her culture.  How awful that would feel!  No wonder she searched every corner and spent every dime looking for a cure.

What differs from those of us who live with chronic illness or disability in today's culture versus those in Jesus' time is that the flow of information moves at lightening speed.  Medical knowledge and research evolves at a much more rapid pace.  Add to traditional, government-funded research all of the emerging, holistic, and alternative therapies for affected individuals, and parents are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  There is the anti-vax crowd, the parents decrying food dyes and chemicals, those who are hanging their hope on acupuncture, chiropractic, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, vitamins, oils, and auditory integration therapy, not to mention the GFCF and dairy-free true believers.

HEAR ME when I say that there is nothing wrong with dedicated parents seeking the best treatment for their child.

Even so, we are like our frenetic child with ADHD when we swing wildly chasing from one possible cure to another.  We can literally run ourselves into the ground running from here to there, searching for resolutions and answers to the difficulties with our children.  Sadly, I have seen too many parents lose disproportionate amounts of time and money running from one possible cure to the next.

This type of scenario brings these Bible verses to mind:
  • Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.  I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.  (Ecclesiastes 1:10,11,14, NLT)
  •  “Then if somebody says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Christ,’ or ‘He’s over here,’ don’t believe it. False christs and false prophets will appear, and they will offer great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even those whom God has chosen.  Look, I’ve told you ahead of time.  So if they say to you, ‘Look, he’s in the desert,’ don’t go out. And if they say, ‘Look, he’s in the rooms deep inside the house,’ don’t believe it. (Matthew 24:23-26, CEB)
  • Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom was coming. He replied, “God’s kingdom isn’t coming with signs that are easily noticed.  Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Don’t you see? God’s kingdom is already among you.” (Luke 17:20-21, CEB)
Each of these passages reveals mankind futily chasing after something bigger, better, BRIGHTER, BOLDER.  Yet, God decries each situation as meaningless, false, or short-sighted.

Instead of flitting from one treatment to the next like a hyper-active squirrel hiding nuts, perhaps we need to learn from the woman beset with prolonged bleeding mentioned in Mark, Chapter 5.  She knew where her real hope should be directed.  The same is no less true for us.  Reach out for Jesus!  Be relentlessly focused on connecting to Him above all else!

Our hope cannot lay in a treatment, remedy, or cure.  Those will always fall short and our focus will be distracted.  Instead, our full anticipation and reliance should be on Christ alone.  Though we may have our doubts, he remains immovable, unchanging, and ever-faithful.

If you find you are one who is consumed by this disquieted, frenzied quest for treatments and cures, maybe God wants you to sit in His presence and really listen to Him for a bit.  Cling to Him today.

PRAY:  Jehovah Rapha, You are the divine healer of our souls.  Help us to never stop reaching out to You in faith and trust.  May we chase after You harder than we chase after any remedy, treatment, or cure.

~ Barb Dittrich

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