As I get older (near 60 at the time of this writing), I am getting more and more conscious of the little, more frequently-occurring, and larger "thorns in the flesh" that seem to be besetting me more and more often:
2Co 12:7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
What I am referring to is not my lack of income, which income would be involuntarily given by me to the IRS because of government-registered-discouraging income taxes, nor lack of non-government-registered monetary accumulation (like finding pennies dropped by the unsuspecting on city streets, birthday gifts, etc.).
What I am talking about is health and disease-or-injury-related maladies.
First off, because I unwisely (but under non-relenting sexual-harassment immodesty-of-women anti-marriage/postpone-marriage duress) have engaged in some lower-unit mismanipulations (and there are more embarassing words to describe that), I have regrettably become rather limpid and flaccid in my thus-far "later" years.
But what really bothers me are the slight and occasional signs that this old ship is starting - more and more - to creak and groan in potentially-fatal ways as it sails along. Really disturbing is incessantly-recurring discomfort in a certain part of my lower unit, which knocking-at-the-door cancer and malignancy at times repeatedly seems to want to take over, to my demise. I feel that way when I go to bed at 10 or 11 pm most nights.
But what intrigues and even fascinates me is how I [thankfully] feel as to being significantly recuperated and substantially revitalized when I wake up in the morning, with a new measure of strength and energy for the day's planned activities.
Obviously then, I have and have not yet completely gotten to the point discerned by Elihu in the book of Job:
Job 33:8 "Surely, you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the sound of your words.
9 You say, 'I am clean, without transgression; I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.
10 Behold, he finds occasions against me, he counts me as his enemy;
11 he puts my feet in the stocks, and watches all my paths.'
12 "Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you. God is greater than man.
13 Why do you contend against him, saying, 'He will answer none of my words'?
14 For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man;
18 he keeps back his soul from the Pit, his life from perishing by the sword.
19 "Man is also chastened with pain upon his bed, and with continual strife in his bones;
20 so that his life loathes bread, and his appetite dainty food.
21 His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and his bones which were not seen stick out.
22 His soul draws near the Pit, and his life to those who bring death.
23 If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him;
24 and he is gracious to him, and says, 'Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom;
25 let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor';
26 then man prays to God, and he accepts him, he comes into his presence with joy. He recounts to men his salvation,
27 and he sings before men, and says: 'I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not requited to me.
28 He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit, and my life shall see the light.'
29 "Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man,
30 to bring back his soul from the Pit, that he may see the light of life.
Job 34:5 For Job has said, 'I am innocent, and God has taken away my right;
6 in spite of my right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.'
7 What man is like Job, who drinks up scoffing like water,
8 who goes in company with evildoers and walks with wicked men?
9 For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.'
10 "Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding, far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11 For according to the work of a man he will requite him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13 Who gave him charge over the earth and who laid on him the whole world?
14 If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.
16 "If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say.
17 Shall one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18 who says to a king, 'Worthless one,' and to nobles, 'Wicked man';
19 who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?
20 In a moment they die; at midnight the people are shaken and pass away, and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
21 "For his eyes are upon the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps.
22 There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves.
23 For he has not appointed a time for any man to go before God in judgment.
24 He shatters the mighty without investigation, and sets others in their place.
25 Thus, knowing their works, he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness in the sight of men,
27 because they turned aside from following him, and had no regard for any of his ways,
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him, and he heard the cry of the afflicted--
29 When he is quiet, who can condemn? When he hides his face, who can behold him, whether it be a nation or a man?--
30 that a godless man should not reign, that he should not ensnare the people.
31 "For has any one said to God, 'I have borne chastisement; I will not offend any more;
32 teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more'?
33 Will he then make requital to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know.
34 Men of understanding will say to me, and the wise man who hears me will say:
35 'Job speaks without knowledge, his words are without insight.'
36 Would that Job were tried to the end, because he answers like wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God."
Job 35:1 And Elihu said:
2 "Do you think this to be just? Do you say, 'It is my right before God,'
3 that you ask, 'What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?'
4 I will answer you and your friends with you.
5 Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
6 If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him; or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself, and your righteousness a son of man.
9 "Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out; they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10 But none says, 'Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?'
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.
14 How much less when you say that you do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
15 And now, because his anger does not punish, and he does not greatly heed transgression,
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk, he multiplies words without knowledge."
Job 36:5 "Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any; he is mighty in strength of understanding.
6 He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives the afflicted their right.
7 He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous, but with kings upon the throne he sets them for ever, and they are exalted.
8 And if they are bound in fetters and caught in the cords of affliction,
9 then he declares to them their work and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10 He opens their ears to instruction, and commands that they return from iniquity.
11 If they hearken and serve him, they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasantness.
12 But if they do not hearken, they perish by the sword, and die without knowledge.
13 "The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14 They die in youth, and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction, and opens their ear by adversity.
16 He also allured you out of distress into a broad place where there was no cramping, and what was set on your table was full of fatness.
17 "But you are full of the judgment on the wicked; judgment and justice seize you.
18 Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing; and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19 Will your cry avail to keep you from distress, or all the force of your strength?
20 Do not long for the night, when peoples are cut off in their place.
21 Take heed, do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22 Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed for him his way, or who can say, 'Thou hast done wrong'?
and described by Solomon in Ecclesiastes:
Ec 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them";
2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain;
3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows are dimmed,
4 and the doors on the street are shut; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low;
5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets;
6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,
7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
I know that it is better to breathe fresh non-polluted country air, drink fresh and non-contaminated water, eat fresh fruits and vegetables plus fresh red-but-well-done cooked meats, drink pure fruit juices and 1% milk, be dressed appropriately regarding adequate and decent headwear and armwear and legwear and footwear for frigid and chilley weather, get enough rest (whenever necessary and available) during the day.....
Job 3:17 There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
Job 3:26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest; but trouble comes."
Job 11:18 And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.
Job 30:17 The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
Ps 22:2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
Ps 55:6 And I say, "O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
Ps 95:11 Therefore I swore in my anger that they should not enter my rest.
Ps 116:7 Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
Ps 127:2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Pr 6:10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
Pr 24:33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
Pr 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Ec 2:23 For all his days are full of pain, and his work is a vexation; even in the night his mind does not rest. This also is vanity.
Ec 6:5 moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he.
Isa 14:3 When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve,
Isa 28:12 to whom he has said, "This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose"; yet they would not hear.
Isa 30:15 For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." And you would not,
Isa 57:2 he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.
Isa 57:20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
Isa 62:1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.
Isa 63:14 Like cattle that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So thou didst lead thy people, to make for thyself a glorious name.
Isa 66:1 Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
Jer 6:16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
Jer 31:2 Thus says the LORD: "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest,
Jer 45:3 You said, 'Woe is me! for the LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.'
Jer 47:6 Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard, rest and be still!
Mic 2:10 Arise and go, for this is no place to rest; because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction.
Mt 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Mt 26:45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mr 6:31 And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Mr 14:41 And he came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Joh 11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
2Co 7:5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest but we were afflicted at every turn--fighting without and fear within.
2Co 7:13 Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by you all.
2Th 1:7 and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire,
Heb 3:11 As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest.'"
Heb 3:18 And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?
Heb 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it.
Heb 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest,'" although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Heb 4:5 And again in this place he said, "They shall never enter my rest."
Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later of another day.
Heb 4:9 So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God;
Re 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."
Re 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"
Ex 14:14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be still."
Ps 37:7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Ps 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!"
Job 6:24 "Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have erred.
Job 33:31 Give heed, O Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
Ps 4:4 Be angry, but sin not; commune with your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
Zep 1:7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is at hand; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
.....and enough solid and quiet sleep at night, avoiding vices such as drunkenness and immorality and licentuous impurity of all types....to stay healthy....rather than ingest and pollute my body with drugs which would cause all sorts of short and long-term consequences. I even hestitate to take an ibuprofen (Nuprin or Advil) when I have a headache - even though every time I do it does relieve the headache within the hour. [I do have the superstition that taking cod-liver-oil, fish-oil, or salmon-oil gel-tab vitamins will help me ward off certain cold-like contagious germs, whether that is notably true or not].
Very helpful it is to keep our dirty fingers out of our mouths and to wash our hands frequently enough, being that we sometimes never know what kinds of crap we have contacted unawares, such as semen, poisons, urine, feces, menstrual blood, various sickness secretions of those infected with diseases, or even invisible particles of radioactive fallout we could ingest or inhale which could lodge in some sundry body part(s) and cause terminal cancer sooner or later.
Admittedly and honestly, the LORD's providential coicidence of us avoiding such mortality-inciting nonseen contaminents is bestowed on His beloved who are obedient to His will.
With all the talk of devastating health insurance costs by the government and media, extraordinaary costs of side-effects pharmaceuticals, insurmountable hospital and doctor expenses, and so on....it is clearly in my interest to avoid all such if and to whatever extent possible, for several reasons. Both income tax and government-provided health insurance are ways for Big Brother to register and monitor people for questionable anti-"terrorist" identification and political control.
Speaking of "drugs" (and I am not referring to narcotics), if we feel unusually warm and your temperature has risen, it might be that our body is fighting off infection. If so, we should not try to cool off, but rather even cover up (if possible) and help our bodies sweat out whatever infection is trying to overcome us. If we repeatedly sneeze and our heads feel as if they've been hit by a Mack truck or kicked in the head by a horse, we probably have gone past the point of no return, as if we cut had off a hand or foot instead of merely a fingernail or had a haircut, and we must then prepare to bed and quaranteen ourselves with plenty of juice drinks and Kleenex nearby, and let the bodies work through the full cycle of continuation to peak misery then increasing recuperation, knowing that the Lord has built resurrection power into each human body and those bodies themselves will make just the right type of unique antibodies to eventually eradicate any bacteria or virus we have succombed to (in stark contrast to the pseudo-cure artificial-substitute concoctions of so-called "cold remedies" from pharmaceutical companies, which merely mask symptoms and even prolong recovery time).
The answer is NOT to run to a clinic or hospital in such cases.
First of all, doctors make money while depriving their patients of it by merely talking to them. And if they and their medical technicians do inflict invasive tests and explorations into the body, that sometimes is not only profitless to the patient but even can be dangerous. Sometimes-expedient emergency surgery leaves scar tissue having disasterous consequences. The cure is sometimes worse than the disease one can live with, however discomfortably:
Job 13:4 As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all.
Mt 5:25 And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
27 She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
28 For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."
29 And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?"
31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'"
32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.
34 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
Scripture summarizes the situation well:
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nought?
Ps 66:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.
Ec 8:12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him;
Ec 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
Ec 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
1Pe 2:17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Re 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water."
Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
One more thing.
It is better to walk behind passing cars on the street instead of in front of them. Impatient and attention-diverted drivers don't always see what comes up in front of them, and even then when they do see it, they contemplate hitting whatever is in their way. It takes more time for a driver to hit someone by running backward rather than forward over them, because it takes time to shift gears into reverse, and one can notice the white backup lights come on for cars put in reverse gear. Anyone who walks in front of a passing car puts himself in the mercy (or lack of mercy) of the car's driver, compared to one who walks in back of a passing car who puts themself in charge of the temporary situation. It is the polite thing to do to walk in back of a passing car, rather than give the driver of a car the option of either waiting for a pedestrian to walk or run in front of him, or instead run him or her over.
There is great medical value in being afraid of God with a healthy and reverently-respectful fear. And in keeping and practicing His Biblical commandments, including sexual ones, for all sorts of short-term and longer-term microbiological benefits to complex and detailed to now elaborate upon.
What makes us capable of continuing to live is the gracious providence and provision of the Lord. What makes life worth continuing to live is to fulfil whatever mission or endeavors we want done, while we have the physical and mental resources to do such.
"It may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord, but we have to serve somebody."